Tag Archives: IT

From Supply Chain IT to IT Supply Chain

We are all well acquainted with the story of “the cobbler’s son,” whose father can’t keep his own children shod. Likewise, there is the saying “Physician, heal thyself,” which suggests the problems a doctor faces when he or she undertakes self-diagnosis. Then there’s the advice: “When going into a barbershop, always choose the barber with the worst haircut: He’s the one who’s been giving the other barbers their great haircuts.” And so on and so forth. In business we have our own funny stories. HR has problems with staffing and IT has problems when it seeks to automate its own services. Finance, remarkably, is immune; I’ve never heard of controllers being not able to manage their own budgets. At HP, we had the experience of “Physician heal thyself” when applying business analysis (read supply chain management) to IT processes, with some good results, and I’ll share with you the way we approached this. Continue reading

If I Had a Hammer

“When you have a hammer,” so the saying goes, “everything looks like a nail.” The implication, of course, is that when you have a good problem-solving technique, you tend to look at every problem and see examples of problems that would benefit from the use of your technique. By extension, this saying suggests that people with hammers often try to use them when they are completely inappropriate. Continue reading

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

By Any Other Name

Confused by the term Supply Chain “Process Management”? It’s been a constant, low-level struggle for us in communicating about our work, something like a lowgrade cold you can never seem to shake off. There are at least two different problems with the name, and unfortunately, they get mutually reinforced. Continue reading