• http://business901.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Reality2.png

TryStorming instead of BrainStorming? 0

Bob Petruska of Sustain Lean Consulting brings 24 years of experience helping a variety of customers including Health Care, Aerospace, Automotive, Food, Office and Service industries improve their performance.  He is a consultant, presenter, trainer and author of Gemba Walks for Service Excellence: The Step-by-Step Guide for Identifying Service Delighters.

Bob will be working his magic in his upcoming workshop at the 2014 Jacksonville AME Conference where you can participate and witness a little TryStorming in real time. It is part of the hands-on Pizza Game factory model. Learn the basics of value stream mapping (VSM) and create your own maps with metrics showing the potential benefits. You will gain practical Lean implementation skills in a way that only Bob can present. He is truly a master facilitator.

In this short Video Podcast, I am attempting a little Try-Storming myself. I typically post an audio blog but thought I would mix it up somewhat blindly. Not sure if it will transfer to my iTunes and Android App but thought it was worth a try. Sorry for the experiment if anyone has trouble. But I am not sure I can test it without testing it.

30% Of Wars Are Won By The Weaker Opponent 0

The  OODA Loop was a focus of a discussion in a past Business901 Podcast with Dr. Terry Barnhart.  It offered some practical applications using the OODA Loop in and outside of rapid deployment. Dr. Barnhart has published a book that mentions the OODA Loop in it. The book is Creating a Lean R&D System: Lean Principles and Approaches for Pharmaceutical and Research-Based Organizations.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Lean Approaches in Development

This was actually from a discussion after the podcast:

Terrance:  A strategy for implementing Lean. Just think about the purpose of implementing Lean is to improve the company. Well, some people might be damaged by that, but you can’t control that. All you can control is how do I get this into the company the best way that it’s possible with the least amount of damage and the most amount of happiness.

Actually that’s the Boydian approach, because his whole point, and I didn’t mention this, but his whole point is that those, you remember I was telling you about those 30% of wars that are won by the smaller, presumably weaker opponent?

They’re much less damaging. Much less fall-out in the end than the ones that are just pounded out. So, you look at World War I, you look at World War II, you look at the Civil War in the United States, and then you look at the damage from the Gulf Wars. Very few killed in the Gulf Wars on either side, very few. We’re talking what, dozens in the case of the Allies?

Hundreds and thousands perhaps in the case of the Iraqis, but if we went at them as they did in World War I, there would have been hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed. Which would you prefer, right? I mean, this is a very positive thing.

In any case, I just think it’s one of those unexplored areas. And I think really, really valuable with internal thoughts within a company, they think we spend an awful lot of time slugging it out. You’ve heard these same things. You’ve got to get the CEO to do your change implementation. The CEO has to do it. Then it’s a “pound it out” against the company’s culture. Well, what if we went with the company’s culture? Found the areas where we could infiltrate and do this, and let the people who aren’t interested collapse on their own.

Why did you assume that top management was the only way to do this? Why didn’t you try another way? I mean, that’s really how fast is your OODA?loop? Look, I started here, so I’m a management consultant. Well I was originally brought in as a management consultant within Pfizer, so I’ve been at McKinsey awhile, but I started with the Strategic Management Group as a strategy person. We went in with an all?day meeting with my client leadership team and they damn near threw us out physically. They were just not ready. It took me four years to get back in to have that same kind of discussion with them ? four years!

I stopped doing that same approach. I started working with people who were interested. People who were under pressure, People who, by god, didn’t know how they were going to deliver. We worked with them to solve their problems and you know what happened then. You talk about your social network; those guys go and tell other people, those guys tell other people, and pretty soon your phones are ringing off the hook.

Well, I didn’t do this on purpose. This is not the way I envisioned it, but, boy, it’s certainly better than I would have, it’s far better than had they actually thought it was a good idea and acquiesced. Because I would never have learned this and I would never have gotten nearly this far in this company. I mean, personally, in terms of Lean. Never would have gotten anywhere near the impact we’ve had. It’s amazing!

Joe:  It is amazing. The typical excuse is always the buy-in of management.

Terrance:  Right. Which begs the question? I think this is a very interesting point and I think this would be something Boyd would talk about as well. Ideas come from all over in an organization, in a community. The CEO cannot hold all of those ideas in their mind any more than we have the correct orientation. There is no correct orientation. It’s just ours and some parts that are more wrong than others, but we need to find those as fast as we can. Now, if you think that somehow the CEO is going to find Lean the best thing in the universe and then take that up as their cause, why would we imagine that. They’ve got other stuff on their plate too, right?

So if you think back about Boyd, Boyd started in the Air Force. The Air Force to this day hates him. Boyd, however, found other people along the way, and the military training doctrine of the Marine Corp is actually built on Boydian thought because he influenced those folks, and those folks were able to start talking to the right people and they did get the senior leadership on?board, the commandant of the Marine Corp.

Then it spreads out from there, then it spreads out from there, and now you and I are talking about it. The thing that’s really fascinating about that is, that’s not going at the top guy first, that’s going at wherever you can go.

The thing that Boyd did, I know he read the Dao and read Daoist stuff. But what they talk about in the Dao is really, the only thing you can change is yourself, and the only thing you can really change is your ideas. If you want to change the world, you change it by doing one step.

Anywhere that you change, will change the rest of the world a little bit. All you have to do is change it a little bit here, change it a little bit there and then suddenly you’ll find something that changes it non?linearly and you cannot predict what that might be.

So, let’s go back to Toyota. If you think about how Toyota started with Lean, you’ve got this guy, Ohno, in this machine shop and he’s doing these crazy other ways of doing business. Everyone else is thinking Ford, Ford and Ford. Suddenly Toyota gets in this really bad jam. They have to layoff: 15%, 20% of their employees. They have to bow before the banks and the Government just to stay alive.

Suddenly Ohno’s work prior just was crazy stuff, now is the way the company will be saved. Then suddenly you go from this small idea to something that is absorbed instantly through the rest of the company, the rest of the company just starts absorbing these ideas ding, ding, ding, because it suddenly is part of their success.

If you can find the cultural levers that are aligned with Lean that absorb ideas into your company, you won’t need to go force anything. It’ll pull it in whether you want it too or not. You won’t even be able to stop it.

That’s the kind of thing that we’ve been thinking about. How can we do this with people? How can we do this with divisions? How can we do this with entire companies? It’s fascinating because I think there are ways consistent with what Boyd taught. It’s not the same but, I think there are ways that companies can boot?strap the stuff. I don’t mean to say it’s a grass-roots or bottom-up, it’s a whatever it is that gets into their cultural system. It’ll absorb it very quickly and spread. How can we do that with Lean?

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Past Thoughts on Lean and Agile 0

James Coplien in a past Business901 Podcast (Related Podcast and Transcription: Is Architecture Needed in Agile?) gave an interesting overview of Lean and Agile. Not sure I can do it justice with just this excerpt but see if interest you enough to go to the long version above. You can find Jim at Gertrud & Cope , a small family business driven by Gertrud Bjørnvig and Jim Coplien

James Coplien: Unfortunately, what happened in the market is, first of all, people took this very one-sided view. They took some provisions of what are in the Agile manifesto, which is this document that kind of launched the Agile movement. It came out of a meeting of these 17 guys in the US, back 10 years ago.

The other thing is that, of course, a lot of people kind of interpreted it in their own way, and then, added a lot of stuff that wasn’t intended. But more importantly, Agile really was a reaction against some of the methodological excesses of the 1980s and 1990s.

And too often, they ended up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There’s a lot in there about doing, and building software, and talking with customers, and so forth. But there’s very, very, very little about thinking. So, one of the casualties of Agile has been architecture. The Agile people would tell you that architecture is only emergent and that you shouldn’t do any upfront thinking because its waste and you’re not going to need this. I think that posture largely came out of ignorance on the part of the young, eager folks at the time to try to do something good.

So it was well meaning, but it really ended up doing a decade of a lot of damage. What I’m trying to do is get the pendulum to swing back somewhere near the middle, where we can blend some of the principles of Agile with the more deeper and older and more classic Lean principles of thinking and upfront planning.

Joe:  And is that where Lean fits in then?

Jim:  The Lean part, a lot of it has to do with the upfront planning. Some of these notions that we find in Lean like decision structure matrices and this whole idea that you’re thinking about what you’re going to be doing before you do it. Now that doesn’t mean you commit to doing it. Of course, you still have some of the so-called Agile principles where you can change your mind. But, of course, those were fundamental to Lean long before Agile came along. And since you’re a Lean guy and this is a Lean audience, there’s just, I think, a lot of common misconceptions in the broad software world about the relationship between Lean and Agile. I think that also explains a lot of the posture of the book. A lot of people will come out and say, “Well, Agile and Lean are the same thing,” and some other people will say they have nothing to do with each other, and both of those are wrong.

Most of what you find in Agile was already there in Lean, both in terms of what’s in the manifesto and in terms of the culture and the practices. There are some emphases that Agile have that are good and are useful and go beyond Lean. But probably the main distinguishing factors of Lean that come out in the Lean Architecture book that you don’t find in Agile are this notion of doing some upfront planning and looking at some issues of system form, of architecture, and of some of the focus you find in Lean on the process, whereas the focus in Agile is solely on the product. I think Lean has more of a balance of these two.

Joe:  That’s what I found in the book when I first picked it up and looked at it, it was like a Lean book to me. It wasn’t driven, let’s say, by the software side of it where I would get lost. That connection between Lean and Agile, I thought, was made very well because everybody, Jim, always tries to make their own methodology, the umbrella, the thing that’s bigger than life, ’cause that’s my methodology. I thought you put a nice balance to that in the book.

Jim:  Well, actually that’s good to hear on both counts. So first of all, thanks. That’s good feedback that is general. And yes, I agree that everyone has their hammer and so every problem looks like a nail. But one of the early reviews, I think it was maybe Trygve Reenskaug’s review  said something very similar to what you just said. It said this book isn’t just selling a given technique. What it’s trying to do is look at the Lean principles and it’s not just a methodology. It’s taking people down the path of thinking, of adapting some of these principles to their own industries, their own products, using the principles as a touchstone to figure out what they’re going to do.

Joe:  I found it interesting that you talk about Lean and then thinking, kind of blending them two together.

Jim:  Well again, as we briefly discussed maybe before you started the recording, Lean means many things. Lean was coined by these authors of this great Lean book back in 1991 in the US. It was actually about the Toyota production system, which, of course, has swept a lot of the industry in Japan. They coined the term “Lean” for it. That helped popularize the term and some of the approaches in America. GM was doing some really good Lean things for a while that were part of Toyota’s early forays into the American market through the NUMMI plant. Ford tried to get on the bandwagon as well. But if you look at broad American industry, a lot of places that use the term “Lean,” it’s in a different sense than the Japanese use it. So what I’ve been doing for years and years and years is making an investment in trying to understand what does Taiichi Ohno mean by Lean? What did Takeuchi and Nonaka mean by what they were talking about in “This New New Product Development Game,” which is the paper that appeared back in 1984 in the Harvard Business Review that launched Scrum? Trying to go back to those fundamental roots.

I know that Jeff Sutherland, who’s the inventor of Scrum – Jeff and I worked together… also was very inspired by elements of Japanese culture and even as deep into issues as Buddhist meditation. Now this gets the designer and the enterprise into a thinking mode where you’re not just reacting but you’re thinking about how do I fit into the larger ecosystem? How do I fit into society? How am I going to make a fundamental contribution in the society in which I am indebted? What does value mean? What are my value streams?

As a consultant when I go into companies, one of the things I’ll ask them is, “What are your value streams?” And they say, “Duh?” And, “Oh, what are your products?” And I’ll often get an answer that “Well, you know. We have two products” or “We have 200″ or “We have 40. Well, it’s something in between. Well, we do stuff and we make money.” And they don’t really have this thought, this discipline, of what value means to them. So they’re very Agile sometimes, but they’re not Lean. This leads to all the more commonly known Lean consequences like waste and inconsistency and a lot of the practices and tools.

What I find in the broad industrial world, particularly in the US, is they know the tools, but they really don’t know the underlying principles and structure. What I’m trying to do with this thinking, and particularly upfront thought that comes with architecture, is take people more in that direction.

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Are You Deploying It or Winging It? 0

Often times, I wonder if software developers are really deploying something or just winging it. So, who better to ask than Mary and Tom Poppendieck.

Related Podcast and Transcription:  Leaders in Lean Software Knowledge

Joe:  Data is still king though, isn’t it? I mean, we have to deploy something. We have to be able to measure it though. Do you agree with that or can we wing it?

Mary: Let’s pretend you’re Amazon. You’re deploying a new service, just a small part of your system, and you deploy it when you are ready. That small thing is meant to do something to attract a few more customers, run a test to see if you supply extra information, on checkouts you might make customers happier, or add a few more options to the review, or something like that.

There’s no sense in waiting. Why not try that and see how it goes? In fact, you could be running good old marketing style AB experiments all the time if you can deploy frequently. If you don’t deploy except for every month or two, there’s no way to be running experiments to see whether this various, this approach or that approach, is, in fact, a better one.

Tom: You have to think that your goal is learning. L what the best solution for one aspect or another of delighting the customer will require. If you learn that your hypothesis is wrong, why take that code out. If you learn your hypothesis is correct, you continue along that direction or go onto your next understanding of what will delight your customer.

Learning is the key thing, not generating code. Generating code is merely a means. It’s not the purpose.

Joe: This also means with the user or with the customer. It’s not an “internal customer” that we’re deploying this too.

Mary: We tend to see software as a product and in fact, a large amount of the companies we work with are companies that actually make software-intensive products. You can think of anything from a medical device with a lot of software in it, to a website which allows people to buy stuff, to something like social media website, or Twitter, or anything like that.

Those are all software products which people use all the time. It’s the customers who are using that software? intensive product that are bringing revenue to the company, and those are the ones that you want to figure out how to make their lives easier.

Tom:  Even for internal software, the product is not software. The product is an improved business process that either goes faster, generates more revenue, reduces errors, saves time, improves sales or whatever.

The business process is what matters. That’s where the return comes from. Your success of your product, of your software development, is not measured by cost, schedule, scope, or guesses of what it should take. It is measured by did you have an impact on the way the business process works that the organization was hoping for. That’s what success means.

Even internally, you have to look at the real product and not measure your success based on the software metrics.

Related Podcast and Transcription:  Leaders in Lean Software Knowledge

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Agile in a Business Sense 0

Radical management is a fundamentally different approach to management, with seven inter-locking principles of continuous innovation. Steve Denning author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century discussed this in a podcast with me. Below is an excerpt from the podcast.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Leadership using Agile Methods

Joe:  When I first read the book, having a little bit of background in Agile… I looked at it, and think; they’re explaining Agile in a business sense to me. On the other hand, it goes little deeper than that because it reflects, it takes a tour…

Stephen:  This is not something esoteric; it’s not something with strange new vocabulary. It’s something that’s really distilled common sense that has a firm delighting its customer. I mean, why wouldn’t you want that? They have teams of people who are authorized and they’re powered to make that happen but why wouldn’t you want that? And have managers removing impairment? Why wouldn’t you want that? Why wouldn’t you check whether this is, you’re accomplishing that. In that sense I mean, I have tried to translate this into simple language and to business terms and in terms that everyone can make sense and give examples of how it’s happening. Join the dots and show that the deeper meaning of what Agile is all about.

We take Agile to the next level. I mean, look, Agile manifesto 2001 was a wonderful, wonderful advancement, what it had done before. But 10 years have passed since then and we have, in fact, learned to grade the elements. The book has some elements to the Agile manifesto, particularly, in terms of the goals, in terms of delighting clients. That’s an important aspect which isn’t really brought out in the manifesto and also getting the folks in work in the sense. Working software makes sense in software development but doesn’t make all that much sense in general business in terms.

So translating those things into business terms and then showing the meaning of it. What is the meaning of running an organization and how does it compare to running an organization in the traditional way? To some extent, the literature in Agile, it’s kind of assumed that there traditional management will grind along in the rest of the organization. This is really about, saying well, actually no. We need the rest of the organization to get with the program and to start thinking and speaking and acting in this different way.

Joe:  Well, I think you said it very well. I think you go back to Waterfall project management, that’s how our organizations are ran. You go from department to department to get things done. In the ’80s and ’90s you always had that internal customer who you were always trying to please. What you’re saying with iterations and self-organizing teams we’re putting the customers in the boardroom, we’re putting the customer in the factory, and really relating directly to them, which is what it’s all about.

Stephen:  Exactly. The customer is the boss. That’s the bottom line. It’s a very different way of thinking about work and organizations and how the world should be run.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Leadership using Agile Methods

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Quality People and Customer Experience 0

John Goodman has managed more than 1,000 separate customer service studies, including the White House sponsored evaluation of complaint handling practices in government and business and studies of word of mouth and the bottom-line impact of consumer education sponsored by Coca-Cola USA. John’s new book, Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service takes John’s Customer Service expertise and puts it into a digital context.

Related Podcast and Transcription: What People Really Buy

Joe: We’ve met through ASQ that I find that it’s interesting because most quality people are very removed somewhat to the Customer Experience except dealing with the problem that gets fed back to them. I think Risk Management. Customer Experience is a huge risk, isn’t it? I mean you got to do it, right?

John Goodman: Oh, absolutely and, in fact, I recently had a consumer package goods company, where I had fed back some of the data and some quotes from customers and the quality guys in the manufacturing plant said, “Oh, we’ve never had this kind of information before.” I made the case to the head of Customer Insights and Customer Service that, basically, the plant people should be allowed to talk to the consumers directly to say, “What were you doing when this happened and how had you stored this product, etc.?” The General Counsel intervened and said, “We don’t ever want to have plant people talking to customers.

That would create too much potential risk.” Well, I’d counter it to your point and say, “What’s the risk of the plant people not understanding how the customer was using the product? If anything, there’s a huge risk there and, in fact, if you look at almost every major class action lawsuit and big government intervention, and there have been a number of, for instance in the auto industry and in the pharma industry recently, almost every one of those is due to the fact that problems weren’t handled very effectively and the problems were not paid attention to. It was literally with your problem handling and quality improvement process were pouring more gasoline on the fire rather than dealing with it effectively.” That actually raises the interesting issue that my company CCMC, every 2 years we do the National Wage Study. That’s a cross-section survey of U.S. population with Arizona State University, where we basically identify what makes consumers so angry they start swearing at a company.

What we find is that in most cases, the customer if they do bring a complaint to the company, they want both an apology, they want some empathy and they want a tangible piece of compensation or remedy. A large number of companies just say, “Well, we don’t need to apologize. We didn’t really do anything wrong so why should we apologize?” By not giving the apology, “I’m sorry to hear that happened. I’d be upset if it happened to you.” even if the customer did contribute a bit to the problem, that doesn’t cost anything but it doubles the potential of making the customer happy and what we have found is that comparing the recent wage study in 2013 to the White House study that we did in the ‘70s. Service and Quality have actually gotten worse over the past 30 years because companies are spending lots more money but they’re doing it in a way that doesn’t make customers happy and they’re doing sort of all the wrong things.

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

What do Customers Buy, Part 2 0

John Goodman’s new book, Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service takes John’s Customer Service expertise and puts it into a digital context.  John has managed more than 1,000 separate customer service studies, including the White House sponsored evaluation of complaint handling practices in government and business and studies of word of mouth and the bottom-line impact of consumer education sponsored by Coca-Cola USA. John Goodman

John has taught service quality and service re-engineering courses at Wharton Business School’s executive education program.  He has appeared on “Good Morning America”, the ABC Evening News, The Discovery Channel, National Public Radio and as a panelist on the PBS show, “The Editors.”John is the Vice Chairman of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC).

Last week, I posted the first part of the podcast, What do Customers Buy: Experience or Product? This is Part 2 of 2.

Download the MP3

Business901 iTunes Store

Mobile Version

Android APP

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook