This year has been filled with many new experiences, hard times, great times, and many opportunities for learning. While some may prefer to see this year pass sooner than later, 2009 is hopefully a year that presented many new opportunities and even greater challenges.
As lean practitioners, we learn to appreciate failure from a different perspective than most people would enjoy. The focus is not the failure itself, but rather the causes and events that lead up to the failure that are significant. To those who reflect on this past year and consider the many successes, we also suggest basking in some of the learning from the failures. Learning what not to do is often the hardest and most costly lesson of all.
Of course, understanding our successes is of equal importance. The objective is success by design. Understanding the reasons for our success serves to confirm the effectiveness of current practices.
We are presently working on new discussion topics for the new year. Overall Equipment Effectiveness has been one of the core topics over the past year and more recently our focus has shifted to problem seeing and solving. We are evolving into a culture where AGILITY is quickly becoming one of the defining traits of today’s successful companies and new businesses.
Intelligent metrics demand effective and efficient measurement and analysis to be used in real-time. By our definition, an Agile company is one that already understands and demonstrates lean practices. A truly agile company is now looking at metrics to dynamically lead and manage the business, responding to events and developing strategy in real-time. Their agility is demonstrated by the speed of execution and their continued list of successes as a result.
We have been developing some new spreadsheet templates that we plan to release in the new year. The free downloads page and sidebar widget have proven to be a great success. To achieve greater functionality, we will be using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in some of our future releases. We have learned that Excel has a few limitations (and the odd bug) that require the use of VBA for our applications to perform as intended.
We are looking forward to 2010 and remain optimistic as the economy begins its slow recovery. We will likely have a few more posts before the year ends, but knowing that some will soon be traveling or breaking early from work, we would like to wish all of our visitors best wishes for the holiday season. We look forward to an exciting new year in 2010.