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Showing posts from April, 2008


One of my clients had a project that was not moving at a pace that they wanted or needed. Every week my client would ask his team ‘what has happened so far in the project?’. The answer was always the same - “we’re too busy to get around to the tasks”. This happened week in week out. Instead of letting this situation pass I asked them a series of simple why questions about the lack of progress. In every case the person being questioned found the conclusions weren’t as they had originally expected and were now in a position to complete the work. This was in addition to all of the other tasks they had to do. The following week we found a little bit of progress was made. The following weeks and months progress continued and before we knew it a number of projects were being completed. Question the first answer – it may be a symptom and not the cause. Smartspeed Consulting Limited 'For When Results Matter'

The winding queue

The other day I was standing in a queue at my local post office watching the people in the queue complain about the slow pace in which it was moving. I had already noticed this. I then looked around to see what the staff in the post office were doing whilst this slow movement was taking place - they were not working on activities that would reduce the size of the queue! How funny I thought - most businesses would be using their resources to reduce the queues by flexibly deploying their resources to cope with the surge. Smartspeed Consulting Limited 'For When Results Matter'

Not paying lip service

I had the luxury of visiting a company the other day who had made some superb changes to their business. It was the end of a project I had been working on and I agreed to arrange a factory tour for local businesses, and this was the company that I had chosen. There were many questions around the table from the people who attended and the main theme was 'what are you doing differently here compared to us?' Explanations of working practices were put forward and it was interesting to see the looks on people's faces when the generic answer was 'good management practice that we don't pay lip service to'. I think that sums it up for a lot of businesses. When things aren't going as well as planned it might be worth considering how much lip service is taking place in the organisation. Smartspeed Consulting Limited 'For When Results Matter'