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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #14

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #196 - Seeking to obtain flawless results too quickly is useless.

Seeking to obtain flawless results too quickly is useless. A prototype, provisional,or simple manual method may assimulate users more quickly especially when it comes to visual factory countermeasures. Visual boards change often so developing techniques that are costly or inflexible are useless.

Lean Tip #197 - Those in the area of the visual are the first people to be concerned about it's organization.

The selection of information, method of presentation, and location of visuals should be carried out in cooperation with the people employed in the production unit. Without their buyin these visuals will not be useful in providing information on what needs to be improved. Let them try and learn what works for them.

Lean Tip #198 - Create a visual display of improvements where quantity matters

The principle of making a continuous improvement indicator dependent of quantity instead of profitability is a sharp break from traditional accounting. Manage and measure the process not the result. Create a means that everyone can adopt the concept of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is sustained by its own momentum.

Lean Tip #199 - Information must be visible, clear, and simple for effective communication.

In order for information to be efectively communicated it must be visible, clear and simple in its presentation. Information must be organized in such way as to provide
  • a clear vision of the jobs
  • target method and restrictions (dos and don’ts)
  • a measure 
  • result (absolute and against target)
  • managerial support
This provides workers with a sense of method objectivity and clarity that feeds their motivation.

Lean Tip #200 - Keep information flowing to establish open communication on expectations and performance with visuals

Open communication is at the center of Lean and Respect for People. Employees need to know what is expected of them and how they’re performing. Visual displays such as scoreboards, scheduling charts, team communication boards, and recognition displays all help to keep information flowing between employees, departments and upper management.

Lean Tip #201 - Use Hansei to improve your project management process.

Use hansei (reflection) at key milestone and after you finish a project to openly identify all the shortcomings of the project. Develop countermeasures to avoid the same mistakes again. Learn by standardizing the best practices, rather than reinventing the wheel with each new project and each new manager.

Lean Tip #202 - Learning requires stability and building knowledge incremental.

To “learn” means having the capacity to build on your past and move forward incrementally, rather than starting over and reinventing the wheel with new personnel with each new activity. To be a learning organization, it is necessary to have stability of personnel, slow promotion, and very careful succession system to protect the organizational knowledge base.

Lean Tip #203 - Kaizen and learning requires the right attitude, one that includes hansei.

Ultimately at the core of kaizen and learning is an attitude and way of thinking by all leaders and associates—an attitude of hansei (self-reflection, self-criticism, and a burning desire to improve). The greatest sigh of strength is when an individual can openly address things that did not go right, take responsibility, and propose countermeasures to prevent these things from happening again.

Lean Tip #204 - Become a learning organization by continually learning how to learn together.

A learning organization is where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.

Lean Tip #205 - Hansei is not about being sorry but rather acknowledging other's feelings.

The key point is that hansei is not about being sorry or declaring fault but rather acknowledging the other person's feelings or inconvenience. It is about facing those uncomfortable truths. Stop making excuses and accept responsibility. As we already know people make mistakes. Be considerate to those around you. Reflection is learning and learning is essential for improvement.

Lean Tip #206 - Use visual controls to make listening visible and give operators a sense of ownership and pride.

Use a format that encourages brief, readily displayed ideas, That is, require suggestions in writing on cards or Post-its. This way they are brief, easily displayed, and quickly moved. Create a visual representation of the way ideas move you’re the improvement process.

Lean Tip #207 - Where you have implemented visual controls, follow up to be sure they are being maintained.

Verifying that visuals are current and the information on them is accurate and clear should be on of the key items on your standard work. Visuals give you the information you need to choose the direction to apply your resources for root cause improvement.

Lean Tip #208 - Conduct Gemba Walks Regularly With Others

When you Gemba walk with others, you accomplish several things. You give others the opportunity for tailored, one-on-one learning. You demonstrate the importance of going to the place, looking at the process, talking with the people as a key in assessing the process performance. And, in a structured, scheduled way you reserve time to observe people and processes to see how things are operating and what steps you might need to take.

Lean Tip #209 - Using a consultant in Lean is like fishing for food.

Folk wisdom holds that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. In other words, sustaining Lean management, largely has to be a do-it-yourself proposition. Yes, you can call in sensei periodically to assess your status, but in most cases you will find that he or she tells you things you already know.

Lean Tip #210 - Separate improvement activities into short-, medium-, and longer-term activities for effective resolution.

This can give the appropriate emphasis and attention to each kind of improvement. Not all problems can be resolved right away. Some require emergency or short term countermeasures that allow production to continue while the cause of the problem is diagnosed.

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