Columbia Falls is not a redundant facility

We’ve been here before. We’ve listened to a major employer who for decades said one thing and often did another. We’ve heard whispers and listened to double talk about what’s in the ground (or isn’t) and about plans to reopen and what the future holds. Our future is not our past. We’ve seen Plum Creek […]

The importance of performance metrics

Last time, we talked about metrics that answer questions to help you increase sales. Metrics aren’t solely about sales and marketing. Quality and performance metrics drive your business. Can you identify a few that would cause serious concern if they changed by as little as five percent? If there are, how are you monitoring them? Monitoring […]

Half of China’s companies do this

Recently, I was reading a story in the New York Times about a Chinese city’s effort to vastly expand their use of industrial robotics. The story’s video hits home 98 seconds in. The official being interviewed indicates that the city’s goal is to reduce the number of employees by half and finishes his sentence by […]

Senate may drop the soap (maker)

About six years ago, there was a big fuss about the CPSIA, a law that was written to sharply reduce lead in clothing, toys and other items made for children under 12. Why lead? Lead poisoning causes developmental and neurological damage in young children, including by breathing dust from peeling lead paint. I made some noise about the law as […]

Perfect is the enemy of done – or is it?

A couple of weeks ago, NASA celebrated the one year anniversary of Curiosity Rover landing on Mars. As someone who has been taking pictures since the ’60s, I still find it amazing that we can tell a satellite orbiting Mars to take a picture of a Jeep-size spacecraft parachuting to its landing 62 million miles away […]

What isn’t Amazon going to change?

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography During Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) November re:Invent conference, there were a number of interesting talks. Psst…Don’t run away, not-interested-in-technology folks, this is barely about tech if you look closely. I got the most out of the sessions centered around the strategic design decisions that Amazon.com (an AWS customer) and other […]

How does your industry organization help you?

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video This past weekend, I spoke at a national organization’s regional trade show here in the Rocky Mountain West. As you might expect, we talked about personalizing their businesses – in their very narrow market context. What always makes me wonder about these events is why they aren’t standing […]

Have you perfected the art of flawless first time deployment?

Curiosity’s shadow through the lens’ dust cover. Credit: NASA Anyone who has built something for public sale has felt both the pain and joy of deployment. Last night’s Mars Curiosity landing was a deployment that every software team or product developer should be in awe of. That highly complex, if not seemingly crazy Mars Curiosity […]

The Right Kind of Work

photo credit: m.a.x   Productivity is pretty important, but it had better apply to the right sort of work. Even if your employees are incredibly efficient at whatever they do, if their work no longer brings substantial value to the table, your business could evaporate. The failure to automate the work that can and should […]

Producing Trust

photo credit: audreyjm529 Last time (in the context of being trusted, and what a business must do to re-establish trust), I talked briefly about vendors who announce software years before they plan to ship it, including firms that never ship what they’ve announced and taken payment for. On occasion, early announcements are a legal requirement […]