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Showing posts from October, 2010

Do you have too many spinning plates?

When we are faced with many ongoing projects and accountabilities we find that many of our desired outcomes do not materialise. By regulating how we allow our spinning plates into our work lives can make a big difference in how we achieve change and results. When we focus on fewer items we can direct our energies so much more easily. If you have too many plates spinning why not put some of them away? Some of the plates we allow to spin have little value to our overall work; these can be removed from our current workloads and disposed of accordingly. Sometimes the mere fact that we keep thinking about other projects that we haven't started means that we need to find a way to stop thinking about those plates and to focus on the job at hand. Simple - keep a list. If you have too many spinning plates then stop! Take stock of where you are and adjust what you are working on and get some focus back (as well as some results!). Smartspeed Consulting Limited Deliver on Time with

Do you remember the stage-gate process?

In engineering (and many other disciplines) there is a stage gate process that prevents too much activity from taking place until there is enough capability or experience available. This idea can be applied to business improvement quite simply by recognising the phases of your improvement work. If you are needing to go through many changes in quick succession it may be worthwhile to define the most appropriate sequence and then to work out what the right pace would be. By this I mean you need to decide what the criteria is that allows you to progress along your road map. If you don't qualify then you don't progress. By defining the stage gates in the road map you gain clarity of what the map actually looks like. Without this level of definition you end up with a hazy map of activity. From defining the various requirements to move to the next phase you are able to clearly communicate what needs to happen at each stage. This clarity can help to improve the quality of the ac

Do you have a lack of options?

When you are looking to make improvements in your business do you find that your idea gets shot down too quickly? Ensuring that you have a number of options to choose from means that you can have better chances of people saying 'yes' and that you as a business get to choose the best option rather than just settling for the only option. When the other members of your business have five reasons not to go ahead with something, it may be in your interest to have six reasons why you should go ahead. The more options you have the better view of the world you obtain. When we have a limited range of choices we cannot guarantee that we are making the best choice. The more creativity we can employ to create options means that we are going to be presenting ourselves with a better selection - and this could mean better results. The mere fact that we have more options means that if our plan gets stuck then we may be able to find another route to reach our objectives. A hybrid plan may

What's in a name - Smartspeed?

Sometimes we are asked – “why the name Smartspeed?” It’s a simple response – we help our clients to think differently (SMART) and then act with improved effectiveness and efficiency (SPEED). If you think about the experiences that you have had then you will probably be able to recall times where you have seen this not take place! Have you ever seen projects that have begun without fully understanding the facts? ‘We don’t have time to do all the paperwork!’ you may hear, but then there is enough time to rework various elements and work unpaid overtime to get the job completed. It reminds me of the saying “we don’t have time to do it right, but we have enough time to do it twice!” We chase after improvements only to find that the wrong things get improved because we failed to do the correct thinking or analysis at the start of the project. If only we got really clear about what we needed in terms of results then we could define a simpler and easier way forward. What about the peak