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"What we hear too often is, don't confuse me with the facts, I know what I want to do." Bill Denney PhD

Technology has made gathering data so much easier. However, the problem is we can be overwhelmed by it. Surveys, stats, city, state and national data sources can be accessed and reams of paper can be printed to provide us with the information we need.

A young doctor was just setting up his first office when his secretary told him there was a man to see him. The doctor wanted to make a good first impression by having the man think he was successful and very busy. He told his secretary to show the man in.

This week's installment of Charlie Scott on Customer Satisfaction in Home Building questions how new houses are delivered to customers.  Admittedly this entry is a bit cryptic, and you will have to study it, but hopefully this cryptic analogy will bring some clarity to your home building company'

The focus is the customer, it’s about their needs and wants.

My son Tyler (second of 4 children), age 29, is taking a new position with a homebuilder after having two good building industry jobs in the past, both of which vanished in the housing recession.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a tool that can assist in identifying where your areas of risk lie and helps structure solutions.

Better bust out the Grey Poupon for this one. Turrets, steep roof, stone and stucco will drive up the cost per square foot a bit on this design. However, as I have mentioned in the past, Lean Design is not about cost, it is about value.

In 1989 Warren Bennis published ‘On Becoming a Leader’ which became a key leadership book.

A recent experience got me thinking about how companies all-too-often fall back on financial incentives when dealing with an unhappy customer, yet totally miss the point and fail to solve the problem.

The Belbin team roles are used to help create effective and balanced teams.  Few individuals are strong in all of these roles, so ensuring you have a good mix on a team can make a real difference. It also needs to be noted that each role has its own strengths and weakness.

The Brady Bunch is a font of life lessons from the importance of compromise to why you should never lie to your parents to ... uh ... never walk out in the backyard without keeping an eye out for a football.

“Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it's tuna, but it says 'Chicken by the Sea.'"

We can thank Jessica Simpson for addressing that puzzling situation. A bit trickier, however, is the mystery centered around Lean design. Let me help clear it up.

Every builder wants to have outstanding customer satisfaction, right?  Our research shows that to accomplish the highest customer satisfaction builders must think outside the box, and I don’t mean the proverbial “creative box,” I mean literally outside the house box!

During an orientation recently with a room full of suppliers and trades for one of our “LeanPlan Workout” implementations, I was interrupted by a woman who clearly did not appreciate my message.

The Lean Enterprise Institute surveys show that 36% of companies attempting lean give up the efforts. Customer Relationship Magazine cites 60% of six sigma programs fail to give desired results.

They say a writer never “makes it” until he gets hate mail. In at least four blog posts this year, I have expressed my frustrations with architects and engineers in this country and those posts have invited a few terse replies, one of which appears below.

A key aspect of quality management is the importance we place on employees, valuing people. We spend a significant amount of time and money officially sending this message to our team, espousing this pillar of quality.

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