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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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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Industry 4.0 pocket guide.

The following is an extract from my pocket guide to Industry 4.0. My pocket guide to Industry 4.0 mini-book is given free to everyone who attends one of my Industry 4.0 courses.   Introduction The first three industrial revolutions spanned almost 200 years. The first industrial revolution began in the…

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