Sunday, March 17, 2013


To Improve a process you must measure it , to measure it  you must repeat it, to repeat it you must have procedures. -- Unknown

To break it down:

  1. You cannot know if  you are improving unless you have some quantifiable way of measuring change.
  2. You cannot measure your change unless you can repeat the process to see the effect of the change.
  3. You cannot repeat a process if you don't have procedures to ensure that you do it the same way each time. Without procedures there is no way to know what changed, and what effect it had on the process.

If you know where this quote comes from please comment, I don't believe that I have the insight to come up with it on my own.

Problem Solved: Process Improvement

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What's My Line

My Blog has a tagline "Identify,Improvise,Adapt,Overcome,Enhance". In addition to the  "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome" Marine tie-in (Marines like all of our armed forces are cool), I constructed it because its a good framework for  problem solving.

Identify. Make sure you know what problem you are solving. If your house is dark, Its best to know if the power is out, or the light switch is off, or a light bulb is blown, before you work on a solution. Make sure you do some troubleshooting to ensure that you are working on the right issue.

Improvise. Take stock of your available resources. Frequently some of your resources will be intellectual (people who know stuff). In the dark house example, it might mean looking for batteries and flashlights, or calling your spouse to find out where the candles and matches are.

Adapt. Make a plan to use your resources to solve your problem. You can use the flashlight to read. You can light the kitchen with candlelight.

Overcome. Implement the plan. Make dinner by candle light, Read the mail with the light from a flashlight.

Enhance. Review the situation. What did you learn? What you could do better? For instance in my example, you may want to have an agreed upon location with your spouse for candles and matches. Possibly you need to set a reminder to check battery inventory monthly. You may want to buy a generator if the power goes out often.

Problem Solved: Solving Problems

Related: Fixing my fence, the ITIL way

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Top 5 Reasons why I would have done what Ms. Mayer did at Yahoo!

I don't have any particular interest in Yahoo! other then having an account in the past, nor do I know or have any connection the Ms. Mayer. I, however, feel the desire to provide some context to her decision to cancel the company's remote working program since she is in my dream job (saving a failing business), and this type of tempest-in-a-teapot creates great blog fodder.

Top 5 Reasons why I would have done what Ms. Mayer did at Yahoo!

5. Remote workers were not particularly productive.
4. Management was incapable of properly supervising remote workers.
3. Processes, procedures, and infrastructure were not in place to properly manage remote workers.
2. Company culture was complacent and resistant to change and needed to be shaken up.
1. I, as the CEO, needed to flex my muscles, so to speak, to 'motivate' employees to change.

Also, keep in mind that Yahoo! is in a somewhat dire situation and drastic actions may be necessary to fix it.

Problem Solved: Fixing a failing business.