Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lean Roundup #24 – May, 2011


A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of May, 2011.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.

'Measuring" Kaizen Event Team Effectiveness: 7 Criteria – Mark Hamel describes 7 measurement criteria for Kaizen Teams to assess the success of an event.

What is "Yokoten"? – Al Norval explains what the Japanese term Yokoten means and why it is important.

Respect People by Creating a Climate for Joy in Work – John Hunter says beyond eliminating bad practices though we need to provide a climate where people can flourish.

Empowering Team Members – Al Norval explains that empowering teams is more than asking their opinion but encouraging them to solve their own problems.

No Such Thing as Non-Financial Metrics – Bill Waddell explains why measures are or why they should be financially based.

The Waste of Unnecessary Communication – Kevin Meyer shares a story about the dangers of simplifying visuals in regards to reducing necessary information.

10 Things Osama Bin Laden has in Common with the 7 Wastes Lean – Pete Abilla in a creative post, discusses the 7 wastes in light of current events in the news.

How "Waste" is Like Osama Bin Laden – Mark Graban also relates Lean thinking to Osama Bin Laden with 3 key points about waste.

It's Easy Being Green – Tom Southworth shares some green strategies to improve your bottom line and the environment.

Quality at the Source:  Mistake Proofing Your Operations – Clint McCrystal describes several strategies that you can employ to ensure information is as accurate and error-proof.

Lean Transformation Perceptions: What We See, What They See – Pete Abilla created an infographic on the misperceptions of Lean.

Singletasking and the Lost Art of Effective Communication – Evan Durant talks about technology replacing communication and what you can do about it.

Why Managers are Bottlenecks – Jeff Hajek writes about why the management approval process can impede flow in attempt to help your recognize this waste.

Standard Problem Solving – Mark Rosenthal talks about why it is important to have a standard problem solving method.

How to Calculate OEE? – Dragan Bosnjak gives a detailed explanation of Overeall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and how to calculate it.

Lean Management Systems and Mysterious Performance Metrics – Mark Hamel shares several elements to create a metric profile to make a metric less of a mystery.

What Can Lean Do for You? – Adam Zak describes the improved results you can obtain with a Lean transformation.

Building Operational Excellence – Matt Wrye explains the important factors for any company that wants to achieve operational excellence.

Forget the Annual Budget, "Let it Roll" – Jamie Flinchbaugh discusses the waste in traditional annual budget processes.

Are You a Change Champ or Chump? – Liz Guthridge shares several strategies to improve communication during change within your organization.

Transforming Tribal- Knowledge to Standard Process – Den Wilson explains three steps to capture that important but often difficult to extract knowledge gained from experience.

On Management and Leadership – Glenn Whitfield explains the difference between managing an leading and why the role of managers needs to evolve.

The Merciless Genba – Bryan Lund shares a story about empowering employees or not from the Genba.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Service

Memorial Day is a time to remember former and present service members.



I want to wish everybody out there a wonderful Memorial Day. 

Hopefully, everybody can spend some quality time with their families and the people they love and remember what this holiday is about.

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” -Winston Churchill


A special thanks to all those men and women who have so bravely and honorably served this country. The courage and sacrifice of all who died in military service will not be forgotten.

Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lean Quote: When You See a Job To Do, Just Do It

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.

"The thing about the Navy is when we see a job to do, we just do it. That’s part of who we are. It’s always been that way. It always will be that way and it’s that commitment, drive, focus on mission, and focus on making things better for those that are going to come after us that make all the difference in the world. And the United States Navy does it better than anybody else. " — Unknown, US Navy Quotes

There is a comical little story that goes along with the premise of this quote:

This is a story about four people named; Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.

Somebody got angry about this, because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!!!!!!!!!!

The moral of the story is for you to be somebody that everybody loves, anyone would respect and nobody will forget! Expect to be a leader. Effective leadership is critical in business  - if you go first the rest will follow! You must believe in yourself and focus on your strengths.  Like the Nike commercial says "just do it".

Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Customizing Lean Your Way

It is important that you apply Lean thinking to solve your own problems. Since every business and industry is different the problems are also different. While we can all learn from each other we must customize our solution if we want the countermeasure to be effective and sustained. A common area you see custom solutions is in material handling.  This usually involves storage, transportation, carts, racks, work stations, and jigs or templates.

The Creform System, employed worldwide for over 40 years, has combined all of the elements of efficient material handling, elements that are today recognized as critical to success in the global market place.


From their website:
Today’s manufacturers are challenged to increase productivity while lowering manufacturing costs. Properly employed, the dynamics of continuous improvement and lean manufacturing can result in a 10% increase per year in productivity by eliminating non-value added waste. Our sales engineers are all trained to assist our customers implement continuous improvement and lean programs as well as the five-S ideology and elimination of non-value added waste using the Creform System.

Here is a video demonstrating the wide range of applications for this product which highlight a number of great Lean ideas:




Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group. Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

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.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet - Lean vs Operational Excellence

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which means what matters is what something is, not what it is called.  A recent article got me thinking about this and the waste of needing to go beyond Lean to "Operational Excellence".

Kevin Duggan, President of Duggan Associates, released his insights into the 2012 business forecast for Operational Excellence.
International lean expert Kevin Duggan of Duggan Associates predicts CEOs and executives will lead the transformation beyond lean to operational excellence to drive business growth; U.S. workforces of the future will be more self-sufficient and customer-centric.
He explains:
“Lean as a way of thinking and acting in business operations has been around for over 40 years. At its very core, the goal of lean is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste." 
But he says there's a relatively new business tool on the block based on Lean that’s designed to help a company grow called "Operational Excellence". According to Institute for Operational Excellence, the definition of Operational Excellence is: 
“When each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.”
So what is different according to Duggan:
Unlike lean which teaches how to create flow at the rate of customer demand through the use of value streams, operational excellence teaches what to do when value streams break down. It creates “self-healing” value streams that don’t rely on management, thereby enabling management to spend time growing the business.

"Operational excellence allows for this by letting flow determine what the workforce should do and when to do it. Standard work would tell the employee how to 'heal' that flow when it breaks down without management."

 "Operational excellence redirects management from looking inside, managing the activities of a workforce to looking outside, performing activities that will grow the business. We call that 'working on offense."

Isn't that Lean Thinking? Who doesn't want to grow their business?  For me Lean is a thinking methodology for running your business.  The of goal of which is to grow the business by adding value to the customer, being efficient by eliminating waste, and engaging all employees in this process.  Lean is about learning to seeing opportunities and continually improving them.  To me a value stream that breaks down is just another opportunity needing a countermeasure.  By engaging, empowering, and educating those in the value stream to do this management is free to work on growing the business.  Management should be thinking strategically not tactfully like many in the value stream will.  

"Operational Excellence" sounds like a way for a consultant to differentiate themselves from other Lean consultants. I think those that place arbitrary limits on Lean thinking don't fully understand the power of Lean. The point of the journey to true north is that it is never ending since the premise of continuous improvement is just that. Instead of changing the name or creating another level which is wasteful why not focus of the customer.    

What do you think of this?  Is "Operational Excellence" the new Lean? I'd like to hear your thoughts.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Second Year Hansei at A Lean Journey

Two years ago today I started this blog and as I did last year hansei or self reflection is appropriate and necessary.  I believe without stopping and looking at where you have been it is hard to move forward.  Like in Lean this too has been a journey.  

Let me start by revisiting my first year of blogging.  I entered this endeavor without a plan and limited knowledge of blogging, social media tools, and even writing.  My goal was simple: grow the number of blog readers. I was pretty successful in doing just that my first year. This result was not without the help of a number of great people and those relationships have continued to grow.  Looking forward to my second year I planned to do continue developing good content, learning more, sharing ideas, and dialogging with other Lean thinkers.

So how did I do?  Well, let's look at a couple of measures.


Maybe looking at this quarterly is an easier way to see the data.


I think the number of repeat visitors is a measure of success over time.


My Lean Quote and Lean Roundup series are the most popular series of posts.  The most popular post this past year was the Personal Kanban Kaizen at about 3000 views representing only 5% of the total views.

About a year ago I created a facebook page and I wanted to increase the number of likes on my page.  So at the end of last summer I created the idea of posting a Daily Lean Tip as a way to create a unique value for this page.  I now have over 200 tips posted and about 300 facebook fans.


This past year I also had a chance to embark into a number of other projects.  My good friend Jeff Hajek and I started a monthly webinar series where we share some of our Lean knowledge from experience.  I spoke about Lean Product Development at a local Lean conference in the fall.  A number of authors have asked for book reviews which has been a great learning experience.  I recently had the opportunity to co-author a lean reference book for ASQ that my good friend Tony Manos is leading. 

In looking back, I have had a number of new experiences this past year.  Again, I continue to learn a wealth of knowledge from so many other great Lean Thinkers, many of which I highlight monthly.  As in life and business the people aspect of my blogging experience is the part I treasure the most.  

An important element in hansei is continuous improvement. So I guess it is appropriate to ask what is next?  Well, I would like to create more engagement with my readers. I am not exactly sure how to do that yet. Any suggestions? In the next year, I would like to bring my LinkedIn Group into the fold along with the blog and facebook.  I'd also like to add some guest posts from those Lean Thinkers I talk about each month.

I'd like to know what you think of my second year at blogging. What do you like? What can be improved?  If you have ideas on posts or Lean questions I can answer let me know.  I value your feedback since without you I couldn't do this.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my journey with you.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lean Quote: Spend Less Time and Energy By Solving Problems

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.

"Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them." — Henry Ford

When it come to problem solving some like band-aids and temporary solutions rather than to solve the root cause. Root cause analysis is the process of methodically gathering and ordering or ranking data about the causes of counter-quality within an organization, then identifying and assessing prevention options for implementability and effectiveness.

The following definitions are important to understand when finding the root cause.

A PROBLEM is the situation that you are primarily concerned about. Example: copy machine malfunction.
A SYMPTOM is the result or consequence of the problem. Example: blurred copies.
A CAUSE is the reason you have the problem. Example: a worn out part.
A SOLUTION is what you decide to do about the problem. Example: replace the part.

Keep in mind:
Corrective Action - Addresses the PROBLEM at hand
Root Cause Analysis - Addresses the RECURRENCE
Preventive Action - Addresses the OCCURRENCE

Root cause analysis determines the underlying cause(s) that need to be addressed to effectively prevent or to lower the probability of a recurrence of the problem. If we do a poor job of identifying the root causes of our problems, we will waste time and resources putting band-aids on the symptoms of
the problem.

Symptom Approach                     Root Cause
• “Errors are often a result of         • “Errors are the result of
worker carelessness.”                   defects in the system.
                                                       People are only part of the 
                                                       process.”

• “We need to train and                  • “We don’t have the time or
motivate workers to be                   resources to really get to the
more careful.”                                 bottom of this problem.”

• “We need to find out why this      • “This is critical. We need to 
is happening, and implement         fix it for good, or it will come
mistake proofs so it won’t              back and burn us."
happen again.”

Root cause analysis helps us reduce turnbacks and frustration, maintain customer satisfaction, and reduce costs significantly. Put your time and energy into solving problems by identifying the root causes and preventing them from occurring


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

8 Ways to Develop Winning Teams in Lean Organizations Replayed

Jeff Hajek and Tim McMahon  discuss how to develop a winning team in a Lean company. In the April, 2011 episode of their live Lean broadcast, they dive into some practical tips about how to improve the performance of the people working in a continuous improvement culture--all in a way that preserves job satisfaction.



Join Jeff and I for our next webinar:

8 Things to Avoid to Make 
Your Kaizen More Successful
Join us for a Webinar on May 23
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/360559934
A successful kaizen event comes from knowing what to avoid as much as 
from knowing what to do. Tim McMahon and Jeff Hajek dive into this topic by 
discussing 8 things that can derail your improvement project, and how to 
prevent them from happening.

This 30 minute webinar, plus 15 minutes for questions and answers, will
 provide you with some good information you can use to make your kaizen 
activity more effective.
Title:
8 Things to Avoid to Make Your Kaizen More Successful
Date:
Monday, May 23, 2011
Time:
11:00 AM - 11:45 PM PDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information 
about joining the Webinar.

Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lean Manufacturing Presentation from EASTEC 2011

Yesterday, while at EASTEC, The East Coast's Largest Annual Manufacturing Event, I have a chance to listen to a number of great presentations on Lean topics.  One of them was from Peter Lariviere, Lista International Corporation CEO,  where he describes Lista's Lean journey.  This CEO seems to really understand Lean.  He provides a great definition of Lean:
  • Engage the best thinking of all our employees
  • Eliminate waste
  • Enhancing value added processes in the eyes of the customer

Here is a sampling of this presentation that also includes a number of great Lean examples from their operations:




Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review: Personal Kanban - Mapping Work/Navigating Flow

It was about a year ago while searching for a productivity tool for myself that I came across the Personal Kanban system by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry. Now they have published a book detailing their system called Personal Kanban: Mapping Work/Navigating Life. Most books on productivity focus on doing more but Jim and Tonianne share a system to focus on doing the right work at the right time.

Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life

Personal Kanban is a simple system with dramatic results. It helps us manage ourselves, but also lets us share our work and our goals with others. Personal Kanban creates a visual display of work elements and allows you to manage your workflow.

The beauty of the Personal kanban system is that it is endlessly flexible. Our lives are not static, and neither is our work. Personal Kanban evolves as our context changes, encouraging us to innovate and invent in response to the variation we encounter daily.

There are only two rules with Personal Kanban:

     1. Visualize your work
     2. Limit your work-in-progress

Think of Personal Kanban as a dynamic, interactive map that surveys your personal landscape for lies heard, what you are doing now, and what you did.

Jim and Tonianne take you through the steps of creating your own Personal Kanban:

     1. Getting Your Stuff Ready
     2. Establishing Your Value Streams
     3. Establishing Your Backlog
     4. Establishing Your WIP Limit
     5. Begin To Flow or Pull
     6. Reflection

They also talk about prioritizing your tasks and relate the Personal Kanban thinking to that of other time management theories like Covey’s Urgent and Important Matrix. There is even a section on metrics to help you gauge your progress. Jim and Tonianne conclude with the importance of retrospection and introspection which lead to improvement and solving problems at their source.

Personal Kanban is a fun, practical read on time management. Each chapter ends with several Personal Kanban Flow Tips that summarize the key points of that chapter. The appendix of the book covers several Personal Kanban designs that will surely stimulate thoughts for your system. Jim and Tonianne have included numerous visuals to facilitate learning this productivity system.

There are two key takeaways from this book: Work unseen is work uncontrolled and we can’t (and shouldn’t) do more work than we can handle. Personal Kanban can help us see life’s complexities and make better decisions. With introspection, kaizen, and retrospectives we are better informed, more attentive, and relaxed.

As someone who has used this system, Jim and Tonianne have done a great job in this well written book explaining a novel productivity system. This book is a must have for anyone looking to become not only more productive, but also effective, and efficient. It serves as a guide, a springboard, and a mentor for establishing your own system. And remember Personal Kanban facilitates kaizen.


Note: The authors provided a copy of this book for review.

Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lean at Home: My Visual Schedule

I am often asked if I practice Lean at home. In my experience true Lean practitioners don't separate home and work.  They can't shut it off.  They are trained to find waste and put countermeasures in place to improve the situation.  I am continually teaching my family about Lean so we can make things easier  and better.

I thought I would share one example of Lean from our home. My wife and I are very busy with our 3 kids between the ages of 4 and 8. There are school activities, sports, church activities, scouting, youth hockey association (board members), and parent-teacher association (wife is treasurer).  This is probably like most households with young kids.  It is extremely important that we are organized and have a plan.  We use a central calendar on the fridge to keep track of all our activities.


The calendar is simple but the color coded writing tells a message:
  • Black - family meals, we plan out the plan out the entire week on Sunday
  • Red - Kid activities or meetings that we need to go to
  • Blue - Tasks, things we must due by these dates
This helps keep us organized, forces us to plan ahead, communicate our plan, and keep our sanity.

Do you practice Lean at home?  Share your experiences in the comments section.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lean Quote: Successful Manager Have an Appetite for Learning and Work on Themselves

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.

"The best managers are those who have an appetite for learning and are willing to work on themselves." — From " Becoming a Manager " by Linda A.Hill

Leadership is very important. One must learn how to become a leader first before becoming a master manager. Managers provide a direction for the employees and lead them by power, influence, vision, persuasion and communication skills.

Here are 10 good traits and characteristics of successful managers:

Be a Role Model – Remember that you are the leader for the people who work under you. They will mirror you and your work ethics. Be worthy of being a role model.

See Possibilities – Good managers know how to bring out the best in others. They look for possibilities that perhaps no one else can see.

Be Creative – A creative manager separates a competent manager from an exceptional one. Creativity adds that special spark to otherwise mundane responsibilities and projects, and can act as an inspirational tool for co-workers and other employees.

Great Customer Service Skills – No matter what type of business you are in, you can benefit from having a manager who is excellent in dealing with customers and clients.

Being a Team Player – The manager has to be someone who is committed to working with a team of people for the improvement of the whole business. This means that the manager isn't in the business solely for the selfish reasons of "getting ahead". Instead, they are is interested in growing the business because it is going to be to his benefit as well as to the benefit of the other people working with him in the company.

Commit – Commit not only to the success of your team’s project, but to your team members as well. Remember: your level of commitment is contagious.

Be ‘Human’ – Don’ let your authority create a gap between you and the members of your team. There is nothing wrong with being yourself. Be someone your team members can look up to. Gain respect, loyalty and a good connection that way.

Stay Versatile – There is always room for flexibility and versatility. Be open to sudden changes and others suggestions – even if they are a junior.

Optimistic Attitude – You don't want a manager who is calm but indifferent. You want a manager who is going to approach each project and each work day with an optimistic attitude. You want a manager who will come in smiling and who will express genuinely good feelings about the work that she is doing with her team. This will help to keep morale in the business high which leads to satisfied employees and higher rates of productivity.

Have Fun While You Work – A good manager knows how to have a good balance between being professional at work and having fun in the process. I’ve known this quality to work wonders in combating attrition as well! But don’t forget, there is a very fine line between having fun while you work and still staying focused.

If you are willing to learn to be a great manager from other great managers and work on improving yourself in terms of these 10 characteristics you will find you will be successful, too.



Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

12 Ways to Start Building a Continuous Improvement Culture Replayed

Jeff Hajek and Tim McMahon latest installment of our montly live Lean conversations. In this episode from March of 2011, we discuss how you can go about building up a continuous improvement culture in your organziation.



Join Jeff and I for our next webinar:

8 Things to Avoid to Make 
Your Kaizen More Successful
Join us for a Webinar on May 23
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/360559934
A successful kaizen event comes from knowing what to avoid as much as 
from knowing what to do. Tim McMahon and Jeff Hajek dive into this topic by 
discussing 8 things that can derail your improvement project, and how to 
prevent them from happening.

This 30 minute webinar, plus 15 minutes for questions and answers, will
 provide you with some good information you can use to make your kaizen 
activity more effective.
Title:
8 Things to Avoid to Make Your Kaizen More Successful
Date:
Monday, May 23, 2011
Time:
11:00 AM - 11:45 PM PDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information 
about joining the Webinar.

Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.