Project Management – Process Street

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Little’s Law: How to Analyze Your Processes (with Stealth Bombers)

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Simple as it may be, Little’s law is an incredibly powerful tool in the arsenal of almost any team. From performing back-of-the-napkin calculations to showing the performance of a system over time, this formula is one of the key building blocks to running an efficient business.

Without Little’s law, Lean and Kanban wouldn’t exist, and key elements of America’s nuclear deterrence would be left up to chance.

After all, you can’t fly B-2 stealth bombers into action if they’re all under maintenance due to bad queue management.
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How to Smash Your Business Bottlenecks (Plus 3 Key Tools to Help!)

how to smash your business bottlenecksOn October 3rd 2017, the Financial Times reported that Tesla shares had slumped after the business hit a bottleneck in its production.

Tesla shares fell nearly 2 per cent to $335.91 after the Palo Alto-based company said that it produced just 260 of its Model 3 vehicles in the third quarter, well below the target of more than 1,500 that chief executive Elon Musk had predicted for the month of September alone.

What caused that failure to hit the target?

A bottleneck.

A bottleneck is when one process in a chain of processes cannot perform to the standard of those around it, creating a delay which damages the other processes.

No matter how well Tesla creates batteries or programs its self-driving software, if the factory can’t, for example, install tires fast enough then Tesla can only produce cars at the rate it installs tires.

That poor process brings all of production down to its level. Business output becomes defined by its weakest link.

But it’s not just shop floor industrial processes which fall foul of these problems. Any business or set of operations will be faced with this challenge too. In this article, we’ll look at a couple of approaches you can use to attempt to identify and overcome bottlenecks in your business.

  • Flow charts help you visualize current operations
  • The Five Whys technique allows you to identify root causes quickly
  • Toyota’s three concepts for process implementation focus your improvement
  • How Process Street can assist in beating bottlenecks

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6 Types of Project Proposals That Get Approved (and How to Write Them)

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Project proposals are how you can get management to act on your ideas. They’re the bottom-up version of a project request form.

They are how you can influence your company’s future.

Writing a project proposal isn’t rocket science, but it is a vital skill for being able to successfully pitch projects that you know will benefit your team and business as a whole. Casual conversations aren’t enough – you need to give a formal document which addresses concerns before your manager, CEO, and stakeholders have a chance to voice them.

Plus, having a set template for writing a proposal gives you a document which you can reference throughout the entire project. Instead of having to rely on notes and your vague memory of a water cooler conversation, you have set instructions to follow, and a defense against anyone who says that the project isn’t worth it.

It’s a great example of effective business process management – if anyone questions you, you can show them the project proposal and say “this was approved, and so this is what we’re going to do”.

project proposal - approved by chuck norris

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Every Timeline Template You’ll Ever Need (the 18 Best Templates)

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Using any of the following 18 timeline templates will cut the fuss out of presenting your data in a way that’s easy to understand and visualize.

Whether you’re showing off your company’s milestones to potential investors, breaking down a project into individual tasks for your team, or just organizing your week to come, these templates will let you forget about formatting and get straight down to recording and using your relevant data.

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Every single one of these is free to use and doesn’t require an email address, account creation, or anything of the sort – I’ve just collected the best templates from across the web in one place for you to have a wide selection. All 18 will be organized into one of four categories:

  • Calendar timeline
  • Linear timelines
  • Project timeline templates
  • Spreadsheet timeline templates

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How to Create a Project Request Form (and Why Your Company Needs One)

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Whether you’ve completed a project a hundred times before or you’re faced with a new challenge, having some kind of formal project request form prevents the whole operation descending into a game of broken telephone and wasted resources.

No matter how good your team’s discipline, if all they have to go on when you request a project is a vague message and their memory of the requirements, sooner or later you’re going to have a problem. Either a project will be started which won’t be worth your time or your instructions will be lost in the trickle down to those taking action.

Whilst on manoeuvers, a brigadier commanding a certain brigade stationed in Aldershot passed the word to the nearest colonel to him:

“Enemy advancing from the left flank. Send reinforcements.”

By the time it reached the end of the right flank the message was received:

“Enemy advancing with ham-shanks. Send three and fourpence!”’ – Garson O’Tool, relaying a real-world instance of broken telephone from 1914

project request form - jimmy fallon chinese whispers 1

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How to Run Business Meetings That Aren’t a Useless Waste of Time

How to run a business meeting with Process Street
According to Atlassian, unnecessary meetings cost the US economy $37b a year in wasted salary costs.

In fact, per the same study, half of all meetings are considered “wasted time”.

What differentiates a successful meeting from a failed one? How do we make sure our meetings are consistently successful?

In this article, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of how to run a successful meeting; the 7 key steps advocated by MIT professor Neal Hartman.

And we’ll share with you our internal method for running meetings in a structured manner with Process Street.

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Are Your Useless Tools to Blame for Bad Project Management?

Is bad project management causing you to abandon important projects? Should you blame the tools you use, or does the issue go deeper?

A new report published by software comparison company GetApp reveals the dire state of project management in 2017.

GetApp’s research indicates that companies offering project management software fall short as one-stop solutions, forcing companies to rely on several tools used in conjunction.

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