Happiness

Have the courage to be happy at work. Some people do not allow themselves to be cheery, relaxed and happy at work. They presume that their lightheartedness will be misconstrued as satisfaction with the current reality and that they lack the drive to excel in a demanding environment. But happiness…

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Meditation

I meditate every day and have done so for the last 5 years. Mediation is recognised by ancient wisdom and by modern science as a hugely beneficial practice. My daily practice has immensely helped me in my resilience, creativity, and ability to focus. Meditation has quite simply helped me achieve…

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Becoming a Data Detective

In my blog article Data Overload, I examined the rise of a new type of professional, the Data Scientist. In this blog, I explore the role of the Data Detective. Data science and data analytics are closely associated with the Industry 4.0 initiative. Scientists have been utilising data to solve…

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The Voice Of the Customer and plastic

One of the fundamental tenants of the Industry 4.0 initiative is resource efficiency and eco-friendliness. The build-up of plastic waste is a growing planet-wide concern.  Plastic waste must be reduced. Scientific and industrial advancements are converging on finding solutions to this growing problem. Approaches to reducing plastic waste include using…

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Is your organisation data blind?

To build and maintain a culture of continuous improvement, it is necessary to honestly evaluate process changes to see if they have resulted in an improvement. This is often done as part of Deming’s Plan Do Study Adjust (PDSA) cycle. In some organisations where I have worked, there was pressure…

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You’re the CEO

It’s a chip crunch and you’re the CEO. Let’s try my new calculator for a bit of fun. You have recently been appointed the CEO of a major semiconductor company. Set your good die per wafer targets, factory output and the average selling price of your ICs and CPUs. What…

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The New Job Blues

Starting a new job is stressful. People talk in strange and new acronyms; they ask you to post information to shared drives whose location is a mystery to you. You barely know where the restrooms are. Once again, you have a total beginners mind. I find all this quite unsettling,…

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A culture of blame

I have worked in industry for thirty-seven years, and I have often come across a blame culture within some of the organisations that I worked for. A blame culture is a predisposition within an organisation to find an apparent, simple reason for why something bad has happened. (Rosling 2019) It…

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What is leakage current and why do I care?

I frequently hear semiconductor companies proclaiming the low leakage of their transistors. But what do they mean and why should we care? Many expressions describe transistor leakage; leakage, off current, standby current, sleep current, IOFF and many more. The terminology is confusing and perplexing. These expressions describe one aspect of…

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Personal Lean for 2021

For many years, I have advised teams of engineers and scientists on how to adopt lean thinking to improve processes and systems. Recently I have been reflecting on how I can use lean practices at a personal level to make me more effective at achieving my own personal and professional…

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Data overload

I often hear companies complain that they have an overload of data. They complain that they have more data than they can process. My exploration of the Readiness of Irish Manufacturing for Industry 4.0 determined that the primary focus area of Industry 4.0 in Irish manufacturing was the area of…

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Are you managing your metrics?

Many of us have key performance indicators, (KPI’s), that are used to measure our and our team’s success. During my career, I have observed senior managers apply tremendous pressure to people to try to achieve KPI targets. The pressure was often intense, with some managers adopting browbeating behaviours that were…

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Performance Reviews

It is approaching that most wonderful time of the year; the end of year performance review. Millions of people over the world are desperately trying to remember their achievements, elicit their strengths and confess their opportunities for improvement. I have had thirty-five end of year performance reviews, and I did…

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Lean, slow it down

During my 36 year career, I have come across some senior managers who have attempted to create a sense of urgency around expectations but failed. They failed, as they lacked the ability to make a personal connection with their employees and to share their confidence and vision in an energetic…

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Successful project management

The following is my examination of what a culture for successful project management looks like. Organisations can create a culture that promotes project success through a process of employee role clarification, training and empowerment. Larson and Gray, in their seminal book on project management, defined ten cultural traits to be…

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