Industrial Management - March/April 2013

Contributors in this issueIndustrial Management - March/April 2013

Pushing subordinates to communicate clearly
By Dan Carrison

Part two of an exploration into why subordinates can’t write offers management ways to encourage clear communication. Managers shouldn’t tolerate the social media lexicon, should request clarification repeatedly and must explain the costs of poor communication to younger workers who aim for promotion.

By the Society for Engineering and Management Systems Board

MIT’s Earll Murman offers a glimpse at the LAI Lean Academy open source curriculum, which he will discuss at the 2013 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC). And SEMS offers a look at the Engineering Management tracks at the 2013 ISERC and Applied Solutions Conference, both part of the IIE Annual Conference & Expo in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Too many priorities means no priorities
By George F. Brown Jr.

Enterprises face a wealth of options when deciding how and where to pursue growth opportunities. But if you are too busy doing too many things, none of them will get done well. Using a matrix structure to analyze market and positioning characteristics can help organizations pare the chaff from the wheat to assign organizational resources and priorities to the most attractive growth choices.

Applying a little reason to your projects
By Donald Kennedy and Simon P. Philbin

Workers are frustrated by following bureaucratic exercises from managers making up rules while ignoring their impact. But while procedures dreamed up by rule makers are effective in most situations, the managers often do not foresee the misapplication that is frustrating employees. A reason-based approach protects the organization from burying benefits under a mountain of paper and stewards its assets by avoiding unacceptable risks. Thinking about the appropriate level of process adoption for the desired project outcomes can create a middle path that is superior to following a rigid and generalized set of procedures.

SWOT your way to the future
By Doug Reed

Small- and medium-sized enterprises often have a hard time finding the resources for training. But for those looking to pick up the pieces from the Great Recession, the transformation into a learning culture is imperative. Analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is a good way to find out if your leadership is ready to grow organically or through acquisitions.

TQM can encompass success
By Shawn Johnson and Brian H. Kleiner

Total quality management (TQM) was developed in the 1980s to focus on continual improvement in every aspect of a business. TQM is accomplished through an organization’s comprehensive effort to involve managers and employees at every level of production in developing quality to satisfy customers and earn a competitive advantage. Successfully implementing a TQM program can go a long way toward ensuring a company’s success.