Jim Sutton

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Enabling the All Important Small to Mid Size Business

I want to express my respect and admiration for the small and mid size companies, those that are not large, but who hold such an important and vital role to economy and social order.

I am keeping an eye to the “small-mid-size” companies, hoping all or some parts of posts directly helps them. I am not putting any distinct measures on what is small – what’s more important is to share ideas that can be put to use by the nimbler more entrepreneurial businesses, which happens quite often to be the smaller ones.

Basically, the blueprint is the prime enabler. Business needs a blueprint in order to identify and build the right capabilities, optimize the procurement and use of resources, reach performance goals, etc. With a blueprint there can be a cohesive road map and priorities; without one it tends toward trial and error, punctuated by sub-optimization. The point is, in some fashion, all the elements of the blueprint need to be there with the proper level of diligence for the small business to thrive and grow. There are distinct advantages and challenges to the small business that are best managed in context of the blueprint.

Some might see the blueprint as too slow or might not see how it can help pay the bills. But when all the obvious things have been done, you’ll need to act strategically. Small business needs to be open to the ideas and I’ll do what I can to keep it practical and applicable from that point of view.

Quality Deployment via the Business Blueprint

Quality deployment is both a challenge and an opportunity. Prime among the challenges: getting beyond tactical reactionary approaches and establishing a clear role and expectations for Quality. Quality represents a proven powerful opportunity, at a time when cost cutting options might be exhausted, even as performance expectations continue to rise.

image by tungphoto

The importance of quality has always been acknowledged. A high percentage of businesses  reference quality directly in their strategies. Sometimes it’s little more than intuition that places quality at the center of many company value propositions – quality at the affordable price.  It becomes consuming for  companies if they experience the the effects of poor quality – it takes the form of crippling high costs and damage to reputation and image. All companies are susceptible.

So, who can argue with quality? An isn’t this what the customers want to hear? Following are answers to these rhetorical questions that might be insightful, and  recommendations of how to realize the real and strategic value that is available through progressive quality deployment. …click here to read more

Business Transformation: How Is Product Development Competitiveness Changing?

It might be insightful to look back at how product development competitiveness has evolved in the past, and to consider what might be emerging now in this regard. For complex highly-engineered products, the progression could look like this. At the start of the new century, many  companies started considering product lifecycle management (PLM). Now as we head into 2012, there is expectation that the product development function will step up (transform) for the vitality and good of the enterprise. This is how I see it at this point.

…click here to read more

The Rising Challenge of Making the Right Decisions

Like a person, a business is an organism that requires many decisions be constantly made, small ones and large ones.  In aggregate, they determine the functioning of the business. There are many decision dynamics to consider – for example, looking at how decisions are made and assessing their consequences. A situation can render a seemingly small decision critical. Or a proclamation from above can alienate and confuse the people expected to support it. Of course some decisions are more easily made in the proverbial vacuum. And how often is it  that someone with a business need or opportunity is unable to make the decision and is unable to see the path to influence it and get it properly made? Decisions are fundamental to performance, governance, risk management, and control.

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

…click here to read more

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