Brainstorming and Cost Improvement The brainstorming technique is attributed to Alex Faickney Osborne as explained in his 1953 book, Applied Imagination. The technique arose from frustration with the inability of employees to develop creative solutions for problems. Personal experience suggests this is a valuable tool when deployed appropriately and the guidelines are followed. If we […]

To really find the areas for cost improvement we must let go of our mental impediments to uncovering these opportunities. It is very probable that there are plenty of cost improvement possibilities. However, in our daily work execution we may not find the time to free our minds to consider these possibilities. A brainstorming exercise can go far to fuel the imagination, to open a “space” to think laterally at what may be possible. We have successfully employed this technique to:

Recently, I was in a conversation with a project manager whose organization had just made a radical alteration to their manner of handling work breakdown structure. There is a connection between the work breakdown structure and the financial tracking for the project. Ideally, there is an immediate connection between the WBS and the expenditures for […]

In the development phase of the product development life cycle, we are generating ideas for the product. We see opportunities in the market place and wish to explore if we can capitalize (not a vulgar word) upon these opportunities.  Perhaps a new technology has become available to us.  Our organization will want to investigate the […]

Manufacturing plays a BIG Role in Product Quality We have spent some energy on the development of the product design, discussing the sorts of activities we will undertake to assure the product quality.  A quality design without the ability to produce the desired quality product is one-half of the solution.  Therefore, just like our design […]

In our last blog post, we referred to the APQP  (Advanced Product Quality Planning) activity of DFMEA.  The post was about the attempt to perform late in a project.  The point to the DFMEA in that instance was lost; at best, if we found a serious problem, would be to abort the launch.  The post […]

Asking for more… Recently, I overheard a project manager discussing the use of a quality tool for their project. The project is well underway. Can you guess the tool under discussion?  It was the DFMEA or Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis.  There are a couple of things wrong with starting the discussion at this point, […]

Review of Rate of Accomplishment From our earlier blog post, we discussed task dependencies and how understanding these connections improve our probability of project success as it pertains to schedule. Additional information on dependencies can be found in our book Project Management of Complex and Embedded Systems. Monitoring  Rate of Accomplishment means Measuring So what […]

We see some company responses to economic downturn are to eliminate staff as if that were the only way to become a viable company once again. We wonder if these companies have some cost improvement methodology behind them that would give their management other options than summarily removal of personnel.