Project Management Operational Problem Solving Implementation & Change Management Strategy & Alignment

Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Critical Chain Case Study - Pharma -- Over at CCPM software provider Realization's site is a case study on the implementation of Critical Chain-based multi-project management in a pharmaceutical environment...
Implementing the new approach has boosted performance of clinical supply operations:
Lead times were reduced from 8-12 weeks to typically 3 weeks, a reduction of about 70%.This is substantially lower than the industry average of around 6 weeks.

Due-date delivery was over 90% (for five consecutive months).

Without additional resources, about 50 studies were now packaged every month, a throughput increase of 150%.
Besides the quantitative improvements, there are also qualitative benefits felt by project participants. Managers feel in control of operations and now make decisions proactively to stop problems before they become problems. Another benefit seen is that as the rank and file do not need to multitasking (because they get clear task-level priorities), they can focus on delivering highest quality output. This is extremely important in clinical trials, as any quality problems can lead to the whole clinical trial results being rejected by FDA.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More No -- Esther writes the post I wanted to write when I recently brought up the subject. Guess I haven't been saying "no" enough.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It(unes) Ain't Just for Music Anymore -- Not that it's been just for music for a while, but with today's update supporting podcast distribution, it might be worth pulling out one of my Mac apps and fiddle around with starting a podcast. So many things to do, so little time.

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Who Moved Your Cheese? -- On managing the change of a website design, with applicability to change in general...
1. Tell them when it's coming...
2. Tell them why it's coming...
3. Show them what's coming...
4. Get their support
5. Give them support...
6. Give them the reins...
Yep -- applicable to changes in both design and in processes. From one of my fellow "gritters" via the company blog.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Weekend Wanderings: Wake n' Bacon -- A multi-sensory alarm clock, which looks like fun, although, with my almost clockwork-like 6-hour sleep cycle, I'm an early riser without it, especially when I go to bed at 10 rather than midnight, as I've been doing recently. (via Boing Boing)

Makin' (Mad) Money -- I recently been setting my DVR to a new show on CNBC - Jim Cramer's Mad Money. Since the market bubble burst 5 years ago, like many others, I've been watching less of CNBC than I did when everything was going up every day. In that timeframe, the network didn't help itself much, with what seemed like the boring advice of Suze Orman every day all day.

Well, with Cramer (formerly of the excellent Kudlow and Cramer) and Mad Money, they've got a high energy practical stock picking, commiserating, shouting, and sound effect show. Apparently it's acquired quite a following, including a fan's blog and a bunch of after hours traders that seem to jump on Cramer's picks immediately, if you watch the trade crawl on the bottom of the screen. If you're at all into stock-picking, check it out.

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Congrats to AGI -- My old friends at the Goldratt Institute showed up in my recent Google news trawl for TOC: PAXRVR Awards More Contracts Totalling in Tens of Millions. Way to go, guys.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Macro Macro Economics --
"China's future is bright, and we should try to bask in such a glow."
Flat world food for thought from FC.

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Getting to "No" --
"Getting to 'yes' is great when that is possible - getting to 'no' can be just as important."
From Thinking Faster. Then again, in a slightly different context - like when demand on time and attention precludes the ability to provide a quality, timely effort to a new proposal - there's also saying "Whoa!" as an alternative to no.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Learning Styles Test -- How do I learn? According to a free online "test"...
No surprises here. (via FunnyBusiness)

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On Feasibility -
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."
    Steven Wright, US comedian and actor (1955 - )
From The Quotations Page

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Throw Away the Key -- Former Tyco Chiefs Found Guilty: (Reuters) - Former Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and finance chief Mark Swartz were found guilty on Friday of stealing more than $150 million...

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Public Service Announcement: Cookies Are Your Friends -- Just passing along the word.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Good Enough...Or Not -- Seth Godin has (as he often does), started a conversation on the evils of "good enough" that seems to have caught on. Joe agrees. Jack considers the idea overkill, except "at the margins" where true differentiating value is created. Michael calls it "crazy talk." And the author of Life over IP asks a few "good enough" questions on the topic.

I'd chime in with my own opinions, which jive with Jack and Life over IP, but they've said it "good enough" and I've got other things to do.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Where Do Constraints Come From?
"Contraints arise from procedures, rules, habits, norms, definitions, titles, etc. These are initially thought up to make things more regular, less chaotic, and therefore easier to arrange in effective ways. With time, and as new rules (etc.) pile up and interact, their effectiveness lapses. Only the rigidity remains."
...according to Laurent, and I agree. Even when a constraint appears to be a physical limitation of capacity, that limitation is often caused by mismanagement based on outdated rules and erroneous assumptions about how the system really works.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cost of Project Delay -- Over on the Newgrange discussion list, in a thread on this topic, Ron Jeffries wrote...
I would suggest that the cost of delay is not measured in the cost of the work not done, but in the loss of value of the results of the project. If the value of the project does not greatly exceed its cost, we ought not do it.
That's worth repeating, loud and wide from the rooftops!

In the project management world, as in the management of most commercial endeavors, there is too much emphasis on the cost of delivery of a project (or product) relative to the value of its completion (and sale)...unless, of course, there is no real value associated with the effort.

But no one here has ever worked on something of questionable value, have you?

Fortunately, my current world is one in which my projects are set-ups and implementations of services we ( have sold, for which client benefits (website traffic and conversions like sales and lead generation), not to mention our management fees, start accruing upon completion of the implementation.

There's nothing like living in a world of clarity of purpose.

Tagged under .

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Monday, June 06, 2005

JIT Decision Making --
"The closer you get to an event, the more information you have at your disposal to make a proper decision."
Makes sense, despite Fred's characterization of the statement as the justification for procrastination.

(By the way, for the uninitiated, JIT = Just-In-Time)

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Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

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Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

Down 'n Dirty w/TOC and PM (Part 1 of 5 consecutive posts)

End of Project Review

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In Defense of Planning

It Ain't the Tools

Lessons Learned, Revisited

Predicting Uncertain Futures

Project Conflicts

Project Determinism (and other myths)

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Removing Bottlenecks - A Core Systems Design Principle

Stage Gates and Critical Chain

Ten Top Sources of Project Failure (The Executive Version)

The Meaning of "Schedule"
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Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

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