Topic Cluster

Operations

'Operations’ is a shorthand for ‘factors involved in effective operations’, which is one of the three legs of triad mental model of business expertise. If you don’t know what that is, read this page first.

Operations is a broad topic. Good businesspeople tend to have a firm grasp of the operational details of their firm, though the forms of this grasp can vary widely. This is probably obvious to you: there are many aspects of operational excellence, and the details are often specific to an industry or company. Commoncog’s approach here is eclectic: we sample from a wide range of ideas, with the caveat that our treatment should be differentiated or useful.

Series and Guides

The two big Commoncog publications under this topic are:

  • Becoming Data Driven in Business — a series looking into the ideas and methods of Statistical Process Control, which provide a foundation for a highly effective approach to data in business.
  • The Starter Manager Guide — a free, short guide for novice managers, designed to get you up to speed within six to eight months.

Notable Articles

Some notable Commoncog pieces in the Operations topic cluster:

Focus

Focus in business means a particular, slightly odd thing: you can ignore everything apart from the highest priority thing and still turn out ok.

Org Design

Many people talk about org design as a discipline (or use it as management consulting synonym for ‘restructuring’), but few attempt to talk about the expertise of org design.

Cash Strapped Hiring

How do you hire when you don’t have money?

  • What Good, Cash-Strapped Hiring Looks Like — All cash strapped operators who take their hiring seriously eventually converge on an identical process.
  • Inverting the Cash Strapped Hiring Process —  If every competent bootstrapped or cash-strapped operator develops something that looks like the ’generalise cash strapped hiring process’, you can invert it to identify companies that aren’t that competent at hiring.

Taste in Product Development

What is product taste and what does it look like?

Misc

A grab bag of other articles:

'Operations’ is a shorthand for ‘factors involved in effective operations’, which is one of the three legs of triad mental model of business expertise. If you don’t know what that is, read this page first.

Operations is a broad topic. Good businesspeople tend to have a firm grasp of the operational details of their firm, though the forms of this grasp can vary widely. This is probably obvious to you: there are many aspects of operational excellence, and the details are often specific to an industry or company. Commoncog’s approach here is eclectic: we sample from a wide range of ideas, with the caveat that our treatment should be differentiated or useful.

Series and Guides

The two big Commoncog publications under this topic are:

  • Becoming Data Driven in Business — a series looking into the ideas and methods of Statistical Process Control, which provide a foundation for a highly effective approach to data in business.
  • The Starter Manager Guide — a free, short guide for novice managers, designed to get you up to speed within six to eight months.

Notable Articles

Some notable Commoncog pieces in the Operations topic cluster:

Focus

Focus in business means a particular, slightly odd thing:

This topic overview was last updated .

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Articles //  Page 1

Feature image for Becoming Data Driven, From First Principles

Becoming Data Driven, From First Principles

People often say things like "become data driven" without explaining what that means or how to do it. This is everything you need to know to actually become data driven, from scratch, using the same first principles that Amazon, Koch, and Toyota used back in their day.

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Data and the Capital Cycle: How Koch Became an Empire

How Koch Industries became an empire. We draw on ideas from both the Becoming Data Driven series and the Capital Expertise series.

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Feature image for Colin Bryar on the practice of Amazon's Weekly Business Review

Colin Bryar on the practice of Amazon's Weekly Business Review

Cedric talks to Colin Bryar, early Amazon executive and former shadow to Jeff Bezos, on one of Amazon's secret operational weapons: the Weekly Business Review.

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Two Types of Data Analysis

Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to data analysis in business. The two approaches have different worldviews, and express different tradeoffs. Here's why that matters.

Feature image for Beck’s Measurement Model, or Why It’s So Damn Hard to Measure Software Development

Beck’s Measurement Model, or Why It’s So Damn Hard to Measure Software Development

A pretty useful lens for when a business activity is easy to measure, and when it is not. Part of the Becoming Data Driven in Business Series.

 Members only
Feature image for What’s an Operational Definition Anyway?

What’s an Operational Definition Anyway?

Two principles on collecting data, from the field of Statistical Process Control. As with most principles in SPC, this is both simpler and more important than you might think.

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Understand the Shape of the Game You're Playing

What it looks like when you come up with a diagnosis for your business, a thing that is necessary for strategy.

 Members only
Feature image for Eric Nehrlich on the Art of Executive Coaching and Forecasting

Eric Nehrlich on the Art of Executive Coaching and Forecasting

Cedric talks to Eric Nehrlich about driving down the error rate for Google's revenue forecasting from 10-20% down to 0.5%, his approach to executive coaching, and how to come up with small experiments for personal growth.

Feature image for Executing on Becoming Data Driven: The Technicals

Executing on Becoming Data Driven: The Technicals

A technical overview of how I'm applying the methods and ideas of the Becoming Data Driven in Business series.

 Members only
Feature image for Executing on Becoming Data Driven: The Politics

Executing on Becoming Data Driven: The Politics

Every analytics project consists of two parts. The technical part, and then the 'get the organisation on board' part. We talk about why the latter is the real challenge.

 Members only