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 2

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
Feature image for When Action Beats Prediction

When Action Beats Prediction

One of the great paradoxes of business is that management is prediction, but entrepreneurship ... isn't. What a theory of expertise in entrepreneurship tells us about creating new things in business.

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What To Think When Looking at a Chart

In a business context, what should you think when presented with a time series? Or: a really dumb question that nobody seems to talk about.

 Members only
Feature image for Process Behaviour Charts: More Than You Need To Know

Process Behaviour Charts: More Than You Need To Know

The process behaviour chart is the easiest way to differentiate between routine and exceptional variation. This is everything you need to know to use it well.

 Members only
Feature image for The Deming Paradox: Operationally Rigorous Companies Aren't Very Nice Places to Work

The Deming Paradox: Operationally Rigorous Companies Aren't Very Nice Places to Work

Is it possible to be data driven and operationally rigorous and still be human centric at the same time? Deming — who came up with these data techniques — believe that it is possible. I'm not so sure.

Feature image for There Is No Truth in Business, Only Knowledge

There Is No Truth in Business, Only Knowledge

'Knowledge' here is defined as 'theories or models that help you predict better'. How an idea from W. Edwards Deming may well be a working philosophy of business.

Feature image for Operational Excellence is the Pursuit of ‘Knowledge’

Operational Excellence is the Pursuit of ‘Knowledge’

It turns out that operational excellence results from the pursuit of a certain form of knowledge and using metrics in business is about the pursuit of this knowledge. This is Part 3 of the Becoming Data Driven series, and the result of a deep dive into the field of Statistical Process Control.

 Members only
Feature image for How to Become Data Driven

How to Become Data Driven

The answer, like most things from Statistical Process Control, is more surprising and more obvious than you might think.

 Members only
Feature image for Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think

Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think

Goodhart's Law is useless. It tells you about a phenomenon, but it doesn't tell you how to solve it. We look at how organisations actually prevent Goodhart's Law, and illustrate this with Amazon's Weekly Business Review as an example.