Featured Operations Articles


A Shared Passion for Place Can Make a Business More Resilient

Leaders who establish broad ties to their communities have deeper resources in times of hardship.


Navigating a New Industrial Infrastructure

Frontiers |

Converging technologies are realigning how organizations operate in an increasingly connected world.


Reframing the Future of Work

The real opportunity for organizations goes beyond doing more of the same labor faster and cheaper.


Tech Industry Project Management

Breaking Logjams in Knowledge Work

September 6, 2018 | Sheila Dodge, Don Kieffer, and Nelson P. Repenning*

Despite the well-documented costs of overload, many leaders still think organizations thrive under pressure. They have a lot to learn from manufacturing, where managers have adopted a “pull” system to manage task flow, improving productivity and performance. This concept can be used to prevent overload in knowledge work, too. And “visual management” techniques make it easier to apply pull thinking to a portfolio of projects by rendering nonphysical tasks tangible. Two recent changes at the Broad Institute, an MIT-affiliated biomedical and genomic research center, illustrate how.

Innovations in Service


A Look at Agile Operations

Agile Is Not Enough

Three impediments in particular work against agile adoption in most organizations. By addressing architectural rigidity, closing talent gaps, and adopting a product mindset, leaders and organizations can realize agile’s power in delivering business value.

Get Things Done With Smaller Teams

Frontiers |

There are many reasons why large programs fail, but one potential cause is that they simply break down under their own weight. Smaller teams move faster, iterate at a higher frequency, and innovate more for the company. There are ten specific ways that managers can nurture small teams in big organizations, from increasing visibility and accountability to being less formal when sharing information.



The Digital Supply Chain Is Here

Why Supply Chains Must Pivot

Frontiers |

In an uncertain world, supply chains must adopt flexibility and automation to gain sustainable advantage.

Can Your Supply Chain Hear Me Now?

Frontiers |

Conversational commerce has the potential to transform the business supply chain.

Beyond the Speed-Price Trade-Off

Frontiers |

Advances in inventory and sales analytics make it possible to deliver products both cheaply and quickly.

Unleashing the Potential of Supply Chain Analytics

Frontiers |

To fully benefit from supply chain analytics, companies need to be able to act on insights quickly.

Video Series: Following the Digital Thread

Our eight-part video series explores how integrated digital technologies can transform business.

PROLOGUE: The Path Toward the Digital Enterprise

EPISODE 1: Revolutionizing Supply Chains

EPISODE 2: Creating a Smart Part and Managing Its Life Cycle

EPISODE 3: Augmenting Part Design With Topology Optimization

EPISODE 4: A Digital Safety Net

EPISODE 5: Fabricating Within the Digital Thread

EPISODE 6: Testing and Validation

EPISODE 7: How the Digital Thread Weaves Its Way Through the Business

EPISODE 8: The Digital Thread Takes Flight

EPILOGUE: Beyond Manufacturing