Tag Archive: systems pragmatist

Project Success Is All About the People

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In reviewing project successes and failures, it turns out that project success has little to do with the technical aspect of projects. Instead, it is all about the people. Within the last year, we’ve been called by clients struggling with issues ranging from poor delivery performance to sagging margins, while other clients want to ensure they are prepared for strong revenue growth. Every one of these clients required some sort of project to deliver the intended results – growth, profits, margins, cash flow, and efficiencies. Company sizes ranged from $7 million to $50 million to $250 million dollar facilities of…
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Success or Failure? Collaboration Is Key to Success

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How important is collaboration to project success? Several years ago, it was important but not critical; however, within the last 5-10 years, it has become a cornerstone to success. In today’s Amazon-impacted world, customers have higher expectations of rapid turnaround, 24/7 accessibility, and increased levels of service. These expectations drive complexity. Additionally, we are in a global economy. Executives are hard-pressed to find a product sourced solely from the country of origin. Most likely, at a minimum, your suppliers’ supplier will be from another country. On the customer side, typically, those who export grow sales more rapidly than those who…
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Plan the Work; Work the Plan

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We were reminded of this favorite client project and success story related to work processes recently as we were talking with a new GM at a key client about ways to improve service levels rapidly. It reminded us to pay attention to what “works”. So many clients try complicated and convoluted programs, thinking it is required for success, but it isn’t! Why go down that rabbit hole when simplicity can achieve rapid, bottom line results?! This particular favorite project made the list due to its simplicity and quick results in the face of quite a bit of doubt and several…
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Keys to Delegation Success

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In today’s Amazon-impacted world, customers have higher expectations of rapid turnaround, 24/7 accessibility, and increased levels of service. These events have contributed to an information-overloaded society. Not only do we receive countless emails, texts, social media messages, marketing messages and the like, but we also are expected to be able to make sense of it all and execute projects successfully – on-time, on budget and on results. A tall order to be sure! Survival seems challenging enough, let alone thriving in these sorts of conditions. In taking a step back from the details, it becomes clear that we must employ…
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Data, Data, Data

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“Data, data, data” seems to be the hot topic for manufacturers and distributors, similarly to “location, location, location” in real estate success. What is going on? As technologies have come a long way from the “old” days, we have massive amounts of data. I heard this statistic last week – 1 gigabyte cost $1 million in 1980 whereas it costs 1 cent today. Clearly, data is affordable and accessible. Now what do we do with it? Here are some options my best clients have been researching: Dashboards: Get the “right” ERP system for your needs and display key metrics on a dashboard.…
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Keys to Successful Growth

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My clients across all manufacturing and distribution-related industries ranging from small, family-owned businesses to multi-billion dollar corporations have one item in common – growth.  More than 80% are experiencing relatively substantial growth while the remaining 20% are muddling along with slight growth figures. When companies grow, projects can become even more critical. Cash is needed to fund growth. Customer service must remain intact, even though it can be more challenging to succeed during periods of significant growth. Profitability needs to continue to grow to support the growth and to leverage assets. Keeping up with the people requirements can be a challenge. Thus, we need to…
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Serving up an ACE in Your ERP Selection and Design

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and…
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Is Agile Common Sense?

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There is a buzz about agile project management being the “in” trend. There are workshops, seminars and lots of conversation about agile. However, what does agile mean? According to Webster’s dictionary, it is the ability to think quickly or a quick and well-coordinated movement. I see it as meaning flexible. In the project management world, there are countless discussions geared towards agile. But is it really just common sense? At one of my clients, we have been working diligently to implement a new ERP system. The company is a young company in a start-up mode. However, it is not the…
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How to Increase Teamwork to Ensure Project Success

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As I work with manufacturing and distribution clients from all industries such as aerospace, building products, and medical products and across a wide range of sizes from a few million to multi-billion dollar companies, I find that project management is one common thread across every client. Since growing the business and improving performance is of paramount importance to compete, new programs, process improvements, and other organizational changes continue to increase in numbers to support this expectation. Thus, project management is increasingly a strategic imperative to success. We can be more assured we’ll achieve success with our projects if we have…
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4 Critical Success Factors Key to ERP Success

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I’ve always focused part of my business on ERP selection projects as these leverage the unique combination of my strengths — understanding the cross-functional and cross-organizational view in combination with the strategic priorities to identify the critical success factors. We then align these factors with the optimal business process design and system functionality to ensure success.   I’m in the final stages of developing a new proprietary process for ERP selection, called ACE (assess and align critical success factors to achieve your desired endgame). The key to success lies with critical success factors. Think about the following when thinking about…
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