How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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How to Justify Hiring Specialists: Questions for a Sample Business Case

business case to hire a more expensive employee

Any manager who has hired new employees has dealt with challenges related to cost.  Why else do recruiters ask for a candidates salary as part of the initial screening process?  What they’re really asking is “can I afford you?”  I actually had one hiring manager tell me “This guy is making more than I do, we could never afford him.”  But when it comes

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Challenges in Business: The Lifecycle of a Crisis

Crisis Management Process

Managing Crisis in the Workplace None of us had any idea that it was the first day of what would become a 10 month, $25,000,000 investigation. It was late in the afternoon on a cool fall day when the Quality Assurance Manager and the Operations Manager came to my office with a concern over a product defect that had been

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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9 Employee Engagement Killers by the Modern Manager

9 Ways You’re Hurting Morale… And Don’t Even Know It   It should come as no surprise that today’s workforce wants to feel their contribution is valued, be part of something great, and be able to manage their own careers. In management circles we refer to these wants as employee engagement. We can more accurately define employee engagement as the

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The 7 Steps to Mastering Technical Design Reviews

preliminary design review

    When it comes to the product development cycle and a phase gated design process, holding robust technical design reviews is critical to a project’s success. While there are various types of design reviews that lend themselves to different types of technologies and industries, the most common and universal examples include the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). If

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The Top 5 Challenges Facing The Modern Manager

managers resource handbook

Analyzing The Challenges Faced by Managers in Today’s Organization   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been part of a significant hiring binge by my firm as a result of some corporate restructuring activities. Having interviewed candidate after candidate, I’ve found the process of filling 20 new positions to be extremely fast-paced, if not frantic, considering the importance of the

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Horizontal Integration as Business Strategy

Vertical Vs. Horizontal Integration

    How the times have changed. It seems like everyone is talking about vertical integration these days, as the newest and smartest way to run a business. Vertical integration is basically the internalizing of key activities of a business to make it more within the firm’s control. A manufacturing company, for example, may want to bring in certain special

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The Impact of Technology on Business

Boarding a Flight

How Can Technology Help (Or Hurt) Your Customers?   As I waited for my flight to Amsterdam today, I grabbed a bite to eat at the nearby café. It was a late afternoon flight that would get me in around 7PM – just enough time to get dinner with an old friend, who was to pick me up at the

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What Dial Up Internet Can Teach Us About Managing Change

DIal Up Internet Iteration

      How to Manage Change in Business Everyday, our industry and market changes.  Our staff will change.  And leaders of our organizations move on, and new ones take their place.  All of this forces us as business leaders to constantly keep tabs on our organization to make sure things run smoothly.  Unfortunately, with such dynamics many businesses can

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Create a Technology Growth Strategy That Wins

preliminary design review

A recent article by Professor Karan Girotra at INSEAD University discusses 4 myths to a technology growth strategy.  The entire article is a great read, but Myth 1 “It’s about a BIG idea” caught my attention. Having spent my career in the technology and engineering fields, I’ve seen several different approaches to technology growth.  In some instances, the growth strategy could be described

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How a SWOT Evaluation Can Help Your Business

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis: Take a Closer Look At Your Business Leading a successful company requires you periodically spend time identifying ways to improve and get better.  A SWOT analysis is one evaluation method that aids in organizing characteristics of your business that you deem as successes or concerns.  Specifically, a SWOT analysis is an evaluation technique that helps you capture the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

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Is Your Research and Development Under House Arrest?

Research and Development Spending: Where Did the Money Go? I recently read Borderless World by Kenichi Ohmae in which he discusses the approaches companies take in terms of their technology growth and research investment.  In his book, Ohmae highlights the differences between companies that truly flood the pipeline with investment, and those that play the betting game with a handful of specific projects.  Having

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