It’s the fifth edition of our just-in-time roundup! Check out five recently published articles that we think may help you either improve your work or think about your work differently.
1. Cessna Mexico’s Flight Plan – Attack the Processes by Jill Jusko in Industry Week
“Never attack people, attack the process,” says Ruben Favela, continuous improvement senior manager at Cessna Mexico, a 2014 Industry Week Best Plants Winner. Read what this business philosophy has meant for how the team at Cessna Mexico gets work done as well as how it’s made a difference in terms of safety, cost, and overall business performance.
Learn about the opportunity (and huge challenges) for improvement when it comes to financial planning in healthcare. “Some hospitals are changing their annual budget process from push to pull, and have reduced the time spent on budgets by 60% or more,” writes Steven Bollinger. “This push versus pull concept may be an oversimplification of a very complex budget process. But the idea of moving beyond budgeting has been around since  and have helped thousands of organizations save time and money.”
3. Embrace Your Ignorance, by Michael Schrage in MIT Sloan Management Review
“Organizations may be confident they know their customers, but they’re very likely to be overconfident. Most executives aren’t nearly as smart, perceptive or customer-centric as they believe,” writes Michael Schrage. To understand customers better, Schrage argues, in addition to running regular experiments, organizations need to deeply understand how to work with data: “Data trumps intuition. Serious innovators take data seriously.”
4. Always Be Creating in 99u
In this excerpted piece by content strategist and author Greg Ciotti, we come across this simple idea for improving your work on a daily basis and over the long-term: “Ideas are not a predefined bucket that you should live in fear of drying up. Work creates a state that connects new ideas.” Sounds pretty lean to us. For anyone, but especially knowledge workers, Ciotti’s piece answers the “why” of why PDCA is so important.
5. The Mindful Organization, an interview with Tom and Mary Poppendieck in Planet Lean
Lean software pioneers Tom and Mary sit down with Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo and discuss what makes product organizations successful today and where lean software development is headed. Mary Poppendieck breaks down what she means by a “mindful” organization: “Sometimes things do go wrong and when this happens a mindful organization focuses on recovering and learning, which is what we call commitment to resilience. Mistakes are (or at least should be) seen as learning opportunities.” Tom and Mary also answer the question of what the lean IT movement is and isn’t getting right.
Tell us, what you are reading and whose work are you following?