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Competing by managing asset bottlenecks

Peter Drucker quipped, ‘Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.’ Early in my career, I focused obsessively on innovations in productivity. The really hard part, though, is convincing an organisation that a better way of delivering greater productivity exists. Allow me to try.

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How do you define a task?

Collaboration has progressed from a buzzword to an article of faith in today’s organisations. Books talk about how to do it better and tools claim to make it ever easier to share ideas and plan projects. But what task are you collaborating on? Something so simple, and yet something so often neglected—how to properly define

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A System of Profound Knowledge

It pays to stand on the shoulders of giants, those who have come before and exposed eternal truths. You get to see further, you have a reference point to test your own understanding and insight and it gives you the confidence to continue, even when you are not sure of the ground you’re standing on.

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mediumPractical Wisdom: Drum Buffer Rope

Think of a production system and you’ll probably conjure up some kind of assembly line. Whether you imagine humans or machines doing the work, this mental model feels wedded to manufacturing. It needn’t be—production principles are universal. An airline’s check-in desk is part of a production line. So is the hospital’s procedure for admitting patients.

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The Value Management Office (VMO)

All improvement is change, but not all change is improvement. Organisations typically change because they want to improve their competitive advantage. How do we give ourselves the best possible chance of success? Change resides in the domain of projects and project management. We most often think of the word project as a noun. But treat

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A quantum leap in resourcefulness

In Part One, I wrote about the kind of challenges we all face when trying to define the human, material, information and financial resources available to us. In small groups, we can estimate what is reasonable and possible simply by talking to people and seeing what they have on their plate. But as our projects

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