June 2014 |   Volume: 46 |   Number: 6
The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
Don't fear the 'I' wordMy job requires me to introduce myself to people on an almost weekly basis, yet I seem to struggle internally when sharing my profession with others. In short, I am hesitant to use the “I” word – industrial.
Time for alignment?Decentralized entities achieve their missions by focusing on stakeholder requirements and developing business models to satisfy these needs. Today’s flat organizational structure requires controls, communication and performance metrics to align each individual group to the company’s strategy.
Why forecast the past?Whether matching bed supply to patient demand, nursing skill resources to clinical needs or operating rooms to surgeries, this effort is critical for both the smooth flow of hospital operations and the efficient use of resources. Unfortunately, many people do it wrong. They attempt to match supply to production, instead of supply to demand. In effect, they forecast the past.
Industrial development vs. sustainabilityA compromised environment is one price of rapid development. Until recently, the Chinese government shrugged off the issue. But after a negative report in 2013 by The New York Times, Beijing has taken steps to remediate the issue, though no one is sure when the air will be clear.
Five characteristics of effective teamsEffective teams need five characteristics to realize success, which, in some cases, means saving lives. Here's an example of how teamwork saved my life.