Great Post – The Silly Cycle

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]Just came across a great post here by Christian Paulsen at the Lean Leadership Blog.  He compares the PDCA cycle that Deming preached to the “Silly Cycle” that replaces the PCA with Do, Do, Do.  This post really hit home with the way we run around “doing” things rather than thinking them through.

As a leader do you encourage any action to be done regardless of root cause analysis?  Do you punish those who are thinking a problem through and not just out there “doing” something?  It’s an easy trap to fall into.  Have you ever felt you had to have something to tell the corporate office on a problem?  The more countermeasures thrown at the problem the better right????  Wrong!!!!

Take the time to reinforce with your teams the value of the PDCA cycle.  Reward them for thinking a problem through.  Ask the tough questions around causal explanation and experimentation.  Ensure you create time from all the “doing” for your teams to work on the Act portion, implementing systems!

The PCDA cycle will not only fix your problems, but more importantly, develop problem solvers that can fix even more problems!



Happy Thanksgiving…..Be thankful for Lean

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]Happy Thanksgiving from the Lean Is Good blog. 

As I reflect back, there is so much to be thankful for it amazes me.  Often times in our blogospheres we rant and rave about all the negative things like lack of leadership, overburdened workloads, lack of commitment, etc.  However, take a minute to think about all the things your teams did well this year!  How many kanban systems did you start or improve upon?  How many of your processes are more stable now than a year ago since you implemented standard work or process control charting?  Most importantly, how many people did you teach that there are simpler and better ways to do business successfully?

I bet you got a lot done!!!!!  Be thankful that we continue to have andon pulls to work on!!!!


Aim Your 5 Why Well!

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]We’ve all heard the saying “guns don’t shoot people; people who pull the trigger shoot people.”  Regardless of which side of the gun control argument you may be on, the same also holds true for 5 why problem solving!  Has anyone in your organization pointed to a 5 why and told you they don’t work here or in this business?  I’m here to tell you that they work wonderfully well within the proper situation and with proper training, kind of like guns!  It’s very easy to aim a 5 why poorly and give them a bad reputation in your organization.

A couple of 5 why mistakes that I see and make myself are 1) guessing as to the next why, 2)  mixing the problem deviation and system problem chains, and 3) implementing a solution around the symptom and not the root cause. Continue reading

Two Great Posts

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]Recently read two great posts that we at the Lean Blog have tried to discuss but I think the authors have done a much better job of trying to explain the points.

First, Bill Waddell at Evolving Excellence blog here discussed the waste of the annual budgeting that takes place in most companies.  It’s crazy to think of the thousands of hours wasted on imaginary numbers in many large companies.

Second, Mark Rosenthal posted at the Lean Thinker about lean systems and how problems occur here.  We’ve tried to address it here and here, but again I feel Mark hit the nail on the head!

Hope you enjoy the posts as much as I did!


Goalpost Quality – Taguchi Losses and SPC

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”” only_single=false]Delighting customers with a high quality product that performs to expectations is one of the best ways to secure and grow a business. This results in long term security for each player in the extended value stream.  Today I’d like to discuss a couple of perspectives on manufacturing quality products and how it affects customers.  One of those perspectives eventually relates to football, so hang in there with me! Continue reading