Last Friday, I took the afternoon off. Halfway through the year and I hadn't taken much vacation, yet. So, decided to spend some time on my new Hellcat. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that my original Hellcat met its fate last summer (2014) at the hands of a fellow club member. The wing is going together nicely. When complete, it will have an 86" (2.2m) wingspan and weigh about 30 lbs (13.6 kg) - hopefully less, if I build well, as lighter is better.
While working on the wing, I put on a video from Dr. Eli Goldratt - "The Gestalt of TOC." Its available, here - may need to register to see it and I hope free access is maintained: The Gestalt of TOC :: Theory of Constraints Video :: TOC.tv
The video is a bit long at 3 hours - but every minute is worthwhile. I especially liked the middle portion where he speaks about project/resource management and his experiences in Japan.
The book that he is famous for is "The Goal," where we learn that the goal is to make money. Sounds obvious, but we often measure dozens of different things, optimizing them at the expense of making money, treating each equally important, driving firefighting. "Critical Chain" takes the concepts and applies them to project/resource management.
Speaking with employees that have worked in Japan, I always ran into difficulties with the goal being "to make money." This always rubbed them the wrong way, and they said that this was not the Japanese way of doing things. I always countered by stating that in order to make money, one must do the right things, correctly and on time - don't do these things well and one runs out of money and customers. Still, this wasn't enough.
I would also talk about companies where the practical application of the theories to project/resource management brought about tremendous changes: Reduced stress, the end of firefighting, happy customers, improved employee retention, increased hiring to take on more projects/business, rewarding of managers/teams that plan well and manage well to plan. Still, this didn't catch on.
In this video, Goldratt speaks about his "Aha!" moment working with the Japanese. Yes, their goal is to make money. But there is an underlying philosophy that is stronger: Trust.
If employees don't trust management and management doesn't trust employees, how can customers trust the company?
Typical project forecasting methods encourage distrust: "I know management will cut my resource estimate and timing in half, so a I'll ask for twice as many resources and time." And, management expects resources to lie. "You keep telling me we need more resources, but without giving you more, you always manage to get it done."
But, at what expense?
I hope you'll take the time to watch this video. Where the techniques have been applied correctly, I've seen some great results.
CCPM trained, experienced
Jonah (Thinking Processes) trained, experienced