Wa - Transformation Management by Harmony

After the TOC ICO conference, I picked up Yuji Kishira's WA: Transformation Management by Harmony, based on a conversation with him and other attendees.  It is a fun take on Theory of Constraints, change management and Critical Chain Project Management in particular.  In fact, he emphasizes "fun" over and over again: as in working in harmony with people should be fun and enjoyable - not the painful, disharmonious situation it seems to be in many organizations.

The fun starts with these strange vignettes about "bugs" in a "project village."  Yuji's wife is an animator and created the artwork for the vignettes as well as a series of videos about various "bugs" that show up in projects that Yuji uses to highlight the various types of challenges that arise in projects from the Theory of Constraints perspective.  

The emphasis throughout the book is on finding and creating mechanisms to enhance teamwork and communication. People at all levels get lost in poor communication and the resulting lack of understanding of what is happening in the organization.  The emphasis here is that there ARE ways to change the situation.  Opening up the organization to these ideas - and transforming many of the "bugs" that block the situation - are the way to go.  

Yuji also throws in a lot of comments about Japanese culture - that's where he does all his work.  Sometimes it's interesting to think about the differences and similarities.  In terms of the common challenges in project execution, they are all there: delays, overruns, surprises, lack of communication, lack of action, etc.  

Read the book for a different take on familiar CCPM concepts and a fresh take on the ideas of management and teamwork.

The "safety bug" videos are up on YouTube (of course).  I've found three Safety Bug episodes: A Story of a Project Village, A Story of Worrying Bugs, and A Story of "Can't Do" Brothers.  Here's the first one.

Disclosure: I am doing work with Goldratt Consulting at the moment, and Yuji has been a longtime contributor to the company.  I still bought the book.

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