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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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Communicating -- A special collection of articles and interviews from Forbes on the subject.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Sunday, October 23, 2005

More on TOC and Heathcare - Surgery Scheduling -- Check out this brilliant second-hand analysis by Clarke Ching on how a surgeon (perhap intuitively) applied TOC to double his capacity and eliminate his waiting list. The article from which Clarke gleans the story talks about a parallel to manufacturing. It's also (and perhaps more directly) related to the workings of a multi-project system.

The last few points, however, about the possible policy/reward/behaviroal constraints around the way that doctors earn money in the UK are telling. I wonder what those people who are using their money to get extra attention not previously provided by the national service would want to spend it on instead.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Fun: $$$...


My blog is worth $34,436.94.
How much is your blog worth?


Any takers?

To put it in perspective, Tom Peters' blog is worth a bit more, but not to shabby, nonetheless.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Thursday, October 20, 2005

TOC Comes To Healthcare Via One of the Big Guys -- From a press release from BearingPoint and Bayer Healthcare...
"'By working closely with our laboratory customers, Bayer Diagnostics understands that it takes more than just Lean and Six Sigma to affect sustainable process improvement,' stated John Nosenzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager North America, Bayer HealthCare, Diagnostics Division. 'BayerFactor surpasses the tactical process improvement offerings of Lean and Six Sigma by delivering a highly differentiated strategic business improvement offering for the healthcare industry. BayerFactor is unique because it applies a proper mix of consulting services to the most appropriate lab processes. This allows our customers to reduce costs and improve efficiency faster than they could with any other one or two process improvement initiatives alone, and enables them to achieve maximum returns that are sustainable over the long term.'"
So what is it that they add to Lean and Six Sigma? Further on down the article is a hint...
"BayerFactor delivers the first comprehensive business and operational improvement strategy that integrates Lean, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints with award winning process optimization routines."
Cool.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

NPR : Interruption Science -- Multi-tasking, distractions, and interruptions, a la NPR (RealMedia Audio).

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Tech Execs Should Speak Out for Science -- From a copy of an op-ed in the Financial Times...
"American technology executives often complain about the inadequacies of public education, and rightly. They worry especially loudly about the lack of higher standards and attainment in the all-critical areas of maths and science. There is self-interest involved, of course. If any industry needs a qualified workforce in an increasingly knowledge-based economy, it is theirs. Yet they are all but silent on a threat to the science curriculum in particular, and to the scientific method in a more general sense."
Read the whole thing. I've often written about the need for rational analysis and decision-making, highlighting the need to identify, raise, and eliminate unfounded assumptions that keep organizations stuck in the mud. In order to do that, critical and rational thinking must be at the core of the educational process, and where more obvious than in the science curriculum, with it's foundations in the rigor mathematics and logic. If the acceptance of untestable assumptions are allowed to re-enter that realm after hundreds of years of driving them out, we run the risk of accepting them throughout not only science, but in management, politics, and societal issues as well. Slippery slope.

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[Later...coincidental Daily Art...The Sleep of Reason....]

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Monday, October 17, 2005

The "Not Insane" To-Do List -- This list template fits very nicely with my philosophy of paying attention to only what is important, but also allows a not-unreasonable amount of waffle/wiggle room.

(Linkage via Patrick Rhone)

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Re-Engineering Interruptions? -- Meet the Life Hackers -- A good article on multi-tasking in the NY Times. Some eye-opening numbers...
When Mark crunched the data, a picture of 21st-century office work emerged that was, she says, "far worse than I could ever have imagined." Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What's more, each 11-minute project was itself fragmented into even shorter three-minute tasks, like answering e-mail messages, reading a Web page or working on a spreadsheet. And each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task. To perform an office job today, it seems, your attention must skip like a stone across water all day long, touching down only periodically.
Check it out before it disappears behind the Times' paywall.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

TOC in Healthcare - A pretty good overview of the application of TOC in the healthcare arena, applicable as well, to other service delivery systems, via Clarke.

Flow on, flow on.

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posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Monday, October 10, 2005

Never Work Alone --
What’s Never Work Alone all about? We’ve all been through “trial by fire” management situations, and have faced difficult management and leadership dilemmas at various points in our careers. As active participants in the brain trust on the internet, we also understand the tremendous power of Community. The goal of Never Work Alone is to provide a community for managers and leaders to share their experiences and challenges, help each other grapple with issues, learn from each other, and advance the state of the art in enlightened leadership.
Looks like an interesting combination of discussion group and weblog. I'm going to check it out. Join me if you're so inclined.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday Philanthropy: Helping Hurricane Victims -- With my association with GVC, I keep in touch with a number of educational sites. From eSchool News, we get a reminder that while Katrina and Rita no longer dominate the headlines, there is still plenty that can be done to help teachers, students, and schools in the region that is still recovering.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

25 Project Management Tips -- From the American Management Association...
10. Plan the project by answering questions: what must be done, by whom, for how much, how, when, etc.

14. Qualify estimates, specifying any factors that might affect their validity.

16. Continually ask questions. The more you ask, the more you'll discover how to solve problems or uncover issues about what's needed versus what's been defined.

17. Avoid the temptation to perfect everything—that's what the next generation product or service is all about.

23. Don't let project members wait until the latest possible start time to begin tasks. Then, when problems occur, there is no float left and they wind up missing the end take.
The other 20 here.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Off Topic Humor: Evidence of Intelligent Designer -- At least, possible whereabouts of the long missing intelligent designer.

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posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

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Strategic Thinking and Improvement

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Face Reality

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Managing for Murphy, Satan, and Yourself

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PMI Congress Notes: Using Risk Management for Strategic Advantage

Tell Me How You'll Measure Me and Ah, But What to Measure?

What's in Your Strategy?

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Why TOC Works
Project and Multi-Project Management
Critical Chain and (not or) XP

Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

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

End of Project Review

If Project Management is the Answer, What's the Question?

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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Promises, Predictions, and Planning

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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