Friday, February 11, 2011

Lean Quote: Room for Improvement

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"There's always room for improvement, you know-it's the biggest room in the house." — Louise Heath Leber

This quote is quite appropriate given Toyota's depcition on their business improvement system as a house.



I believe we can always find improvement in what we do.  For many it may not be easy to identify and eliminate wast because they haven't learned how.  These ten principles may help:

1.  Throw out all of your fixed ideas about how to do things.
2.  Think of how the new method will work - not how it won't.
3.  Don't accept excuses.  Totally deny the status quo.
4.  Don't seek perfection.  A 50 percent implementation rate is fine as long as it's done on the spot.
5.  Correct mistakes the moment they're found.
6.  Don't spend a lot of money on improvements.
7.  Problems give you a chance to use your brain.
8.  Ask "why?" at least five times until you find the root cause.
9.  Ten people's ideas are better than one person's.
10. Improvement knows no limit.

These principles will help you find waste.  The best way to learn them is to practice them.  And if your countermeasure doesn't improve the situation then just try another one.  Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process in Lean.  A "can do" attitude makes a big difference when making improvment. Remember there is always room for improvement.

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2 comments:

  1. Great quote, but who is Louise Heath Leber? I can't really find any references to her...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Louise Heath Leber was quoted after being voted Mother of The Year in The New York Post in 1961.

    "There's always room for improvement … It is the biggest room in the house."

    ReplyDelete