The Methodology Blog / News

Recent Blog Posts

Search Results: Influenza

Google usually answers your questions, but did you know it can predict the future? Flu Trends aggregates historical search data to foretell where the flu will strike next. Is there anything Google doesn’t know?
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You Can’t Patent Process

A federal appeals court has issued a powerful ruling for the world of process improvement: business processes cannot be patented. (more…)

Death to Performance Reviews

Dr. Samuel Culbert, a leading business professor from UCLA, hates performance reviews. “To my way of thinking,” he asserts, “a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense [to preserve authority].” (more…)

Flights Cancelled, Answers Deferred

A computer failure at JFK airport led to huge luggage delays, five cancelled flights, and days of headaches. Airline foul-ups aren’t exactly news, but the words from company official a were downright frustrating. Apparently she “could not estimate when the system will be working again or how many passengers have been affected.” (more…)

Mayor’s Delayed Action Center

The Mayor’s Action Center in Indianapolis receives over 200,000 calls each year, mostly to inform local government about issues like broken traffic signals, stray animals, illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles and graffiti. MAC’s work is a massive endeavor and great public service, but according to StarWatch, “they print out Web forms and send them in interoffice mail to the appropriate department.” (more…)

The Golden Handshake

We have all exchanged a friendly handshake with a stranger when introduced by a mutual friend. For Mark Gurrieri, this experience saved him from a rare and deadly form of brain cancer. (more…)

Europe Leads in IT Efficiency

The US is falling behind counterparts in Europe in providing beneficial technology services, according to a study by Computer Associates. The issues are not with product knowledge, expertise or system availability, but the quality of processes. (more…)

Winning by Failing

How do you feel about errors? “If everything goes right all the time,” writes Paul Brown in the New York Times, “you are less likely to try something new.” (more…)

Disorganization Causes Disappearances

Is it unreasonable to say that black holes exist only in outer space? To the disorganized employee, peeved by their own mess, perhaps not. Piles at work lead to lost items. (more…)

Paying by the Hour

These days, dropping $4 for a cappuccino or a few grand for a fancy flatscreen television is a considered a typical purchase, not a wasteful extravagance. So how do we react to hourly wages? (more…)

From Russia, With Frustration

If you are concerned about productivity in your workplace, you are not alone. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the principal issue with his nation’s economy is “extreme inefficiency.” (more…)

Drastic Measures, Drastic Results

Lawmakers in Washington state decided to curb property tax growth through a fixed cap. But as with many approaches, a simple approach in a complex system leads to unintended consequences. (more…)

Printing Errors Violate Trust

When renewal forms were sent out in the mail to the members of the Australian Football League, they included key information. But they also presented a serious mistake. (more…)

“La Dolce Vita” of Waiting

In Prato, Italy, it sometimes takes so long for the government to process residence renewal permits that by the time they are ready to be picked up, they have already expired. (more…)

Infrastructure Means Commitment

The Minneapolis bridge collapse lead to a widespread call for instant response to inspect other bridges and enact emergency appropriations. The real problem, however, may be systemic. (more…)

Friendly But Bloated Skies

South African Airlines may be at the bottom of the heap among members of the Star Alliance. One study claims they have five times the number of employees per plane as some competitors. (more…)

Untangling Technology

We’re all interested in usable technology. Who are the people who make electronics easy to use? Curiously, these experts are nicknamed “untanglers. (more…)

Unsolved Due to Workflow Error

The British government maintains an ambitious registry of over four million DNA samples used in crime fighting. However, some major data entry problems have left nearly 200 crimes undetected. (more…)

Grocery Store-Inspired Process Improvements

Business researchers at the Wharton School are focusing on the way we shop. Some paths through the supermarket are more efficient than others, changing grocery store layout from intuition to science. (more…)