In my last entry, I covered the principles described and highlighted in ‘Moneyball’; the critical importance of identifying and understanding the facts (this includes identifying ‘new’ facts that can provide additional insight to the challenge); do not be swayed or confused by emotion; and then the ‘x’ factor which I call the desire to achieve success! These obviously are critical to the success of any initiative in any business, and I would say they are especially important in the success of your extended supply chain initiatives. In an interesting twist in thinking about the story and the methods that were introduced by Billy Bean with the Oakland A’s I realized that this story was a new dramatization of a Business Process Management initiative in baseball.
When I realized this I thought; what a novel idea! How can this practice bring improvements to other areas of sports? Sports seem to be the ultimate level of achievement in human resolve and talent. I would suggest, however, that we should view this from the flip-side perspective; why aren’t more team based sports embracing these methods and principals? After a bit of retrospective I think I identified the reason; sports are the ultimate emotional activity! I think everyone has been involved in a team sport at one time or another and had the ‘vision’ of driving in the game winning run, or touchdown or basket, even though everyone also knows that the odds are against them. So we have the most significant reason why more professional sports teams have not jumped on the band wagon, as it were.
A final point that I want to call out regarding these principles described in ‘Moneyball’ is that these are not new concepts, especially in the supply chain and extended supply chain! The only point of significance in this story line is that it is presented as a bold new concept, or method! If you’ve followed my earlier story lines you have probably been thinking that this is just another example of tried and true basic principles of success wrapped up as a shiny ‘new’ principle or practice. Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but is this just another example of re-packaging a practice with shiny new descriptions in order to present a ‘new’ discovery in another field. In this specific case I would be remiss if I did not call out the fact that Business Process Management improvements is itself just another way of describing a continuous improvement program, measure, design the change, implement the change, measure the success and then start the process over again.
The good news is that we’ve identified another example of achieving success through a focus on facts, measurements and procedures! The bad news is that many people, including myself I guess, have gotten excited over the promise of a ‘new’ discovery only to realize we’ve been fooled again. Again, if you’ve followed my posts regarding these topics you will also come to the same realization that I did, I’m sure. I certainly do not profess to be a genius in these matters, I guess that my success comes from an ability to cut through the flowery descriptions and make the connections to the historical methods. The key to success in these endeavors is the ability to identify the key factors and metrics to measure the success.
Now for the audience participation portion of this program……
What methods do you employ to identify key metrics and even ferret out new, or previously hidden.