Time Management- Shaping Outcomes or Managing Emergencies?

June 25, 2013

How we manage our time is a great way to evaluate our success as managers.

How do you utilize your time?


Is the majority of your time spent putting out fires?

Dealing with unanticipated urgent issues?

Or do you spend most of your time planning, preparing, anticipating or otherwise shaping outcomes?

My rule has always been that Anticipation is the true mark of a great manager.

I am proud of my ability to deal with sudden “urgencies.”

But I believe that a manager’s highest value is having prepared in such a way that those sudden urgencies never arrive.


What’s The Correct Investment In Preventive Actions?

November 7, 2011

Guest post by Dan Vermeesch and the team at Micron Manufacturing.

Dan and his team are internationally recognized manufacturing experts, when they have something to say, I listen!

The Micron Manufacturing Team was awarded the Shingo Silver Medallion for excellence in manufacturing.

You can check it out here – its that little red thing at the very bottom left of the page.

I was having a side conversation with Dan via email about another subject that had been posted on PMPA’s members-only Listserve when we started talking about the importance of preventive actions, and how they are REALLY DIFFERENT from Corrective Actions.

I asked Dan “What do you think is the ‘right’ investment in preventive actions?”

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the response from Dan and his savvy team at Micron Manufacturing.

(Prepare to hit ‘Print’ and stick it in the interoffice mail to-  well, you know who…)

What is the right investment in preventive actions?

Years ago:

We made gage stations for each machine rejects and scrap went down

We invested in more and better gagingrejects and scrap went down

We improved and increased the average light level from 45 to 65 lumenrejects and scrap went down

We involved all people on teams to be a part of something bigger than pushing a green buttonrejects and scrap went down

We eliminated supervisors and leadmen resulting in greater personal responsibility for all machinists rejects and scrap went down

We eliminated product inspection and replaced it with process auditingrejects and scrap went down

We invested in new equipment and improved processes so we can run more challenging productsrejects and scrap went down

What’s the “right investment?”

Wayne Gretzky said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

The right investment level for preventive actions is that which gets you to the puck wherever it’s going, not ahead of it or behind it.

Thanks Dan!

 Wayne Gretzky