Happy New Year from the People of Lean Is Good

Bryan, Scott, and I wish you a happy, safe, and prosperous 2010.  We would also like to thank you for the attention that you have given us and the thoughts and ideas that you have shared with us on this blog.

Bruce

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

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).

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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

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

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

Ambiguous Visual Controls – Denver Airport

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I wrapped up a week in a sister plant helping a great group of people improve their PM compliance.  I’m not kidding, this was a great group.  They were scope creepers so I had to herd cats a little bit now and then, but that’s a good problem.  This team was strate up wicked – biased toward action.  Thanks Robert, Kim, Ben, Scott, Paul, RJ, Mike, Mike, and Mike.  I had a great time.  I really didn’t want to be a pain in the a#s guys, but….  Inside joke.

Anyway, we report out, I go to the airport, check my bag (singular – for $20!), and head for gate A34 anxious to clear security, find a cold Fat Tire, and reflect on Continue reading

5S – Shadows Boards Are Bad and Reflection is Good

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I’m doing a gemba walk and I find a tool setting on a piece of equipment.  I look at the shadow board for the area which is about 12 feet away.  What should I do?

  1. Pick the tool up and put it in its place.
  2. Deduct one point on the 5S audit form.
  3. Stand in an imaginary 30″ circle and watch what happens to the tool.
  4. Ask the operator why the tool is where it currently is.
  5. Blame the operator and take the appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the collective bargained agreement or the employee handbook whichever applies.
  6. Some other distractor that I can’t come up with right now.

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Lean Is Good College Bowl Mania Group

I have created a an ESPN College Bowl Mania Group.  Nothing to win except bragging rights (ESPN is giving away $2,000 for 1st and $450 for second for the winners of the OVERALL competition – that is everybody who enters ANY group.)  The winner of our group will be officially dubbed the “Lean thinking college football GURU” here on the pages of this illustrious blog.  Here is the link:

ESPN College Bowl Mania

First create your entry.

Click on the “My Groups” tab and search on Lean Is Good.

The password is “batchesarebad”.

Good luck to all who have the courage to compete!

Bruce

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Lean Implementation – When to Pull

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Kevin Meyer at the Evolving Excellence blog does a nice series called 5 Questions in which he asks various people associated with lean five questions (good name for this series). I find myself implementing either lean or continuous improvement at my third organization and something that Michael Balle talked about a few months ago when he was answering Kevin’s 5 questions got me thinking (here is the post with Michael’s 5 answers to Kevin’s 5 questions) about when you should begin perfecting your value stream (create stability, eliminate waste, etc) and when you should ‘connect’ your value stream.

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