Managing your company as a production line

by Domenico SolazzoMar 31st, 2017

In 1983, Andy Groove wrote a fantastic book about management.

It is about how to be a good manager. Producing and delivering results.

Great managers know that they measure their job in the output of the people and departments they’re managing.

As Groove wrote: “In principle, every hour of your day should be spent increasing the output or the value of the output of the people whom you’re responsible for.”

When the people you manage are producing results, then you are doing your job. A manager of a software company can measure their achievements by the software shipped from the engineers.

Can you manage your team as a production line for obtaining predictable results?

People are emotional and unpredictable. Conveyor belt is static. How can you think to manage people like an assembly line?

The problem with that type of thinking is not that people are static but that a production line process is static and predictable. You can have all kind of unexpected problems:

  • Slow deliveries because a blizzard
  • Equipment breaking down
  • Flawed raw materials
  • Order slow down while the inventory piles up.

Let’s understand how a production line works in a simplified way.

  • You are a waiter and you need to serve a breakfast.
  • Imagine that you need to serve a four-minute boiled egg, a toast and a cup of coffee.
  • Imagine that you have to deliver them.
  • Imagine that they have to be fresh and hot
  • Every time a new customer comes to your restaurant.

All these tasks are basic requirements of productions:

  • demands of goods
  • delivering a product
  • scheduling delivery time
  • quality
  • cost.

No matter what the product is.

How are you going to do in an intelligent, cost effective, in time while making a profit? Well, you need to understand concepts like:

  • production flow
  • limiting steps
  • throughput time and many others.

In this mini-series, you will learn many of these concepts and, they will make you a better manager.

A question for you: What’s your biggest challenge today managing your team?