Management Improvement Carnival #50

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John Hunter asked us to host this edition of the Management Improvement Carnival, and of course, we are delighted to oblige! Here are some recent articles about topics that are near and dear to our hearts. Submit your nominations for management posts to include in future editions of the Carnival.

  • Australia learns about outsourcing costs by Kevin Meyer: The decision to outsource work overseas is often driven by a mass-production mentality that yields predictably disappointing results.
  • Blinders of Supply Chain Complexity by Kevin Meyer: Another day, another article trying to figure out how to simplify global supply chains…
  • Starbucks queue by Kevin Meyer (sorry just can’t get enough of Kevin this month): A simple visual control can help your friendly coffee shop staff level out response times in the face of irregular demand (something about this example looks familiar!).
  • Is kanban only suitable for mature teams? by Karl Scotland: As Lean methods take root in the world of software development, some familiar questions appear regarding their adoption.
  • Exploit the workers! by Pascal Van Cauwenberghe: A provocatively titled anecdote about applying Theory of Constraints to software development teams.
  • Real Options by Al Priest: An everyday example of using real options to make decisions under risk and uncertainty.
  • Is ‘Design To Cost’ better than ‘Estimation of Cost’: I think so! by Tom Gilb. “[Time and cost estimates] are an old custom, intended to prevent overruns, and to give management some feeling that the job will get done in time at a reasonable cost. But they do not in fact prevent overruns or assure value.”
  • Nailing the nominals by Eric Brechner. It is easy for engineers or methodologists to get carried away with exotic optimizations. You have to start with everyday discipline about the basics.
  • 7 habits of highly effective program managers by J.D. Meier: Microsoft has a lot of Program Managers. What do the some of the best ones have in common?
  • Are cocky developers worth it? by  Eric Spiegel.  Prima donna software developers can be encouraged by a heroic “performance review” culture.  But as Mary Poppendieck says, software development is a team sport.
  • Where did middle managers come from? by Jeffrey Krames:  A new anecdote from a conversation with Peter Drucker, which leaves the reader wondering…where should middle managers be heading?