The challenge for management is to enable their managers to make day-to-day decisions without consulting upper management.  If you trust them to manage your people and process, then enable them to make  choices that will benefit their department.

“When managers in the middle are taking ownership of issues, making decisions, and becoming accountable for results, then senior managers have the freedom to think and act strategically without getting bogged down in tactical matters.”

From Lead Your Boss, The Subtle Art of Managing Up by John Baldoni

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For analysts, the most important part of delivering concise, usable analysis is to prepare your workspace beforehand.  You know the drill: a vague request for analysis is sent to you with a short deadline.  Your only resource is a database that is masterfully created – in the DBAs mind – but makes data gathering more than difficult.  You have just a few hours to extract the data, make sense of it all and draw a poignant conclusion from the mess, and send it to someone who won’t read it until next week.

The most important step, after you’ve received this request, is to implement a workflow for separating the data into its logical parts (i.e. preparing your workspace).  That’s where the 5 S’s in Kaizen are helpful.  

The 5 S’s of Kaizen

Sort

Sorting is a step that involves selecting what you need to complete the job and removing everything else from your work area.

Set in Order/Straighten

This step customizes your workstation and surrounding area to meet your work area needs.  Arrange remaining items so they are easy to select, use, and return to their proper location

Shine/Sweep

This step is powerful because its purpose is to find the reason why things become dirty.  Emphasis is on the removal of dust, dirt, and grime to reveal the source and eliminate it.

Standardize

This step creates a work area free of checklists; itf good standards are put in place it will be easier to maintain and continue improving.

Sustain

Sustaining is the end result of how well we have performed the previous four S’s.  In the sustainability stage think of ways to eliminate effort in maintaining an area.

Question: What methods do you use to organize your workspace?

When it comes to communicating difficult concepts concisely, I tend to gravitate to bullet points and lists.  Here is something I found recently that best summarizes continuous improvement:

The 10 Commandments of Continuous Improvement

1. Problems create opportunities
2. Ask 'why' five times
3. Seek ideas from everyone
4. Think of solutions that make it possible
5. Re-evaluate fixed ideas
6. Excuses are not needed
7. Choose a simple solution; not the perfect one
8. Correct mistakes immediately
9. Use your craftiness, not your cash
10. Continuous improvement is endless 

After many long years and multiple 3rd party applications, we finally have a native Blackberry application for Twitter. The new app has been in private beta for a long time. I never bothered trying to apply because I have what I consider to be the best integrated social application for the blackberry: SocialScope (even though it’s been in private beta for entirely too long). With SocialScope I can integrate Facebook, multiple twitter accounts and foursquare in one easy-to-use application. Exit question for mobile social users: Do you prefer separate applications to manage your social profiles or do you prefer an integrated app?

Well, I've ordered my Ipad, can't wait for it to be delivered.

In researching portals it seems many proof of concepts never get the attention or acceptance needed for full-bore implementation.  This article is a good reminder to keep focused on the end-user and allow business requirements to drive development.

Summary 14 Reasons Why Enterprise 2.0 Projects Fail:

1. It starts strong in a single department and then never makes it out.

2. Selecting the tools first.

3. Selecting the wrong tools and sticking with them.

4. There are no resources allocated to adoption and training.

5. It’s purely an IT initiative.

6. The effort excludes IT.

7. Engaging with HR, legal, branding, compliance, etc. too soon.

8. Pushing Enterprise 2.0 as a generic toolbox instead of the solution to specific problems.

9. Lack of effective executive champions

10. Lack of effective participants: Empty blogs, wikis, or silent social networks.

11. No long term plan or budget for governance, community management, upgrades, or maintenance.

12. Failure to draw in key influencers as adoption broadens.

13. Building it all as a self-contained, top-down effort.

14. Not waiting long enough to let critical mass build.

Could be a good thing. Prices an perishable goods fell an average of 17% from the year before.

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8148175.stm

WordPress just released a new Blackberry application which allows bloggers to manage and post to their website effortlessly.

The app is still in beta, but it seems very solid and full-featured.

Check it out here: Download WordPress for your BB

© Copyright David A Beatty. All Rights Reserved.