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Monday, July 30, 2012

Daily Lean Tips Edition #34

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 #496 – Process-mapping is just a tool to get you somewhere.

Unlike a real map, it often only shows some of the roads on a landscape. You and those reviewing the map will determine the right roads to add to the map to show the destination.

Lean Tip #497 - Keep your process-maps simple.

Feel free to make lots of process maps and string them together rather than one massive, interconnected, complex beast. Everyone wants to capture everything on single flipchart sheet. You can’t. But that’s OK.

Lean Tip #498 – Write your process maps for the unfamiliar to avoid assumptions.

Try your best to imagine you’re writing it for someone who knows nothing about your processes. This will force you to think through your assumptions, the process, ask the right questions and get to the right level of detail. This way your process-mapping will have vigour.

Lean Tip #499 – Map your process for change not just for the sake of it.

Start with mapping out your existing processes and then use the map to highlight the gaps, process improvements and get some consensus built about what you do. Feel free to go further and map out your future processes. Medium to longer-term, it almost always will save time, money and help build consensus.

Lean Tip #500 – Process mapping is all about the journey not the destination

A process-map is just a snapshot in time. Processes change, so keep you process-maps simple and flexible. Just because you wrote it down won’t stop the real thing from changing. When you start, start anywhere. It won’t matter. Write it down, step by step, including your assumptions. The process of making a map is to define the landscape. You’ll quickly see the roads you’ve missed. And if you won’t, others will. Remember those unfamiliar who are going to see it.

Lean Tip #501 – Show Respect for People: Listen harder.

Obviously there are times when you're busy for extended discussions. But you need to set aside times when you can listen carefully to employee's problems, reactions, concerns, and suggestions.

Lean Tip #502 – Show Respect for People: Look at people when they talk.

Good listening means being willing to stop working computer, close a door, stop reading your email, or only answer emergency calls. Give the speaker your full attention, and let them know they are getting your full attention.

Lean Tip #503 – Show Respect for People: Keep your promise.

By keeping your word to someone, you not only establish yourself as a person of integrity, but make the other person feel as though you value them.

Lean Tip #504 – Show Respect for People: Be on time.

Another way to demonstrate that you value someone, is by treating their time as though it is valuable. Nothing says this better than being punctual. Don't waste others time.

Lean Tip #505 – Show Respect for People: Encourage.

Sometimes when we hear a silly idea, it's easy to shoot down someone's hopes and dreams, or otherwise make them feel unimportant. Genuinely encouraging someone could be very empowering and liberating.

Lean Tip #506 – Show Respect for People: Take Care of Your Work Environment.

Your co-workers can see your work space, especially if you are in a cubicle paradise. If you keep your work space and the common areas clean, everyone will be calmer when they are around you.

Lean Tip #507 – Show Respect for People: Let the Buck Stop With You.

This means take responsibility for your own faults and your successes. Don't claim other people's work as your own, and don't push your failures onto a co-worker.

Lean Tip #508 – Show Respect for People: Create a Learning Environment.

Developing your people shows respect for them. Building explicit (book) and tacit (hands on) knowledge and distributing it is equally important.

Lean Tip #509 – Show Respect for People: Allow Mistakes.

The real source of power of Lean lies in its ability to learn from mistakes, and to continuously improve. Mistakes are seen as opportunities to improve and not as something that needs to be monitored and punished.

Lean Tip #510 – Show Respect for People: Go to the Gemba.

You can't genuinely listen if you aren't there. Go to where the action is happening and seek the facts. Lean implementation takes place on the floor, not in the office.

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