All posts by Nathan Tran

Nathan is a west coast transplant who, unlike most San Diego natives, loves the cold weather and all the layering that comes with it. His coursework at the BU School of Public Health has motivated him to seek a career in consulting. His other passions include architecture and interior design, two fields which he hopes to incorporate into his career as a facility and capital asset planning consultant.

4 Tips and Tools to Avoid Procrastinating

As summer winds down and the new school year draws nearer, Fireside Insights wants to share some tools to avoid the inevitable procrastination that happens to everyone. From planning better to banning yourself from checking social media, these tools can help eliminate the distractions and barriers that cause us to put off important tasks.  Continue reading 4 Tips and Tools to Avoid Procrastinating

3 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

With just over a month of summer left and school on the horizon, it’s a good time to dive deep into a few great books to keep you engaged. I visited my local Boston bookstore and selected three books–two relevant to my career in healthcare and one that’s reminiscent of my family’s immigration experience–and I highly recommend them if you’re searching for the next addition to your library. Continue reading 3 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

4 Graphic Design and Data Visualization Creators for Beginners

We love graphic design and data visualization at Fireside Insights, but oftentimes, we get some help to quickly and easily create the visuals we need. The following tools simplify the process of designing a professional image and displaying data in a coherent way, and you can use them in your personal and professional lives.  Continue reading 4 Graphic Design and Data Visualization Creators for Beginners

11 Tips to Becoming a Process Map Pro

At Fireside Insights, we like to share tools that we constantly use in our work lives. As someone whose job revolves around conducting gemba walks and sketching process flows, I have gotten to become more proficient at building process maps which are diagrams that display the workflow of a process or series of processes. Just as you would present quantitative data in a visual format that is easier for your audience to ingest and interpret, the same should go for qualitative data. Instead of a numbered list detailing each step, a process map can more clearly show the relationship between processes and any concurrent or dependent steps.  Continue reading 11 Tips to Becoming a Process Map Pro

Going Lean: Setting SMART Goals

Two weeks ago, I recommended a few books about business and entrepreneurship, and Eric Ries’ Lean Startup made it to that list. Ries’ approach to entrepreneurship heavily relies on Lean manufacturing, a management philosophy derived from the Toyota Production System in the 1990s when Toyota identified seven wastes (“muda”) to eliminate to improve overall customer value.

You can apply Lean tools to most aspects of your life; you don’t have to be in manufacturing or management to streamline processes. This week, we’ll discuss setting achievable and clear goals using the SMART goals method.  Continue reading Going Lean: Setting SMART Goals

4 Free Tools to Become a Great Project Manager

Managing a team-based project can be daunting. Communicating with your team members, sharing files, assigning tasks, tracking deadlines, and monitoring progress is overwhelming to do without the proper tools, but I have learned the value of using the following apps to stay organized and manage team members’ responsibilities. Continue reading 4 Free Tools to Become a Great Project Manager