Happy Thanksgiving…..Be thankful for Lean

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” 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!!!!

Bryan

Insanity Metrics

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Remember the saying “don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today?”  I developed a new variance of this old saying based on some recent events.  “Don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today, unless is clashes with a concrete head metric!”

The addition stems around the postponing of a kaizen event until a later date.  Regardless of your opinion on the success of a kaizen blitz for long term success, this particular event was important, as it centered on a QCO on the bottleneck of a sold out value stream.  It would generate immediate improvement to the business bottom line. Continue reading

Let people make mistakes? Tough Love of Leadership!

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]While leading an event this week, I came across a common situation that I have faced over the years.  The group, very new to pull, wanted to implement a particular piece of the pull system in an exact same way that I have failed in a past life.  Despite my best efforts through education and description of the past shortcomings, I couldn’t convince them to set it up any other way.  As an event leader what do you do next?    Impose your will on the group or let them make the mistake and learn the hard way? Continue reading

Remember – We Want to See Problems

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Ok, you’ve followed your formula for your lean transformation.  Maybe you value stream mapped, put in some standard work, developed some pull systems, improved your critical changeover times, trained all your teammates, and ran a few simulations.  Now the big moment comes and you flip the switch on the system.  You are now running to the new principles and methods.  What happens next? Continue reading

Consistency is Key for Lean Transformation

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Those of you that are parents out there know how important it is to not send mixed signals to your children.  The same is true during a Lean transformation, especially early on in the process.  It seems I have most often seen mixed messages provided when it comes to the old world metrics that contradict with the new “lean rules.”  One must take special care to be consistent especially early on in a transformation when the team is just learning its new world.

An example would be setting up pull systems and installing rules to only produce when you have a signal from the downstream customer.  Your team is following the rules, demand drops for a few days, and then they get chastised for not meeting the old production unit goals.  What is your team to do now?  Follow the old rules or the new rules? Continue reading

Make Technology Work for People

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]While traveling this week, I noticed that my alarm clock in my hotel room has a motion detector on it.  In the middle of the night it does not illuminate the time until it detects motion.  A great idea.  The room stays darker and then when you move, presumable to see the what time it is, it activates and illuminates the current time.  Continue reading

Roundtable 5 – How do you teach lean ‘up’ the organization?

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.  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 teach lean “up” in the organization? Do some people “up” in the organization learn faster or slower than others? Which ones? 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

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

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

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

Gemba Walks…Don’t Forget to Teach!

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We’ve all experienced the importance of gemba walks and know they are an absolute necessity for a lean enterprise.  There are many posts and sights that detail this importance for a transformation and also speak about “good” gemba walk practices.  However, there are a few bad habits that I find myself and others slipping into quite easily. Continue reading

Undercover Boss – Going to the Gemba on CBS

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Genchi gembutsu.  Go to the gemba.  The importance of going to the ‘actual place’ to see the ‘actual thing.’  It’s something that lean practitioners value a lot.  CBS’s new reality show, Undercover Boss, premiering on February 7th after the Superbowl is where corporate leaders do just that – the voyeuristic ritual of reality shows goes lean? Continue reading