Prepping for 2012

So think this is the third new design for this site in 2011. Which is 3 times the numer of posts for 2011 so far…truth is twitter, facebook and increasingly instagram and foursquare keep me entertained yet allow me to communicate effectively with my networks.

However a constant itch I feel the need to scratch is the wider narritive. Twitter, facebook et. al. are great, but they tend to be short format, quick thoughts or feelings, a snapshot if you will. I always liked this space for a bit more indepth thinking and musing on subjects du jour.

So I’ve said it loads of times but yet again, as I appraoch 8 years of running this thing it’s time to try again. I think I have a fair amount to say and would like to give it another crack. Blogs may be somewhat 2002 now but hey, I always enjoyed blogging so even if I am madly writing away to myself I would like to give it another crack. Maybe not so much pressure to blog frequently, but about once / twice a month seems fair.

As part of preparing this post I thought I would dive into some old themes and get some snapshots of this blog through the ages….going from 2004 by year. Seemed like a nice way to review what I have done over the last 8 years and was pretty fun activating the old themes and seeing what broke. Surprisingly apart from some legacy plugin code most of them worked even the theme built for WordPress 1.2! Now I am on the shiney 3.3. WordPress has come such a long way, such a great platform to develop and write on. Although the less said about some of the markup I chose to use the better .

Cultural change is free

One of the best critiques for the modern phenomenon of target driven system design, where outsourcing, rationalisation, target driven methods, standarisation lead not to the intended outcome of increased efficiency and lower costs, by higher costs, demoralisation and customer disatisfaction.

The main guy, John Seddon is a brilliant, thought provoking and eloquent speaker that manages to make you laugh, cry and shout in agreement.

Some choice quotes / themes from the presentation.

* Gaming the system – if you set points targets etc, people like to maximise points and will do so at the expense of finding the best solution to just finding the easiest solution to score the point

* Your workers are the system make them improve it

* Management changes from adversarial role to co-operative working on the system with the worker

* Understand where the demand is, understand differences and reasons

* You can’t to the wrong thing right

* By imposing arbitrary targets into system you create a purpose – hitting targets, you also constrain method

* Three things every manager needs to know about targets:
1. Always makes performance worse
2. No reliable method for setting a target (i.e. last year + 10%)
3. Real measures derived from the workers, workers doing to work you receive benefits you would never dream of setting as a target

* Have you ever seen a 5 year plan that says we will get worse

* We never re-visit plans to see if we were right

* The only plan is ‘get knowledge’

* The only work is what the customer wants to pull, everything else is waste

* Change is emergent

* Change starts by studying the current system » study demand until you can predict demand going forward » you take your value demands (the things you know you are going to get a lot of) » follow them (the value demands) through the flow » see where they go » keep following the demands

* One-size fits all – enormous forms – feeding the machine

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