Category Archives: Frameworks

Homeland Security Supply Chain

Since the HP Merger and the merger of several government agencies into the Department of Homeland Security overlapped in time, many in HP have been approached to learn what made the HP merger work, what were the best practices, and what were our experiences which could shed light on the government version’s inner workings. This is of particular interest to me: my first experience of the HP merger, in the ‘Cleanroom’ was sitting in a boardroom reviewing the scope and organization, while my Blackberry kept buzzing me. Others in the room also kept picking up their Blackberries and peering intently. Finally someone spoke up – “I’m getting a newsflash that a 747 has hit the World Trade Center”. It was 11 September 2001, and the World Trade Center attacks marked for many of us the beginning of work on the HP/Compaq merger. It’s hard not to see the HP merger and the Homeland Security merger as twins, given birth at the same time, but different parents. Identical Cousins perhaps. Continue reading

Unsolved Problems

I have a certain fondness for reading about mathematics. One topic that I find especially interesting concerns the “great unsolved problems” in mathematics. A good example is Fermat’s Last Theorem. Fermat conjectured that there are no whole-number solutions for the equation

an + bn = cn,

where a, b, c, and n are all integers.[1] I don’t lay awake at night thinking about such problems, but it is interesting to read about the various strategies mathematicians have attempted as they struggled to solve these problems.

I think there are also a handful of “great unsolved problems” in Supply Chain process management which are very simple to state, painfully difficult to solve, and, if completely solved, would radically change the entire field. Continue reading

Supermodel

You know, I like a sexy powerpoint presentation as much as the next person, with nice graphics, well-thought out visuals, and chewy data. I’m a fan of Tufte, and of McLuhan, and always looking to better how I convey information. But there’s a problem which lurks in supply chain improvement efforts, and my team has to stress over and over to ‘the beginners’: the point of the project is not to create beautiful models, but to improve business performance. Continue reading

Bootstrapping

When Paul Harmon asked me to write a column for Business Process Trends about my experiences as Senior Director of IT Business Process Management at Hewlett Packard, I felt that it would be a wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts on some of the problems and the opportunities involved in setting up a BP change organization. At least I can provide some insights on some of the twists in the road and how to recognize milestones along the way. Continue reading