5S with a Twist – Implementation in Preschool (Kent State CDC)

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Many years ago my wife began her career as a lead teacher in a preschool classroom on the campus of Kent State University. A few weeks before school was to begin she was shown her room. I received a phone call and through her tears I realized she needed help in cleaning up and getting ready to start her own classroom. I figured I will take a few days off and we will knock this out. As usual I was wrong. The room was great. A relatively new building, air conditioned Continue reading

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Rountable 4 – Would you rather have 3 good improvement activities or 1 great one?

Staatsrat by jonas k under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The ‘posters’ of the Lean Is Good blog have grown to four in number. Each of us brings a different background and set of experiences around Deming, lean, and learning. How could we leverage this diversity of thought and voice for the benefit of our readers? We ‘planned’ and came up with an idea that we could each briefly answer a question once a week. Today we ‘do’ it, and we will ‘check’ it after a couple weeks looking for a high rate of comments.   This is the fourth edition of the ’roundtable.’   The first three are here, here and here.   We will post a poll so that readers can interact when it is reasonable for the question asked. The order that the answers appear in will be randomized each time. Please join us by adding your comments. We would like to hear from you.

The question:

All else equal – would you get three quick improvement activities (70 % solutions) or 1 really great activity (95% solution)? Continue reading

Lean Selling Anti-Lean?

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]In the last few months I’ve been coming across articles from Toyota Material Handling touting their AGV or automated guided vehicles.  This particular article in ThomasNet News describes showing off the total system. Continue reading

Roundtable 3 – How do you check that you are engaging people?

Staatsrat by jonas k under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The ‘posters’ of the Lean Is Good blog have grown to four in number. Each of us brings a different background and set of experiences around Deming, lean, and learning. How could we leverage this diversity of thought and voice for the benefit of our readers? We ‘planned’ and came up with an idea that we could each briefly answer a question once a week. Today we ‘do’ it, and we will ‘check’ it after a couple weeks looking for a high rate of comments.   This is the third edition of the ’roundtable.’   The first two are here and here.   We will post a poll so that readers can interact when it is reasonable for the question asked. The order that the answers appear in will be randomized each time. Please join us by adding your comments. We would like to hear from you.

The question:

How do you ‘check’ that you are engaging people? Continue reading

Hoshin Kanri – South Instead of North

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The other day I was out running with my dog and I experienced a troubling situation when the leash got wrapped under her belly.  I blame the dog’s ignorance and not the leash operator’s neglect!  But anyway, it was wrapped in such a way that as I tried to pull her left out of oncoming traffic, it actually pulled her head to the right, closer to the traffic.  Eventually we got the leash unwrapped and finished our run but I couldn’t stop thinking about how this situation mirrored improvement metrics from some of my past workplaces. Continue reading

The Checklist Manifesto: A Book Review

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The Checklist Manifesto | Atul Gawande | Metropolitan Books

What are your thoughts on checklists? I know I have used them in the past with limited success. The new book by Atul Gawande titled “The Checklist Manifesto” may change your beliefs about checklists and what their limits and uses are.

The author uses airline pilots, construction sites, restaurants, and hospitals as well as brief discussions of other areas that checklists have been fundamental in improving performance.

What the aviation industry found was that there were a couple of reasons why there were accidents and failures. One was that people were so well trained and so focused on what they were doing, they did not focus on some of the more mundane and ancillary processes that could be just as important. Continue reading

Reward a Well Done PM

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Most maintenance departments I have been in have developed over the years, little kingdoms or empires built up by well meaning craftsmen or supervisors. They begin with the usual reward system in place which gives strokes for a job well done. Continue reading