Five years of blogging about Operations Management!

Forgive me.  I’m a bit dim sometimes.  I’ve just realised that I first blogged on this site on 30 January 2012 – five years ago!  It seems like only yesterday….  I suppose we ought to celebrate in some way?  Celebration is perhaps too strong a word, but maybe some kind of retrospective on how the blog has changed and developed over the last five years is permitted?

The first thing to say is that I am really miffed with myself for not blogging in 2016.   My explanation for this is simply that I ran out of steam.  It is actually quite hard work to blog nearly every day.   For every blog that’s posted there’s probably five to ten stories that are researched – especially when I try to be scrupulous about not always talking about the same topics or industry sectors.

The second thing is that despite trying hard to keep the blog wide ranging, the tag cloud clearly shows there are some topics I blog about more than others.  I have therefore pondered whether this is a function of the relative importance of certain topics in the field of OM, or whether it reflects my personal interests and bias, or whether it results simply from what is available from the wealth of resources on the web.  My conclusion that it is a combination of all three – but no less interesting because of it.

Thirdly, I am wondering if the blog has improved or not over the last five years?  As someone who believes in continuous improvement (see chapter 16!), I would hope so.  One improvement has been ‘operations videos’ – in the early days it took me a little while to realise that I could embed videos.   And there are more and more of these on YouTube, but their quality varies widely.  So it is a real challenge to find truly informative material, that is not too self-promoting.  I also think I’ve become more relaxed over the years – engaged in a conversation rather than lecturing.  One aspect of this is posting the occasional blog whose only purpose is to be humorous (hopefully).

Finally what of the future?  I have been asked on more than one occasion when will there be a new edition of the book?  The answer is that a second edition is not planned.  There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is the existence of this blog!  It means that the book is constantly being rewritten and updated, with new material being added all the time.  If I were still teaching OM, I would tell my students to read the relevant chapter in the book, then go this website and read as many of the most recent blogs relating to that as possible.   Plus if there were any specific topic they did not understand, or wanted more information about, then to click on the relevant tag or do a word search.

In conclusion, over the next few weeks I am going to revisit topics, operations and companies that I first wrote about and/or blogged about back in 2012.  I’m interested to see what changes there have been over the last five years.



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