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  • The History and Evolution of the PDSA Cycle

    The experiment in the PDSA cycle is carried out to learn about the system in question. I like to call it the Do-the-experiment step to emphasize that doing in the PDSA cycle refers to “doing the experiment”. Otherwise people often forget that what we are doing is running an experiment to learn from.

  • Businesses Need to Capture Potential Information and Use the Creativity of Employees

    My father wrote an article a long time ago on how to use ~"two resources, largely untapped in American organizations: potential information and employee creativity."

    I think it provides worthwhile ideas.

  • Transfer Money Between Currencies Using New Providers Not Banks And Save

    When you need to transfer money (for example if you are paid in US$ but have a bank account elsewhere or if you are making a big purchase in another location) and convert currencies you can find the financial institutions taking advantage of you. There are several currency exchange services that have stepped into this business opportunity created by the large margins financial institutions have been taking from their customers.

  • Profiting from Self Driving Cars

    I believe a huge amount of money will be made due to self driving cars. Figuring out who will make that money is not easy.

    The value of being able to use the time you are moving to your destination instead of concentrating on driving is huge. And the reduction in deaths, serious injuries, injuries, damages, frustration and waste of time caused by accidents will be a huge benefit to society.

    This innovation also dramatically shifts markets in ways that are predictable but also in ways that are not...

  • The Importance of Working with Suppliers Over the Long Term

    Working together in partnership is a much more complex matter than saying you will cooperate. Sadly many companies are willing to say they will cooperate with suppliers over the long term, many fewer companies are willing to follow through with the actions needed to make that a reality.

  • Chomphet Hike, Luang Prabang, Laos

    The Chomphet Hike is nice hike across the river from Luang Prabang, Laos. I used this wonderful map for the hike. My hike probably was about 8 km and I went in a circle around the whole hike on the map. The hike would be very difficult (next to impossible) to follow in several places if you didn’t have the map.

  • Ants and Traffic Jams

    There are tiny ants all over SE Asia that run amazingly fast. I can see why this is a big advantage. They cover lots of ground. When they find some yummy thing they get back home and tons of buddies follow them to the reward. It is amazing how fast they ram into each other.

    These ants are pretty amazing example of evolution. But you also can see how a pretty simple tweak of trying to lay out "lanes" for travel could help. The ones I watch don't seem to use lanes at all, so they are constantly bashing into ants going the other direction. Which they seem to cope with perfectly fine, but it has to slow them down and waste energy.

    Evolution is amazing but it does often also end up with designs that have bits you could intelligently tweak to seemingly great advantage.

  • What is a Lean Program, Deming Program?

    Lean has evolved away, IMO, from just being able to say anything Toyota does is by definition lean. Lean and Deming are more about a philosophy of managing - continual improvement, respect for people, etc. than prescriptions. So you can't really have a checklist and say that if your org can check off all these things they are lean or Deming.

    The fact that the management systems can't be reduced to a checklist is a necessary given the long lasting power they offer.

  • Circumhorizontal Arc (Fire Rainbow) in Hoi An, Vietnam

    I saw my first Circumhorizontal Arcs (Fire Rainbows) display in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A couple days ago I experienced them again in Hoi An, Vietnam.

    A circumhorizontal arc (also known by the exciting name, fire rainbow) is an optical phenomenon – an ice-halo formed by plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds. If the cloud is at the right angle to the sun, the crystals will refract the sunlight just as when rainbow is created.

  • Building a System to Reduce Interruptions for Software Developers

    I feel strongly about the damage done by interruption to maker's focus. My appreciation for this damage to system performance was greatly enhanced as I became a software developer.

    In my work prior to software development I could see that interruptions were not ideal but they were not so damaging to my work and they do also have value. But work that requires extra focus, and software development sure did for me, the damage increasing greatly.

  • Visual Management and Mistake-Proofing for Prescription Pills

    Mistake proofing is often really mistake-making-more-difficult (for some reason this term of mine hasn’t caught on).

    But the idea is pretty simple: when you have processes that are important and at risk of failure, design processes with elements to make mistakes hard (and ideas such as mistake-proofing and visual management can help you guide your mind to ways to create better processes).

    The entire process needs to be considered...

  • Which PM Said “The last programme I wrote was a Sudoku solver in C++”?

    "The last programme I wrote was a Sudoku solver in C++ several years ago, so I’m out of date. My children are in IT, two of them – both graduated from MIT. One of them browsed a book and said, 'Here, read this'. It said 'Haskell – learn you a Haskell for great good', and one day that will be my retirement reading."

  • A College Degree Isn't an Acceptable Hiring Screen

    Our company had just hired a new HR person that started "showing their worth" with new rules such as the dictate that all hires must have a college degree.  Thankfully our team agreed to hiring him was wise and the CIO decided that dictate was nonsense and we hired the applicant.

  • My Early Experience as a Digital Nomad: Part One, Technology

    My first 3 destinations (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia) has had 10 Gb plus high speed data plans for about $10 (for a month). My 4th, Vietnam only offers 3 Gb for about $10 and Viettel blocks a personal hotspot, I thought only the USA was that lame). I think I will try another that offers 5Gb (I still need to find the price – a hotspot will let you tether your laptop for them).

  • The Value of Professional Conferences. Also Why Has There Been So Little Innovation?

    The idea that a conference should be a 2 or 3 day event in one location is what they have been. But is that the way to serve the purpose of conferences today (or 20 years ago?). What is the purpose? What should attendees get out of them? How can we make them more valuable to attendees? There are lots of things about encouraging networking and extending the reach of the conference for months.


    And while keynote speakers often have charisma and polished presentation styles I often found their content very lacking. I think conference organizers often err greatly on the side of slick presenters over presenters with content with much value. Now plenty of keynote speakers have both and they are wonderful...