Almost Standard Work: 6 Pieces, 5 Steps and 3 Mistakes

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Several weeks ago I posted an article related to building a pinewood derby car. After superior engineering, cutting edge tribology and a monster paint job, we didn’t bring anything home except the car and hopes of a better race next year. So our next project was at Lowe’s. 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

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

Gemba Walks…Don’t Forget to Teach!

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

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

Pinewood Derby Cars, Standard Work and Training

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]It is Pinewood Derby Car season and working with a 6 year old who wants to use a coping saw, spray paint, and lead weights just sends chills down my spine. One thing that is helping get me through this process without a mental meltdown or trip to the hospital is reflecting on how a new associate, the 6 year old mentioned above, and I, the supposed reasonable adult or Supervisor go through the derby car making process and how Standard Work and training would help the manufacture of the car, calm my nerves, and make a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Continue reading

5S – Shadows Boards Are Bad and Reflection is Good

Photo by dabdiputs under Creative Common Attribution

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]

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.

Continue reading