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10 Tools for Leading People, Developing Products and Improving Processes

This week I prepared a lecture for a graduate class at Portland State University.  The class is part of their engineering and technology management classes. No matter what your business, or how big or small it is, there are people to deal with.  They can be your partners, your employees, suppliers under contract, bankers, investors or business advisors and board members.  You need a few basic tools for dealing with people and committees of people.  If you don’t have a product or service to offer, then you aren’t in business.  Even a non-profit business has a service to offer to its clients and supporters.  Developing, improving and supporting that product/service takes a few important tools as well.  Putting it all together and “sharpening the saw” as Stephen Covey would say, takes a few tools for improving processes–in fact, improving everything.  Important parts of that are your future plan, understanding the forces acting upon and within your company, and processes for developing the products and services.  And, don’t ever forget expense control and eliminating waste–or you’ll soon be out of business.  Even a non-profit needs revenue and cash to keep delivering on its hope sand promises.

10 Tools are:


  • Position Descriptions
  • Performance Appraisals
  • Future Needs Assessment


  • Fever Curves
  • Roadmaps
  • Requirements Management


  • Strategic Planning
  • 7 Forces Analysis(TM)
  • V-Model
  • Cost/Waste Reduction

Watch for more information and other tools in the Tech-I-M ToolBox(TM) in future blog entries and on the website.