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Archive for May 19th, 2009

Recipe for Success in 2009

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Colleague Annie Shum sent me the following excerpt from Slate’s Daniel Gross article on P.F. Chang’s spectacular performance in 2009:

The reason: mainstream mall appeal, affordable offerings, and especially good management – based heavily on the principles of “kaizen” or continuous improvement pioneered by Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. P.F. Chang’s made it to $1 billion in sales by taking cues from successful Asian businesses. Now by focusing on process improvement rather than helter-skelter growth, it seems to be doing so again. Continuous improvement, the philosophy pioneered by Japanese companies such as Toyota in which managers and workers relentlessly seek out small modifications that add up to big profits, seems to be the recipe for success in 2009.

I don’t really know that the excerpt above has any relevance to software engineering. Gross, however, proposes a potential linkage at the end the article:

Low-end standardized service jobs make up more than 40 percent of all U.S. employment. Imagine if more restaurants and service companies started to act like P.F. Chang’s. Innovation and rising productivity are the underpinnings of higher wages, and happy and engaged employees the key to more continuous improvement.

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Written by israelgat

May 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Lean, Macro-economic Crisis

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More on Kanban from John Heintz

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Colleague John Heintz posted today on the Kanban board he and one of his customers implemented in a few days. John describes the economy of so doing in the following words:

Some of the tools that we use include sticky post-it notes and Stikky Clips. (Note: We found the Stikky Clips at a teacher supply store, not a big office supply store.)

I am impressed: John seems to hit the ground running immediately after the LK2009 conference.

Written by israelgat

May 19, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Kanban, Lean, The Agile Leader

Tagged with ,