Lean Is Good Blog Survey #1 – Results

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

About a week ago I asked the readers of this blog to take a few minutes to respond to the first survey of the blog.  First, I would like to thank all of you who took the time to share with me.

Second, here are the results: Continue reading


Leadership for Lean – Humility

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

In  a Q&A in Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, Harvard Business Professor William George, author of 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, talks about seven leadership lessons for weathering crisis.  It’s a good read.  One of the lessons is, “Face reality, starting with yourself.”

Lean thinkers will recognize this as hansei or self-reflection.  Professor George argues that leaders have to be humble enough to admit weaknesses and flaws that they see. Continue reading

Interesting Poka Yoke

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

We bought a new kitchen table yesterday and found an interesting mistake proofing system for all the nuts, bolts, and washers that are needed for assembly.  They were in a bag that was put inside a bigger red bag.  The top of the red bag was twisted Continue reading

Policy Deployment #4 – Catch Ball

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

How does your company roll out its annual business plans?  Do you get a huge spreadsheet with every cost possible, including toilet paper usage, broken down by accountants after weeks of calculations?  Is there a 95 page Powerpoint presentation that rivals any insomnia methods that exist today?  I really despise those techniques Continue reading

Lean Haiku – Fujio Cho in the Gemba

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

When I was in elementary school I couldn’t stand poetry.  I didn’t mind reading it, but I absolutely despised having to write poems.  I found it bothersome trying to make everything rhyme.  Then the teacher taught me about haiku.  Continue reading

Policy Deployment #3 – Creating the Plan

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

Over the last couple of weeks I have posted on policy deployment (here and here.)  In the first post we talked about the importance of a big multi-year goal.  In the second we talked about the importance of real people, those who would have to execute being involved in determining the how and the support required to achieve the big goal.  That really is …The Plan. In this post I will show a couple of ways that you might break that big multi-year goal down Continue reading

Lean Is Good Survey #1

I don’t intend on bombarding the readers of this blog with a bunch of surveys.  I do need to learn a little about my customers though.  I have created a brief (6 questions) survey.

Click here to take the survey.  It will open in a new window.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to take the survey.  I will publish the results in a couple weeks.

Policy Deployment #2 – Command Goes Down, Control Goes Up

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

Last week I posted about setting big goals for policy deployment.   Now that we have decided to “go to the moon” we need to get serious about figuring out exactly how.  Many people think that lean is a bottom up approach to business.  Think of it as being both top down and bottom up.  Continue reading

Two Spirals….

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

Bruce’s recent post on recent post on SMART goals stirred my thinking about another part of annual planning sessions that I have always struggled with internally: The dreaded “headcount” line in the spreadsheet. The struggle part for me Continue reading

Happy 234th Birthday Marines

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

Semper Fidelis and happy birthday to all Marines,  born 234 years ago today – in a bar. Continue reading

Lean Health Care – Humble Before People

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

When I decided to blog I made a rule that I would NOT post on lean health care for two reasons: I have never done health care, it has only been done to me, and there are other blogs that are prolific and profound on the subject (here’s one.)  But rules were meant to be broken, right?

The story begins with Fred Holliday who goes to the ER for pain in his lower chest / back.  It turns out Continue reading

Policy Deployment #1 – Smart Goals Aren’t That Smart

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

We are entering the time of year when most of us will be planning next year’s activities.   Hopefully most of us are doing policy deployment or something like it and not just having numerical goals dictated to us so that we can be held accountable later.  Hopefully the goals that we work towards will lead us to new levels of performance Continue reading

First Post of the Lean Is Good Blog

My name is Bruce Baker.  I have done stuff related to lean, continuous improvement, and six sigma since the late 90’s.  I have done these things in three different organizations, all large organizations ranging from $2 billion to $ 20 billion annual sales.  That tells you where I am coming from.  I look forward to reading comments.  Continue reading