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

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

Roundtable 2 – How do you measure a year in someone’s life?

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 second edition of the ’roundtable.’   It is related to this post from last week. Continue reading

Undercover Boss

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]The other night after the Superbowl (congratulations to the Saints) CBS debuted a new reality show that has gotten minor play in the lean blogosphere (here, curious cat, and LeanBlog).

The premise of the show is bosses going undercover to do the actual work that happens in their companies.  Continue reading

Maintenance and TPM and Continuous Improvement

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One of the bigger questions your maintenance staff will be asking about TPM is what’s in it for me? I get to train operators in doing portions of my job; operators get to do PM type inspections. What this means to me is my job is leaving and the operator is going to be doing it and I just showed him how. Why would I as a craftsman show any one how do what has taken me years to learn? What is in for me? Continue reading

How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes.  One year.

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly”]Over the last couple months we have posted several times on annual performance appraisals (The Jackass FallacyDan Pink’s & W. Edward’s Deming’s take on motivationBryan suggests a better way, and competition among peers.) Continue reading

Rountable 1 – Are lean certifications good?

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

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly”]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.  Continue reading

Manifestation and Causation: A Short Fable

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]You’re in Gemba. There is an issue with a key customer. You have been on the phone calls and seen the metrics. Some last minute heroics of those on the floor and the site leadership “Make it Happen.” You and your team retrace the steps utilizing 5 Why’s and the Socratic Method to uncover the issue:

Customer – Where is my stuff? It is already two weeks late and the items that we did receive were not in spec and we had downtime in our process reworking. Continue reading

Book Review – Lead Well and Prosper

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"] Lead Well and Prosper | Nick McCormick | Be Good Publishing

Nick McCormick’s Lead Well and Prosper, subtitled 15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager, follows fictional manager Joe “Joker” Kerr as he inflicts his leadership upon poor Wanda B. Goode, who must suffer Joe’s dysfunctional management for our benefit, allowing us to learn by Joe’s poor example.   The book is a quick and simple read.  A few pages to develop a topic in each chapter followed by “DOs, DON’Ts, and ACTIONs” to finish each chapter (these are all summarized in the appendices for easy reference.)  Continue reading