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

Goalpost Quality – Taguchi Losses and SPC

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

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

Unextended Lean – The Whirlpool Experience

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Last August Whirlpool announced it would be closing the Evansville, Indiana plant and building a new plant in Mexico.  A recent article here talks about how they have been removing equipment slowly from the plant and re-installing it elsewhere, all while continuing to make product.  Evolving Excellence has had previous posts regarding Whirlpool and this facility in particular way back in 2006.  Paul Coburn, vice president of Whirlpool’s Evansville Division is quoted:

In the last six months we have delivered strong results in spite of having to see a good deal of our equipment taken out of the building and moved to its new location. I believe that it is a testament to your character that you have continued to work hard to preserve the positive reputation of the Evansville workforce during this period. Continue reading