Lean Is Good – Year in Review

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As 2009 wanes it is a good time to reflect.  To reflect on accomplishments as well as what was left on the table.

It’s also a time to look back on what posts were popular on the Lean Is Good blog.  Here are the top posts of 2009 by page views: Continue reading

The Great Jackass Fallacy – Dan Pink and W. Edwards Deming

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Special thanks to reader Dan Mott who left a link to a TED video on a post from last week called Performance Evals Are Bad – The Great Jackass Fallacy criticizing the “carrots and sticks” approach to performance evaluations and merit increases.  According to career analyst Dan Pink (you can read reviews of and or buy his new book – Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us here), science has been confirming what Deming told us beginning in the first half of the last century — positive intent, an intrinsic desire to achieve  beats the extrinsic motivation model.  Dan summarizes the intrinsic motivators as: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  Take the time to watch the 20 minute video from TED Global 2009: Continue reading

Lean Healthcare – Good Experience in KS

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We unfortunately had to take my daughter to urgent care on Christmas Eve day and I got to experience some Lean Healthcare.  I must say I was impressed.  However, I also avoid doctor’s offices at all costs and maybe my experience is now commonplace.  The source of my doctors circumvention is my frustration at the waste I see and pay for afterwards! Continue reading

Book Review – The Back of the Napkin

The Back of the Napkin | Dan Roam | Penguin Portfolio

What first caught my eye about this book was its subtitle, Solving Problems and Selling Ideas [tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]with Pictures. Dan Roam believes that almost all problems can be solved, communicated, and solutions sold through a process of seeing and drawing picture.  I thought I’d read the book because these things makes sense to me from a lean standpoint (genchi gembutsu, vsm, and A3 process).

Continue reading

Performance Evals Are Bad – The Great Jackass Fallacy

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Several weeks ago we ran a series of posts on policy deployment because it was “that time of year.”  Now it is getting to be a “different” time of year, the time when we have to start thinking about performance evaluations.

Some evaluation systems are based on building skills and coaching processes.  This isn’t a bad foundation for an eval system.  On the other hand, the point of this blog is to address those performance evaluation / merit pay systems that are based on “the carrot and the stick.”  This post takes issue with the “jackass” assumption behind “punishment and reward” types of evals / merit increases. Continue reading

A1 Whiteboard for A3s

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Jon Miller at the Gemba Panta Rei blog had a really cool idea and I think I am going to try it.  He suggested that you should abandon A3 thinking and adopt A1 thinking (he didn’t really say abandon but I think he he meant you should give A1 thought a try.)  His idea is that an A1 size paper, which has roughly 4 times the area of an A3 (see diagram below), Continue reading

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the People of the Lean Is Good Blog

Scott, Bryan, and I wish a safe and happy holiday season to you and all of yours.

Bruce

Hurry Up and Wait! – Muri

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]Hurry up and wait.”  That was our saying way back when I was a young, and spritely United States Marine.  Our standard practice was to arrive for everything really early then wait for something to happen, the Air Force people to let us board a plane, the Navy people to stick needles in us — the intent was to never be late, get done whatever we needed to get done, and move on (the hard part was occupying your Marines while they waited – they tend to be creative and biased towards action – if you don’t keep them busy they will either damage important government property Continue reading

Lean – Keep it Simple

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How many times have you walked on the site floor with banners about lean and banishing waste and then trip over a pallet or had to pick-up trash on the floor? Have you ever had someone talk to you about OEE and TPM while you look over and see employees without the correct tools or standard work or a clean work area?

I am not a fan of new acronyms or catch phrases but when I see a situation like this, Continue reading

Hansei and Building

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It’s the end of the year and a time when many businesses and people reflect on the previous year or years.  This reflection or hansei as known in the lean world is critical to walking down the path of success.  I inadvertently did some hansei last weekend as I was building some shelves in our basement closets.

My wife and I planned the layout we wanted to organize all our kids games which were becoming a huge mess.  I dare to call it 5S but learned a long time ago not to apply, at least fully, the tools from work in the home.  I recommend against putting together a performance plan and review for your spouse! Continue reading

Recent Poll Results – 5S, When to Pull

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]Just wanted to post about the results of a couple polls that readers took the time to take.

A few weeks ago I a wrote a post entreating people to pull early in their implementations.  I asked the question the question n  few linkedin groups and people took  ‘early’ to mean first.  I wouldn’t recommend doing pull ‘first’ necessarily.  The intention of the post was to challenge the belief that pull has to wait for a long time (like years) for a high level of stability to be achieved.  Continue reading

It’s All About the Why, the Other Why

WHY?

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The first thing that many lean practitioners think of when they hear the word ‘why’ is probably 5 why’s and getting to root cause of problems.  That is certainly a powerful tool and a good way to use ‘why’.  Those are the why’s that we don’t know.  As importantly we shouldn’t forget to teach the why’s that we do know. Continue reading

Respect for People – Corrective Actions

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We recently came across a situation in a very long cycle time process. During the “automatic” process an operator is to check the status of the operation every 30 minutes and make any corrections for process deviations.   Now that we are focusing on this process, we created a plan to poka yoke the system so that we don’t have to rely on an operator remembering to check every half hour, Continue reading

Lean Haiku – A Raised Hand

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I refuse to give up on something after one try so here is my second attempt at lean haiku.  If you missed my first try here it is with a brief explanation of my motivation.  This one is called a raised hand.

he raises his hand

nobody cares to answer

this place really blows! Continue reading

Lean Accounting

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I received multiple emails from my finance manager on the upcoming end of the year time reporting for salary folks. I found it quite humerous thinking how wasteful the requirements were that it detailed. It stated we needed to turn in our time for the end of the year by 12/16 in order to satisfy corporate HQ requirements. I must enter my actual time up to the 16th and then put in what I think Continue reading