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Lessons From Peter Drucker
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William Cohen, Ph.D.
10 Lessons from Drucker’s Accomplishments*:
I don’t believe one can consider Drucker’s unique steps toward becoming and then performing as a management consultant without learning a great deal which anyone can use to help in building one’s own successful management careers or even in other aspects of life. Here are some lessons I think that are particularly worthwhile pondering. Lesson No. 1 None of our upbringings, environment, and the... Read more
September 14, 2016 by William Cohen, Ph.D.
William Cohen, Ph.D.
What Does It Take to become a Top Ranked Consultant?*:
Peter Drucker is known as the “Father of Modern Management. He considered himself a “social ecologist.” Still I don’t think there is a question in anyone’s mind that Drucker built a highly unusual, but well known and top rated consulting practice. His consulting services were in demand and he received requests for extensive work almost every week. All this without advertising. He frequently... Read more
August 3, 2016 by William Cohen, Ph.D.
William Cohen, Ph.D.
Drucker Shows How to Reach Success from Failure :
Rowland Hussey Macy studied business, graduated from school, and being thoroughly prepared, he opened a retail store. It failed. He started another. It failed too. This happened four times, and he failed at each attempt. However, Macy’s fifth attempt did succeed even though on the first day it brought in only $11.08 in sales. Still Macy died a very wealthy man. More than a hundred and fifty years... Read more
July 6, 2016 by William Cohen, Ph.D.
William Cohen, Ph.D.
Why Success Can Make You More Likely to Fail:
There was one sure way that Drucker knew that an organization or a company was going to fail. If any organization continued to do what in the past had made it successful, Drucker was certain that it would eventually go under. That sounds pretty strange, but if you think about it is completely logical and the “failures of success” are numerous throughout history.The Bigger They Are, the Harder... Read more
May 3, 2016 by William Cohen, Ph.D.

Street Smarts for Change Management
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Jeff Cole
3 Process Change Tactics to Trigger Action:
You and your team have slaved through a grueling several months designing a process improvement. It’s now Monday morning, time to start a rollout. How the heck are you going to get everyone to begin following the new process rules?    Granted, it’s a little late in the timeline to just now be thinking about that, but don’t worry, there are a couple tactics you can use. Whether you... Read more
September 8, 2016 by Jeff Cole
Jeff Cole
How Solid is Your Change Launch Platform?:
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a really poorly architected change? Fun times indeed! There are many reasons for these failures. Of special interest in this column are those changes that get launched before everything is in place to support their successful execution. Those are changes where the Change Launch Platform has not been solidified.Many times, well-intentioned people will... Read more
August 15, 2016 by Jeff Cole

Every Business Is A Digital Business
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Ian Gotts
CRM = Customer Rejection Management:
Every major organization has some form of customer call center. You may have renamed yours “contact center.” They are manned by staff that are trained, tooled-up with technology and incentivized to support customers. The center is critical because it drives long term sales and protects repeat revenue. It may even be considered a “profit center.”Customer StrategyBut your customers are calling you... Read more
September 1, 2016 by Ian Gotts
Tags: Ian Gotts
Ian Gotts
Operational Excellence in Silicon Valley - A Glimpse of the Future:
Ahead of the Business Performance Excellence USA conference taking place from September 26 -28, 2016, PEX Network columnist Ian Gotts, takes a closer look at rise of Operational Excellence in Silicon Valley and what's next for Operational Excellence 2.0. I spent 15 years building Nimbus, a process mapping company, to a reasonable size in the UK and a very successful exit. I now live in San... Read more
August 11, 2016 by Ian Gotts
Ian Gotts
What Will Process Excellence Look Like In 2025? :
“We wanted flying cars and got 140 character tweets”When people predict the future they always look at the technology and try and guess what it will look like.  But if we are looking at the future of Operational Excellence we need to look at what companies will be like – their business models, their resourcing approach, their customer base.  And it is the last item that is critical to... Read more
July 26, 2016 by Ian Gotts
Ian Gotts
5 Change Management Lessons from Brexit:
It is hard to think of a larger change management “project” than Brexit when you look at the number of people impacted, the degree or change and the worldwide visibility.  I am not sure I’d want to be leading the project, and neither would anyone else based on the speed of resignations in the UK Government and Opposition.  But here are five important lessons for anyone involved in... Read more
July 20, 2016 by Ian Gotts

BPM Straight UpSeparating Fact from Fiction
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Dan Morris
Digital Transformation: An Emerging Strategy:
Digital Transformation is more than adding a Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) of tools, or putting in an ERP or even putting out an app on social media.  It is also more than a new website or even moving to leverage cloud computing or advanced analytics. All of these things are part of it, but they are not Digital Transformation. They are all more of the same with new capabilities.... Read more
August 24, 2016 by Dan Morris
Dan Morris
Dare to Think Big: Why it's Time to Push the Boundaries of Business Transformation:
There is a revolution currently taking place in business, writes columnist Dan Morris. What does this mean for you and the future of business transformation? Business Architects working with Business Process Architects and Enterprise Architects have an unprecedented opportunity to actually transform companies and deliver a bold vision of possible operations in the future.  Technology... Read more
June 14, 2016 by Dan Morris
Dan Morris
Why It’s Time to Dust off Your Compliance Documents:
I have been looking at why BPM/BPMS projects fail and what can be done about it for some time.  Over my years in big consulting I had to rescue more than a couple of projects – both for the companies I worked for and for clients.  Increasing the probability of success has been a quest of mine for a lot of years.  All of the things that I have found that can avoid failure have been... Read more
May 24, 2016 by Dan Morris
Dan Morris
The Importance of Revisiting the Basics of Business Redesign:
Reestablishing BPM and Six Sigma – the ideas that started it allDo you remember W. Edwards Deming?  Do you remember Michael Hammer?BPM has been around for the past 20 years and it has evolved considerably.  The same is true for the basic concepts of statistical analysis based continuous improvement.  But has this evolution been good?  Maybe it is time to review some of the... Read more
April 12, 2016 by Dan Morris

Data Reflections
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Daniel Senter
What is Blockchain and What Does it Mean for Us? :
The World Economic Forum has identified blockchain as one of six computing “mega-trends” over the coming decade, with companies including Deloitte LLP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Toyota Motor Corp already experimenting how this technology can be used.Originally developed by Bitcoin -  a digital payment system that manages transactions of virtual currency – a blockchain is type of database... Read more
August 8, 2016 by Daniel Senter
Daniel Senter
To Automate or Not to Automate: What Happens When PEX Meets RPA? :
Many of you will have heard about Robotic Process Automation or RPA. But are you wondering how we, as Process Excellence professionals, should be thinking about it? Firstly, if you don’t know what RPA is , take a look at one of my previous blogs here, which gives you a flavor of what it is and what it can do: http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-process-management-bpm/columns/the-... Read more
April 12, 2016 by Daniel Senter
Daniel Senter
What Churchill Can Teach You About E-mail Efficiency:
I recently was reminded of great advice offered over 70 years ago, but still relevant today:"To do our work, we all have to read a mass of papers. Nearly all of them are far too long. This wastes time, while energy has to be spent in looking for the essential points."Any idea where it’s from? You can read the original memo here.The memo was issued during a time of considerable change and activity... Read more
April 12, 2016 by Daniel Senter
Daniel Senter
Is Business Process Outsourcing Losing Ground to Robots?:
Over the past 18 months we have seen many companies starting to move away from the traditional Business Process Outsourcing offering. Here's why and what robotic process automation has to do with it.Read more
April 6, 2016 by Daniel Senter

Street Smarts for Change Management
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Jeff Cole
Process Change – Freeze Dried or Crock Pot?:
Did you ever notice that there are many attributes to this thing called “change”.   The size of the change, the amounts of different change coming our way, how clearly we can see it coming, whether it is positive or negative, its degree of impact, and so on.   One interesting facet to change is the speed with which we make that change.    Some changes such as... Read more
July 5, 2016 by Jeff Cole
Jeff Cole
What Does "Cyber Dust" Have To Do With Process Change?:
Step back in time with me to a simpler and slower time – 1970.    It had been less than one year since man first set foot on the moon, gas was .54/gallon and the DOW reached a whopping high of 908.    We were many years away from the internet, cell phones, tablets, DVRs, flat-panel televisions, and still one year away from Starbucks being founded.  While that... Read more
May 3, 2016 by Jeff Cole
Jeff Cole
What Beer and Process Change Have in Common:
Beer can teach us something about successful process change because beer is actually a great metaphor for corporate cultures. Here's why.Read more
March 29, 2016 by Jeff Cole
Jeff Cole
How to Change Processes and Influence People:
We all use influence skills daily, ranging from steering your friends toward seeing a certain movie, to getting your kids to eat their broccoli, to persuading that guy down the hall who doesn’t report to you to start using your new process. Columnist Jeff Cole explores tactics you can use to gain influence within your organization.Read more
February 10, 2016 by Jeff Cole
Tags: process | people | change

IT Insider: Creating Business Value with Quality IT
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Gene Rogers
8 steps to prepare for a major IT outage:
When things go wrong in the enterprise what do you do, who do you contact, and how do you fix it fast? A lot depends on how well you have prepared. Columnist Gene Rogers on making sure you know what to do when IT systems go down.Read more
February 15, 2016 by Gene Rogers
Tags: Gene Rogers | IT
Gene Rogers
8 steps to prepare for a major IT outage:
When things go wrong in the enterprise what do you do, who do you contact, and how do you fix it fast? A lot depends on how well you have prepared. Columnist Gene Rogers on making sure you know what to do when IT systems go down.Read more
February 8, 2016 by Gene Rogers
Tags: Gene Rogers | IT
Gene Rogers
IT Quality: Where to Start?:
The most frequent comment I get when discussing IT Quality is, "I want to improve but I just don’t know where to start". I can empathize with the comment. It can be overwhelming when you look at the various IT areas (Architecture, Development, Infrastructure, Security, Support, etc.) to find a place to begin. So, where to start? My advice is to start at the very end of the IT... Read more
November 10, 2015 by Gene Rogers
Tags: Gene Rogers | IT | Quality
Gene Rogers
3 Quick Steps to Successfully Lead an IT Team:
"What in the world have I gotten myself into?" That’s usually what I am asking myself the first week after taking over a new IT team. Fortunately, "been there, done that" really does help in this situation. If you find yourself in charge of an IT team for the first time, follow this three-step program for quick success. First, meet with all of your direct reports individually... Read more
August 16, 2015 by Gene Rogers

Low-code Development Platforms: Could one be right for you?
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Nigel Warren
Why and how to apply lean startup to digital innovation:
Digital innovation – with less codingWe live in an increasingly digital world, and businesses and government bodies all want to invest in digital systems and modernized processes to transform how they serve customers. The end-goal - faster and more convenient services—while at the same time reducing costs through process improvement. Yet digital skills are in short supply. Forrester reports that... Read more
January 12, 2016 by Nigel Warren
Nigel Warren
Low-code in action: Two UK brands using "test and learn" to improve CX and reduce costs:
In last month’s Low-code corner article we explored the topic of experimentation. More specifically - when and how should you apply an experimental approach to process improvement? We deduced that lean start-up techniques such as "test and learn", were most relevant to "systems of engagement", the processes and system with which you win, serve and retain customers. This month... Read more
November 8, 2015 by Nigel Warren
Nigel Warren
Test and Learn - When and How Should you Apply a More Experimental Approach to Process Improvement?:
In last month's column, we defined the term Low-code Development Platform with the help of Clay Richardson, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, who I interviewed on the topic recently.We compared Low-code Development Platforms to more IT-centric BPM Suite products, and deduced the following two takeaways... Read more
September 23, 2015 by Nigel Warren
Nigel Warren
What exactly is a Low-code platform?:
Welcome to Low-code Corner, a new monthly feature in which we’ll examine this new and upcoming category of BPM software. The kinds of question we’ll be answering in a series of articles and interviews include: • Where, when and why should you consider using a low-code platform? • How are they different to more traditional BPM tools? • What’s the... Read more
July 29, 2015 by Nigel Warren

Lean for Services
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Debashis Sarkar
5 Takeaways Lean Leaders can Pick Up from India’s dynamic Prime Minister, Narendra Modi– PT II:
In the second instalment of a two-part article, Debashis Sarkar, author, Phil Crosby Medalist and one of the world’s leading lights in the space of Lean Management, details his final takeaways of what lean leaders can learn from top politicians, using a case study of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s first year in office…To read up on the first part of this article – involving Vision and People... Read more
June 3, 2015 by Debashis Sarkar
Debashis Sarkar
5 Takeaways Lean Leaders can Pick Up from India’s Dynamic Prime Minister – Narendra Modi – PT I:
To exemplify what lean lessons can be learnt from top politicians, Debashis Sarkar, author, Phil Crosby Medalist and one of the world’s leading lights in the space of Lean Management, uses a case study of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s first year in office. This is the first of a two-part case study… Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India, has just completed... Read more
June 1, 2015 by Debashis Sarkar
Debashis Sarkar
Taking over as Process Excellence leader? Ten things you must do in the first 90 days:
What you learn about your company in the first couple of months as Process Excellence leader is critical to determining how effective you'll be, argues contributor Debashis Sarkar. Here are the 10 things you can't afford to not to know about your company.Read more
June 3, 2013 by Debashis Sarkar
Debashis Sarkar
5 things process excellence professionals can learn from nurses:
In honour of the recent World Nursing Day, Debashis Sarkar looks at five things process excellence professionals can learn from nurses.Read more
May 20, 2013 by Debashis Sarkar

Process Fun
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PEX Network Staff
Process Fun: The malfunctions of miscommunication:
In a world with tightening budgets and shortened production cycles, time is precious. Unfortunately with added pressures and deadlines, human error naturally becomes a factor and therefore it is often the simplest of things that cause the biggest failures. One of the simplest to avoid, if you’re mindful, is miscommunication.If you’ve ever been at one end or the other of miscommunication you know... Read more
September 14, 2014 by PEX Network Staff
PEX Network Staff
Process Fun: 7 Products that take process improvement a little too far!:
In today’s consumer-driven age, the process fanatics among us are simply spoiled for choice. The smartphone has made telephone calls and email more convenient than ever, cloud systems and SAS have simplified business networking – even GPS has streamlined the process of driving from A to B. However there are some products out there that put into question the sanity of not just the... Read more
September 7, 2014 by PEX Network Staff
PEX Network Cartoons
Business Process Management and the Chief Operating Ostrich:
Do you find it's hard to explain to your C-level executives what Business Process Management is really all about? Clearly, you're not alone. This funny animated video pokes fun at a new COO that struggles to understand BPM and tries to avoid it at all costs!Read more
May 29, 2014 by PEX Network Cartoons
PEX Network Cartoons
How about this for customer service?:
The truth about customer service...
April 27, 2014 by PEX Network Cartoons

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Eric Michrowski
Is your measurement system holding you back? Thoughts on a call center:
Too many indicators focus on "how" to do the work, writes columnist Eric Michrowski. This can create a false sense of solid operations and financial management and don’t help build alignment with the right successful outcome. Here's why.Read more
October 6, 2013 by Eric Michrowski
Eric Michrowski
Are you limiting your potential to excel by not aligning to the end outcome?:
Under the guise of improving operational performance, many organizations implement systems that shut down human potential by instituting measurement systems that attempt to break down tasks and activities to an infinite level based on a "perfect operating environment," observes columnist Eric Michrowski. Shouldn't you be focusing on what needs to be achieved instead?Read more
April 23, 2013 by Eric Michrowski
Eric Michrowski
The pitfalls of employee suggestion programs:
As process improvement professionals, we recognize the importance of capturing the ideas of team members that are closest to the process, yet what can we do to make it more routine?Read more
March 6, 2013 by Eric Michrowski
Eric Michrowski
Are you wasting human potential in your processes?:
Are we spending too much time improving the technical elements of a process and missing a significant opportunity in optimizing the human potential in processes?Read more
February 28, 2013 by Eric Michrowski

Mr Angry, You Call THAT Customer Service?
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Ian Gotts
It’s the wild west out there: Interview with Eloqua’s VP of Customer Experience:
New roles like the "Chief Customer Officer" and "Chief Digital Officer," are emerging as companies invest in aligning processes, technology and communications to better serve the customer. But it is all the hoopla about customer experience just a fad? Columnist Ian Gottts interviews, Kia Puhm, VP of Customer Experience at marketing automation software provider Eloqua.Read more
August 11, 2013 by Ian Gotts
Ian Gotts
Unsubscribe...just let me go!:
We all get unsolicited emails. Spam accounts for 78% of all email traffic according to Wikipedia. But now that GoogleMail and companies like MessageLabs are pretty good at filtering out the obvious junk and downright offensive and inappropriate, what's the most efficient way of unsubscribing from the rest of it?Read more
July 23, 2013 by Ian Gotts
Tags: Ian Gotts | spam | e-mail
Ian Gotts
Customer Loyalty: I am not loyal, but why should I be?:
Too few loyalty schemes actually inspire loyalty, says columnist Ian Gotts. Here's why gaining customer loyalty means more than just a clever program.Read more
April 30, 2013 by Ian Gotts
Ian Gotts
7 reasons why local councils do not share best practice:
With councils under the most extreme budgetary pressure they have ever experienced, why are they not better at sharing best practice? Ian Gotts looks at 7 reasons and explains what two parking tickets have to do with it.Read more
March 14, 2013 by Ian Gotts

The Deming Files
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John Hunter
Build an environment where intrinsic motivation flourishes:
Organizations have often so systemically de-motivated people that employees seem to have lost that desire to do good work. Don’t treat this symptom by motivating them with cheap extrinsic motivation tricks, writes contributor John Hunter, focus on eliminating the factors that demotivate them.Read more
July 28, 2013 by John Hunter
Kelly Allan
Looking at the Other Side of the ‘Moon’:
If you're managing by visible numbers alone you're likely not getting the real picture of what's going on. What is obvious is typically not the full story and perhaps is even incorrect, writes contributor Kelly Allan. Includes a Reader's Mini Guide to the works of Dr. W. Edwards Deming.Read more
April 23, 2013 by Kelly Allan
Kelly Allan
BOOK REVIEW - The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality:
Joyce Nilsson Orsini's new book THE ESSENTIAL DEMING provides an excellent bridge to the next level of Deming’s insights, writes contributor Kelly Allan. Dr. Orsini reviewed and studied documents, videotapes, letters, interviews, and notes archived in a variety of locales, during the production of the book. The result, says Allan, is a very readable book that brings additional richness and clarity to many of Deming’s principles.Read more
January 10, 2013 by Kelly Allan
Kelly Allan
Why There's No Right Way to Do MBO:
It’s one of the most widely employed management tools out there, but is Management by Objectives (targets) destroying our companies? Yes, argues Kelly Allan in the latest Deming Files Column. Here’s why MBOs can make people deliver "meaningless, even damaging, results."Read more
February 8, 2012 by Kelly Allan

The Editorial Notebook
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Diana Davis
Passion, innovation and the "perfect storm": 3 takeaways from PEX Week Europe:
Process and passion are two words that you don’t often hear together. For many, process conjures up the image of arcane diagrams with lots of boxes and arrows, pointy headed statisticians creating fancy looking but unintelligible graphs and a dry, methodical way of working that makes life predictable but dull. However, that image doesn’t tally with the process professionals attending PEX Week Europe (PEX Network’s annual European conference ) earlier this week.Read more
May 1, 2013 by Diana Davis
Diana Davis
Process Improvement Tip #12: Have patience:
Rather than lurching from one thing to the next, not allowing the dust to settle anywhere before you go and stir it up again, follow your improvement through and give it time to catch on in your organization. Often we underestimate the amount of time it takes for an improvement to become a habit.Read more
October 23, 2012 by Diana Davis
Diana Davis
Process Improvement Tip #11: Give critics a chance to air their concerns:
It’s hard to please everyone all of the time. And if you work in process improvement there’s a good chance that there will be those who feel worried about the changes that might be coming their way. Let them air their concerns.Read more
October 23, 2012 by Diana Davis
Diana Davis
Process Improvement Tip #10: Appeal to the competitiveness of your business executives:
Lack of executive buy-in to process improvement is often cited as one of the key reasons that process improvement initiatives fail to achieve their goals. Here's why appealing to the competitive side of executives might help.Read more
October 23, 2012 by Diana Davis

MWD Insights
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Neil Ward-Dutton
How to know where you are on the Business Process Management (BPM) maturity curve:
We all know that BPM is an uncommon thing, and difficult to pigeonhole: it’s partly an approach to managing a business ("management by business process", if you like); partly an approach to managing business processes through various changes and lifecycle stages ("management of business processes"); and partly a way of using software to create operational ‘process applications’ that distribute,... Read more
April 28, 2013 by Neil Ward-Dutton
Neil Ward-Dutton
Do we recognise the value of business process automation?:
At the same time as providing so many opportunities, global use of IT and communications technologies is also creating some of organisations’ biggest challenges. So why aren't process practitioners more involved in the IT-dependent initiatives that are ongoing right now to reinvigorate operational systems in organisations.Read more
November 21, 2012 by Neil Ward-Dutton
Neil Ward-Dutton
Is BPM part of EA, or EA part of BPM?:
A few days ago, I weighed into a discussion in the BPM Group LinkedIn group. Someone had asked the question "what’s your opinion? is BPM part of EA [Enterprise Architecture] or EA part of BPM?". Well, I took the bait – I couldn’t help myself – but I didn’t have time to really give a comprehensive answer. I have heard others ask similar questions, so hopefully this... Read more
November 19, 2012 by Neil Ward-Dutton
Neil Ward-Dutton
The Apple Maps hullabaloo, megatrends and your business-tech strategy:
The ongoing outpouring of derision, frustration and fun-poking at Apple’s new Maps app – touted as a key feature of the quite-possibly-described-as-magical iOS 6 – warranted another story on the BBC website today. As I was writing this it appears that Google can return over 68m results for the query "Apple Maps errors". The Huffington Post in the UK... Read more
September 24, 2012 by Neil Ward-Dutton

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Innovation gets squashed when everyone's too busy getting through today:
This article is the final of a four part series looking at 4 key Drucker strategies – Organized Abandonment, Continuous Productivity Improvement, Exploiting Success and Innovation – you can immediately put into practice in your own business. This article looks at why innovation is often stifled by your present business operations and what you can do about it.Read more
April 10, 2013 by From the Editorial Staff at Process Excellence Network
Stop calling them problems, dammit, they’re opportunities!:
This article is the third in a four part series looking at 4 key Drucker strategies – Organized Abandonment, Continuous Productivity Improvement, Exploiting Success and Innovation – you can immediately put into practice in your own business. This article looks at why organizations must become focused on exploiting success and identifying opportunities (rather than problems).Read more
April 10, 2013 by From the Editorial Staff at Process Excellence Network
Why small, continuous improvements are better than constantly shooting for the moon:
This article is the second in a four part series looking at 4 key Drucker strategies – Organized Abandonment, Continuous Productivity Improvement, Exploiting Success and Innovation – you can immediately put into practice in your own business. This article looks at why continuous improvement needs to be an essential part of any companies strategy for survival.Read more
April 10, 2013 by From the Editorial Staff at Process Excellence Network
Executive hatchet jobs and other misguided cost cutting exercises:
This article is the first in a four part series looking at 4 key Drucker strategies – Organized Abandonment, Continuous Productivity Improvement, Exploiting Success and Innovation – you can immediately put into practice in your own business. This article looks at why cost cutting rarely works and how you need to constantly evaluate what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing.Read more
April 10, 2013 by From the Editorial Staff at Process Excellence Network

The Drucker Files
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Robert W. Swaim
Peter Drucker on Sales and Marketing:
Drucker's early focus on the customer and non-customers and going outside contributed to a greater understanding of what the purpose of a business is. Profit, he felt, was essentially a measurement of how well the organization is creating customers.Read more
February 10, 2013 by Robert W. Swaim
Robert W. Swaim
Business Strategy: The Three Questions You Must Be Able to Answer:
Strategic thinking, according to Drucker, is knowing the right questions to ask. In this week's Drucker Files, Dr. Robert Swaim looks at the three critical questions you and your management team need to ask yourselves to make sure you're on the right track.Read more
October 6, 2011 by Robert W. Swaim
Robert W. Swaim
Business Strategy: Creating Effective Objectives:
The basic definition of the business must be translated into objectives, said Peter F. Drucker, otherwise they remain insights, and good intentions that never become achievement. Here's how to create effective objectives.Read more
October 6, 2011 by Robert W. Swaim
Robert W. Swaim
Nine Reasons Organizations Need To Change:
Overcoming resistance to changes is often one of the biggest challenges for continuous improvement practitioners. In the first of a 5-part series on managing change in the enterprise, Dr. Robert Swaim looks at the reasons organizations change and breaks change down in 6 key areas of impact.Read more
July 28, 2011 by Robert W. Swaim

Thinking Business, Thinking Process
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Steve Towers
Process Excellence – a New Order of things? (Part 2 of 2):
The latest phase of Business Process Management (BPM) views process as simply the work we all do on behalf of achieving successful customer outcomes, writes Steve Towers.Read more
January 7, 2013 by Steve Towers
Steve Towers
Process Excellence – a New Order of things? (Part 1 of 2):
The digitally networked, globally connected customers of today don’t abide by the rules of the industrial age, argues contributor Steve Towers. That’s why it’s time to rethink the factory line approach to business transformation.Read more
January 3, 2013 by Steve Towers
Steve Towers
4 Lessons from the Kodak "Moment of Truth":
Kodak's death spiral into Chapter 11 hell is a clarion call for all organizations struggling to come to terms with a new business landscape. Can you cross the rubicon and change your world? asks columnist Steve Towers in this month’s column.Read more
February 13, 2012 by Steve Towers
Steve Towers
A Copernican Shift in Creating Business Success:
The shift from production mindset (producing goods) to customer centred business (delivering services) has disrupted global business in fundamental ways, writes columnist Steve Towers. Here's how.Read more
December 8, 2011 by Steve Towers
Tags: Steve Towers

Connecting the Dots
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Chris Taylor
This article cost me $37.95:
Customer service initiatives often put strong emphasis on culture, friendliness and professionalism. But that's not enough, writes columnist Chris Taylor. Great process management is what you really need.Read more
January 6, 2013 by Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
BPM: Just three letters but so much baggage:
The reality of the business and technology world is that nothing exists in a silo and everything a company does is interrelated, writes Chris Taylor as PEX Network launches his new column 'Connecting the Dots' this month.Read more
November 25, 2012 by Chris Taylor

PEX Advisors: Observations on the Journey
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Chris Galante
Business is not about combat:
Metaphors for business often call on terminology from war. We "go into battle" or work goes on "in the trenches". This year, however, PEX Network advisor Chris Galante says it’s time for more positive ways of describing our working environments. Here’s why it’s time to ditch the combat metaphors.Read more
December 17, 2012 by Chris Galante
Dennis Narlock & Jennifer Garber
4 Easy Engagement Steps that Drive Results:
You've got a cracking team of talented individuals, and yet your process improvement project is running behind schedule and overbudget. Maybe it's not a problem with the individuals, but with lack of engagement with the team as a whole. Here are four ways to improve your team's engagement to deliver results.Read more
October 28, 2012 by Dennis Narlock & Jennifer Garber
Diane Francisco
Nature vs. Nurture? Cultivating Process Acumen:
Whether a process mindset is nature or nuture is irrelevant. Here are some easy steps to start the nurturing of process improvement in your employees.Read more
September 23, 2012 by Diane Francisco
Vince Pierce
What’s Next on the Horizon for Process Excellence?:
Most of us know the history of Process Excellence, from the days leading up to Total Quality Management to the more recent focus on Customer Experience Management. We have all heard of - if not read with interest - the works of Fredrick Taylor, Taiichi Ohno, W. Edwards Deming, and James Womack (to name a few). But what's next on the horizon?Read more
August 15, 2012 by Vince Pierce

Succeeding With BPM Implementation
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Vinaykumar S. Mummigatti
Why customer centricity calls for a 3-dimensional view of processes:
Even though business process modeling is a mature space with well-established principles and standards, a renewed focus on customer centricity means that new approaches are needed, says columnist Vinay Mummigatti. Here’s why.Read more
November 19, 2012 by Vinaykumar S. Mummigatti
Vinaykumar S. Mummigatti
Beyond Process Excellence – Leveraging BPM for end to end business transformation:
Business process management has proven to be a great enabler for rapid and outcome oriented business transformation. But most process led business transformation initiatives are highly complex and bring a unique set of challenges that can lead to undesirable outcomes.Read more
October 7, 2012 by Vinaykumar S. Mummigatti

Process Theory
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Theo Priestley
Does Social spell the end of the Outside-In customer experience?:
Social business is about connection, trust, transparency, and engagement. That means it's time to design processes to reflect just how interconnected all the touch-points are - not just from a customer viewpoint - says Theo Priestley.Read more
October 9, 2012 by Theo Priestley

Process Improvement for Services
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Robin Barnwell
Six Sigma Really Sucks:
Six Sigma practitioners beware - applying Six Sigma methodology to everything might create bigger problems than you expect! Columnist Robin Barnwell explains what happened when he brought methodical rigour to tackling NVA in the household chores.Read more
March 6, 2012 by Robin Barnwell
Robin Barnwell
Running Late: Some Statistics on Marathon Pacing:
Feel like you're running flat out? Columnist Robin Barnwell develops a prediction model to better judge pacing and target times as he analyzes data from London marathons past in preparation for his own run this year.Read more
January 29, 2012 by Robin Barnwell
Robin Barnwell
Forget "Recommended By"...Is Building Trust a More Important Metric?:
Building trust is more fundamental than the "recommended" metric used in Net Promoter Score, says columnist Robin Barnwell. Afterall, would you continue to do business with a company you did not trust?Read more
December 11, 2011 by Robin Barnwell
Robin Barnwell
Epic Fail: Why is it so hard to deliver lasting change?:
Even when someone's life depends on it, making changes is not easy, writes contributor Robin Barnwell. And you can bet that business process change encounters similar challenges. So what can you do about it?Read more
December 8, 2011 by Robin Barnwell

Forrester BPM Perspectives
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Connie Moore
Selling Business Process Transformation to the C-Suite:
Reminder: improving or transforming a business process is not the end goal; delighting customers to affect business outcomes that drive corporate performance is.Read more
February 27, 2012 by Connie Moore
Connie Moore
Embrace Big Process Thinking To Drive Business Transformation:
What will business processes look like in 2020? asks columnist Connie Moore of Forrester Research. Hint: it's big. The five tenets of big process thinking firms will need to be thinking about.Read more
February 15, 2012 by Connie Moore
Connie Moore
What? You Want Me To Go First?:
There's a lot of reasons that you might want to avoid being the first company or department to change, says contributor Connie Moore. Afterall, "pioneers get an arrow in their backs." But here's why you should consider going first.Read more
December 8, 2011 by Connie Moore
Tags: change
Claire Schooley
Making Change Management Work: Three Practitioners Offer Some Guidance:
Change management from the people perspective is too often a forgotten component of business process transformation. Three business leaders share their perspectives on what makes change management work.Read more
September 18, 2011 by Claire Schooley

A Day in the Life
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Steve McCarthy
A Day in the Life of a Group Quality Manager:
Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to work in a different job or industry within process improvement? PEX Network's twice monthly "A Day in the Life" series continues this week with Steve McCarthy, Group Quality Manager at Brintons Carpets, a UK-based manufacturer as he explains why quality improvement is not something that can be done either alone or by one department - it's everyone's responsibility.Read more
January 31, 2012 by Steve McCarthy
Diane Francisco
A Day in the Life of Director of Process Excellence and Change Management:
Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to work in a different job or industry within process improvement? PEX Network's twice monthly "A Day in the Life" series continues this week with Diane Francisco, Director, MBB of Process Excellence and Change Management at Covance.Read more
November 7, 2011 by Diane Francisco
R. Scott Bonney
A Day In The Life of an Enterprise Master Black Belt:
Have you ever want to know what it would be like to work in a different job or industry? This week R. Scott Bonney, an enterprise master black belt at the Office of the Secretary of the United States Army Office of Business Transformation, describes his daily routine.Read more
September 25, 2011 by R. Scott Bonney
Vince Pierce
A Day In The Life of the Vice President of Business Process Improvement at Office Depot:
Have you ever want to know what it would be like to work in a different job or industry? PEX Network's twice monthly "A Day in the Life" series continues this week as Vince Pierce, Vice President of Business Process Improvement for retail giant Office Depot, describes his daily routine.Read more
September 25, 2011 by Vince Pierce

Tales of a Master Black Belt
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Craig James
Common VOC Mistakes & How to Avoid Them:
Voice of the Customer (VOC) is a critical component of Six Sigma, helping us establish measures that serve as a foundation for each of the DMAIC phases, says contributor Craig James. But beware the common mistakes of VOC. Here are 4 of them and what you can do to avoid them.Read more
December 13, 2011 by Craig James
Tags: customer | VOC
Robert Lopez
Four Factors for Getting the Right Project Under Your "Belt":
Too often new Black Belts go after huge organizational issues/problems and have at best mediocre success, writes Robert Lopez in this month's Tales from a Master Black Belt. Here are the four essential factors to make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew.Read more
September 18, 2011 by Robert Lopez
Gregory North
Adapting Lean Six Sigma at Xerox:
When you know where you are going and that it is a place you want to be, change is exciting, says Gregory North, Vice President of Corporate Lean Six Sigma at Xerox. Here's how Xerox is evolving the who, the how and the what of Lean Six Sigma.Read more
August 8, 2011 by Gregory North
Mark Fendley
Guts, Imagination & the Five Essential Elements of Continuous Improvement:
You need people with guts to challenge the status quo - but beware turning everything upside down, writes Mark Fendley, Continuous Improvement Manager at BMW in this month’s Tales from a Master Black Belt. There are some things better left alone and you need to foster a culture that understands the difference.Read more
July 17, 2011 by Mark Fendley

The Data Driven Doctor
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Rob Davis
"But I Don't Have Time To Change" - Frontline Service Improvements In US Healthcare:
Urgent tasks are the enemy of process improvement, says columnist Rob Davis, but there are many opportunities at the frontline of healthcare to find improvements if we are only willing to take the time.Read more
June 28, 2011 by Rob Davis
Rob Davis
A Dose of Data a Day Keeps Physicans Au Fait:
In a new column launched this week, Rob Davis, Executive Director of the US-based Outpatient Quality Improvement Network, looks at how medical benchmarking and dashboards can help doctors make better decisions in patient care.Read more
February 22, 2011 by Rob Davis

Delivering Customer Value through Six Sigma
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Reg Goeke
Building an Effective Voice of the Customer System:
I recently delivered a webinar for the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) explaining how to design Value-Driven Process Improvements in order to achieve superior business performance.Such initiatives are highly dependent upon an effective Voice of the Customer system—one that is proactive rather than reactive, that uses the metrics of customer value rather than the metrics of... Read more
March 15, 2011 by Reg Goeke
Reg Goeke
Why You Can't Get No Customer Satisfaction:
If you only ask your fan club what they think of you, then ratings will be fantastic. In this article, columnist Reg Goeke, looks at the perils of measuring customer satisfaction and why the data sometimes isn't telling you what you think it's telling you.Read more
February 7, 2011 by Reg Goeke
Reg Goeke
Targeting Process Improvements for Value-Based Pricing:
I’ve written extensively in previous columns about the paradigm shift in process improvement programs, with those programs shifting from an emphasis on defect and cost reductions to an emphasis on superior customer value, revenue growth, and market share. And, last month, I described several of the new tools and skills required to measure and analyze the Voice of the Market (VOM) in order... Read more
September 30, 2010 by Reg Goeke
Reg Goeke
Business Process Excellence Certification: Implications of a Shift in Focus:
The recent Global Business Process Excellence (BPE) benchmarking survey indicated that BPE professionals are shifting their focus from cost reductions to revenue generation, and that the most successful of these initiatives are explicitly linked to their competitive business strategies. This shift from an internal to an external focus requires an understanding of an extended set of statistical... Read more
August 20, 2010 by Reg Goeke

The Chain Reaction
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Douglas Kent
VOC: Invent Something Cool and 'They' Will Come?:
Customer intimacy goes beyond just data extraction and the subsequent pontification of what it means, says Douglas Kent. In the launch of his new column, "The Chain Reaction", Kent argues that businesses that continue to rely mostly on technology and product innovation for their competitive advantage are likely to lose their position on the battleground.Read more
March 2, 2011 by Douglas Kent

No-Nonsense Project Management
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Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Six Sigma Practitioner — or — Project Manager:
So many people today are "wearing multiple hats" that the term is synonymous with "employed." Within the Six Sigma community, it is very common and even expected that the "Belt" is in charge of running the project in addition to being the expert with the tools. Naturally, some people gravitate to the tools and analysis side of the work, and other toward the management aspects. The challenges this... Read more
September 12, 2010 by Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Risk Management in a Six Sigma Project:
Risk management is one of those titles that usually makes people think of lawyers or contract specialists figuring out how to best document an issue or contract to protect the company. However, there is much more to risk management than CYA. A Six Sigma project is rife with opportunity for "unknown" issues to crop up. From an unforeseen stakeholder’s wishes to corporate changes, even... Read more
August 18, 2010 by Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Properly Planning a Six Sigma Project:
Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." Certainly he wasn’t talking about Six Sigma projects, but this little statement applies 100 percent to our process improvement efforts. The act of properly planning a project virtually ensures success because it is a continual team effort of evaluation, organization and communication. The teams that do these... Read more
July 5, 2010 by Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Communication Solutions for a Co-Located Six Sigma Project Team:
My previous column focused on communication with a remote located Six Sigma project team. Many would assume that co-located teams are easy to work with and require less effort for a project manager to manage. They would be wrong. A co-located team, while easier to pull together for meetings, still has its challenges. Common Project Management Issues The first challenge a Six Sigma... Read more
June 22, 2010 by Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Six Sigma for Healthcare
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Anantha Kollengode
Display the Distribution of Your Data Using the Histogram:
The histogram, one of the seven quality tools, is very effective in displaying the distribution of data. It’s particularly valuable if there are a large number of observations, as the tool quickly conveys the shape of the data distribution. The histogram visually presents the data of tabulated frequencies as consecutive, non-overlapping rectangular intervals.The histogram is depicted as a... Read more
August 4, 2010 by Anantha Kollengode
Anantha Kollengode
The Four Steps to Constructing a Cause and Effect Diagram:
The cause and effect diagram is an easy yet powerful tool commonly used in a cross functional setting to visually describe the potential root causes for a specific problem in question. The tool lends itself to enabling a team to readily organize the causes behind the problem into useful categories, providing a structured brainstorming session. One of the seven basic quality tools, the cause... Read more
May 20, 2010 by Anantha Kollengode
Anantha Kollengode
Spot Potential Relationships Between Two Variables Using the Scatter Diagram:
Finally, the spring season is here, and my family and I have begun planning a road trip for this summer. One of the places we would like to visit is the Yellowstone National Park and we are set on seeing the Old Faithful geyser eruptions. To witness this natural wonder, we could plan to stay at the park for half a day or we could use data to our advantage to plan a much shorter wait time to see... Read more
April 2, 2010 by Anantha Kollengode
Anantha Kollengode
The Check Sheet: A Simple and Effective Way to Display Data:
The check sheet is another simple and effective tool useful in Lean Six Sigma projects. It is sometimes referred to as a concentration diagram or location plot. It is a handy tool for both qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis. Check sheets help to systematically collect and organize data and is useful in the all phases of the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze,... Read more
March 7, 2010 by Anantha Kollengode

Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
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Andy Sleeper
Pocket Stats, Part 3: Sample Size for Pass-Fail Tests:
The meeting was tense. After a splashy release, users have complained about the uPod music player. Vibration from jogging or dancing tends to lock up the uPod, requiring the user to remove and replace the battery. Bloggers have been ruthless, and this product is fast becoming a stinker for Durian Computer Company.The engineering team has duplicated the problem on a vibration table, and now they... Read more
October 7, 2009 by Andy Sleeper
Andy Sleeper
The Right Tool Matters!:
Keep things as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein (paraphrased) When I was a kid, my big sister drove a red 1967 VW Bug. In its day, this was an innovative car. It had 54 horsepower, a two-speed windshield wiper and zero computers. The heat was inadequate and it broke down a lot, but it got 100 miles per gallon—of oil. The Bug was simple, and VW rightly... Read more
September 13, 2009 by Andy Sleeper
Andy Sleeper
Have Confidence in Your Statistical Analysis!: Learning How to Use Confidence Intervals:
Confidence intervals are the most valuable statistical tools available to decision makers. However, for a variety of reasons, confidence intervals are not used as frequently as they should. This article answers two questions that are often misunderstood:Why are point estimates useless for making decisions?What is the best confidence level?This article does not discuss how to calculate confidence... Read more
July 8, 2009 by Andy Sleeper
Rosa Oppenheim
Examining Radiology with Statistical Analysis:
There has been a great deal of conversation in the media regarding our healthcare system lately. With that in mind I thought I would share an example brought to me by one of my colleagues serving the healthcare industry, where the hospital client used statistical analysis for process improvement in one area of radiology.The Goal: Reducing the Number of STAT Portable Chest X-RaysWhen first... Read more
June 18, 2009 by Rosa Oppenheim

The Benchmark Series
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The Aftermath of the Go-Go Economy:
The Good News: If History Is Our Guide, Economic Growth Will Return Sooner Than Expected Readjust the corporate agenda to fit today's new realities. This is something that business people are thinking about constantly, and justifiably so. The aftermath of our past go-go economy requires abandoning unproductive and obsolete activities, streamlining and re-engineering business processes,... Read more
November 9, 2008 by From the Editorial Staff at Process Excellence Network

Six Sigma for Beginners and Intermediates
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John Blowers
Lean Six Sigma—Not Just for the Big Guys:
No, Lean Six Sigma is not the new diet you saw late last night on that TV infomercial, and DMAIC is not a type of vitamin. Lean Six Sigma has been working its way into organizations for over half a century; however these difficult economic times provide another opportunity to review this process management theory’s relevancy in today’s business world. A Brief History of the Origins of Six Sigma... Read more
November 2, 2008 by John Blowers