September 2014 |   Volume: 46 |   Number: 9
The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
Wowing customers beats tricking themThe business world is going through a disturbing shift away from being customer-focused – a goal I'm not sure we had completely reached to begin with. Instead of providing great product or service value, it seems like more organizations are taking away what a customer gets while charging more. This game tries to fool, not satisfy, customers.
The seven deadly sins of project managementSeasoned project managers develop a broad range of skills, including critical thinking skills, organization and the ability to work with people. The most important relates to the ability to implement change successfully. Projects that don’t involve significant change probably do not add enough value to justify the cost and time.
A perfect call to actionThe recent PCAST report titled "Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement through Systems Engineering" asserted that "healthcare costs now approach a fifth of the economy, and careful reviews suggest that a significant portion of those costs does not lead to better health or better care." This is embarrassing, considering systems engineering methodologies have succeeded in almost every other industry.
The why of 'decoupling'Decoupling has been popularized by the U.N. Environment Programme to describe reducing the rate of resources used per unit of economic activity. I have participated in several meetings of the Environment Programme's International Resource Panel, which has been researching the complex and dynamic macro-scale relationships between population growth, consumer demand, material resources availability and environmental impacts.