What Single Word Leads to Improved Performance?

What Single Word Leads to Improved Performance?

In the Quality Management world, it is an accepted belief that people lack confidence in instructions for a given task when they don’t fully understand the value of or reason for the required actions. Therefore, it is important to build into our processes and instruction sets the explanations for the actions we are defining and the methods to confirm that those explanations are clearly understood. It makes “why?” the single most useful word for improving performance. A quote from George Bernard Shaw is often used in this context. It goes …

Cost or Confidence? Which controls your decision making?

Cost or Confidence? Which controls your decision making?

Do you know a business owner or employee who would say that the quality of their work is irrelevant? Probably not. How would you answer the question, “How important is the quality of your vendors’ or customers’ performance to the success of your business?” You would probably respond, “It is very important.” Right? Not a highly scientific survey… but an honest one. Quality matters. For everyone. So, and here is the age-old question, what is it about quality that matters? I would suggest, when you throw out all the tried …

Microsoft’s Message about Cloud brings Fog and Torrential Rain

Microsoft’s Message about Cloud brings Fog and Torrential Rain

In last week’s blog, we started a series of posts related to cloud trends for manufacturing. This week, the DynamicsGP User Group Summit event presents us with a great opportunity to expand a little more on that subject, as one of the key topics at this event is certain to be The Cloud. More specifically, it is likely to be how Microsoft, the owner of the Dynamics brand products, is planning to execute and drive adoption of Cloud technology for this business audience, even if this business audience doesn’t really …

Cloud Trends for Manufacturing

Cloud Trends for Manufacturing

The “to the cloud” decision is one that many businesses will face over the next few years and, while the term cloud is found everywhere, the definition varies so much that it can be confusing. This lack of specificity is causing many decision-makers to be more than a little uneasy about taking their first steps. From Information Super Highway to the Cloud This journey to the cloud is reminiscent of the journey that many of us made back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. During that period, a lot …

Are There One or Two Paths from Envision 2016?

Are There One or Two Paths from Envision 2016?

Reading the variety of post-event comments from Microsoft Envision 2016, it is very clear that two strong camps have emerged. Which is not to say that they are in conflict with each other. Just that, in my opinion, there were two important outcomes from the event. The outcomes aren’t even exclusionary. I believe that those individuals who care about one are also those individuals who will care about the other.

The Inevitability of Digital Transformation

The Inevitability of Digital Transformation

At the inception conference for Microsoft’s Envision this past week in New Orleans, digital transformation was at the heart of CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote address. Anyone not present for the keynote or not particularly focused on the software industry could be forgiven for wondering why a speech was delivered about transferring your photos or music to digital media. After all, haven’t we already done that?

When Convergence Evaporated

When Convergence Evaporated

When Convergence Evaporated, What Did We Gain? For the last ten years the first quarter of my team’s calendar year has been heavily focused on wrapping up final details and preparing for Microsoft’s event, Convergence. For us the planning effort begins almost as soon as the previous year’s event ends. So one might think that Microsoft’s recent announcement – Convergence is out and Envision is in – would be helpful in eliminating or adjusting resources. Surprisingly, that is not true. A different challenge awaits.

The Great Search for the Right Integrated ERP

The Great Search for the Right Integrated ERP

Like every other year for the past 15 or so, I will speak with many organizations that plan to acquire manufacturing software or expand the capability of their existing solutions with functionality like quality management. These organizations will take similar but not identical routes in their investigation and evaluation of proposed solutions. A high number will find themselves facing the end of 2016 still not having made a final selection; they will be strongly concerned about how to balance their team’s ability to digest such a project and its perceived …

Is Confidence the Difference Between Estimates and Guesses?

s Confidence the Difference Between Estimates and Guesses?

At the Dynamics products user group summit in Reno in October, we decided to engage in a small social experiment. We asked attendees to tell us how many pieces of Candy Corn (we were very seasonal) they thought were in the jar we were displaying. We provided a few tools to help them develop their answer: measuring tapes, sample candy, a template of the base of the jar and, of course, the jar itself was accessible. We had no restrictions on the use of tools like smartphones as calculators. We …

Learning from First-time Flyers

Learning from First-time Flyers

I have a deep respect if not an actual fondness for the way the airline cabin crew executes their safety announcements. Regardless of how many passengers are on the plane, they deliver their messages consistently and clearly. Sure, they understand that there are likely more than a few passengers aboard who have flown before, but they also recognize that some individuals are making their very first flight. For the safety and comfort of all, they deliver their messages to ensure that all fliers are well-prepared. I believe there is an …