Friday, November 30, 2012

Lean Quote: Inspection Is Too Late

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.

"Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality, good or bad, is already in the product. As Harold F. Dodge said, “You can not inspect quality into a product." — W. Edwards Deming, Out of Crisis, Page 29

Inspection can be useful to gather data on the process. Using that data to see if a process has gone out of control and a special cause needs to be investigated is useful. Using that data to evaluate the success, or failure, of an attempt to improve (via the PDSA cycle) is useful. 

Inspecting to pull out the failed items from the production before a customer sees them is a path to failure. If the process is this bad, the process needs to be improved. If you can actually stay in business doing this now, you are at risk for not being able to stay in business when the market stops being willing to pay you to produce results people don’t want.


I am reminded of how impressed with Dr. Deming’s crediting others. A number of the quotes people credit to Dr. Deming he notes the proper author in his book. I understand that people learn to associate these quotes with Dr. Deming, but I still find it amusing. It also shows his devotion to learning and desire for accurate documentation. 


“Quality can not be inspected into a product or service; it must be built into it.” – Out of the Crisis page 227 (where Dr. Deming again refers readers to Dodge’s quote that Dr. Deming included earlier in the book)


About the Author:
This post was written by John Hunter the author The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog. In this blog they explore Deming’s ideas on management by examining his works and exploring how the ideas are being applied in organizations today. John Hunter has experience in management improvement (customer focused continuous improvement, process improvement, systems thinking) and related areas. Since 1995, he has used the internet and internet technology to improve the results of management improvement efforts.



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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lean Roundup #42 – November, 2012


A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of November, 2012.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.

When Did Manufacturing Become a Dirty Word? – Pamela Kan debunks 5 myths regarding the lack of excitement surrounding manufacturing.

Don’t Let Perfection Be a Barrier to Improvement – Jeff Hajek says while perfection is the goal; don’t let it stop you from making improvements continually.

Using Ideal Condition to Describe Perfection – Gregg Stocker advocates that the path forward comes from determining the gap between the ideal state and the current state.

Showing True Respect by Going to the Gemba – Brian Collyer looks at the important link of respect for people and the practice of going to the Gemba.

Managing Sandy's Aftermath: Emergency Response Personal Kanban – Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry share a personal kanban system in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

You Must Teach a Man to Fish – Matt Wrye explains why it is important for Lean Leaders to teach others to think and behave with Lean principles than to do it for them.

Lean Leadership: A Lean Enterprise Starts With People - Tim Hall says the foundation of a Lean Enterprise has everything to do with people.

Eight Ways to Avoid the Kaizen Roach Motel – Mark Hamel shares 8 ways to ensure the ideas you have regarding continuous improvement gets heard and implemented.

Process Before Technology – Matt Wrye reminds us that technology should be designed to support the process not the other way round.

My Tried and True Lean Leadership Practices - Susie Sterling offers some tried and true, basic Lean Leadership best practices from experience.

Direction, Alignment, and Commitment – Dragan Bosnjak shares 3 elements that great leaders must follow in order to be successful.

The Greatest Waste – John Hunter talks about the waste of human knowledge and skill and why this is so critical to improve.

Leadership - Going to Gemba with a Purpose – Al Norval explains the purpose with which leaders should go to the Gemba.

From Dumb Luck to Deserved Success – Dave Krebs reminds us that leadership matters in a Lean organization to be successful.

Becoming a Transforming Leader - What does your Daily Standard Work Reflect? – Michael Kellner shares several transforming leader traits and how your standard work matters.

Challenging Challenge in the Toyota Way – Jon Miller explains the Toyota Production System and the importance challenge has in success.

Mitigating "Mura," or Unevenness – Michel Baudin explains Mura and talks about the impact of unevenness on processes.

The Lean System Comprises Three Loops in Fact: Design, Make, Sell – Pascal Dennis answers the question of lean adoption within the sales organization.

If the CEO sees Lean as Business Strategy, He/She will Involve Sales from Day One – Art Byrne explains the importance of adding sales into the Lean transformation from the start.

Learning to Make Hit Products – Michael Balle answers the question how can Lean boost sales by focusing on improving the sales process.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet-up: Management Improvement Leader John Hunter

Today's guest on the meet-up guest is John Hunter. I've known John since I started my own blog.  He connected with me in my infancy. My concept for the round-up came from John's management improvement carnivals.  John Hunter has experience in management improvement (customer focused continuous improvement, process improvement, systems thinking) and related areas. Since 1995, he has used the internet and internet technology to improve the results of management improvement efforts.


Who are you and what do you do?
John Hunter (www.johnhunter.com


Author, recently publishing my first book 
Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability 
http://curious-cat-media.com/management-matters/ 

and various blogs 
    http://management.curiouscatblog.net/ 
    http://blog.deming.org/ 
    http://hexawise.com/blog 

I also do some management consulting and I manage over 30 websites http://johnhunter.com/websites.cfm 

Previous I worked for the American Society for Engineering Education, Office of the Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office and White House Military Office.

How and when did you learn Lean?
If you classify lean the way I do (by the principles not the name) I learned about it as a kid before the name existed. I remember my father http://williamghunter.net/ talking about "the machine that changed the world" before the book was published. He was involved with this stuff before I was born and gradually as a kid it started to seep into my consciousness. 


He was a professor and consultant and we would visit factories occasionally, while on our family vacation http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2011/07/13/touring-factories-on-vacation-when-i-was-young/ (the ones I remember were when we lived in Nigeria for a year). 


I learned these ideas first through statistics and scientific thinking, then through the management consulting my father and George Box were doing. Then through Brian Joiner, Peter Scholtes and others in Madison, Wisconsin working on improving management and working with Dr. Deming.
I created the Online Quality Resource Guide in 1996 (which evolved into http://curiouscat.com/guides/ ) and served on the board of the Public Sector Network which then became the ASQ government division. I maintain the Public Sector Continuous Improvement Site http://curiouscat.com/psci/ 


It really wasn't until much later than I was focused on efforts called lean - probably until 2005, or so.

How and why did you start blogging or writing about Lean?
I wanted to increase the adoption of better management practices. When I started there was literally almost nothing on the internet about management improvement at all and I tried to help direct people to those few resources online. Initially, many of the resources were not on the web; they were on dial up bulletin boards and ftp sites and usenet. Also email lists were useful (very few, but at least there was some talk of good ideas). 


Dr. Deming had a personal mission to advance commerce, prosperity and peace. I share this vision. I think it is hard for people in rich countries to understand. Over a billion people today have difficulty getting access to even clean water and electricity. It was much worse 50 years ago. The way to provide better lives to people (especially the poor around the world) requires commerce and prosperity. 


It is hard for those in rich countries to understand how fundamental that is. We are not talking about the commerce of over-abundance and those that claim to struggle living on $100,000 a year. I am talking about commerce and "prosperity" where everyone has clean water, food, shelter, decent education  decent health care, electricity... I see the path to this through commerce, not charity or something else. Charity and other solutions are necessary band-aids to buy us time to develop commerce to provide "prosperity" to everyone. 


The other push for me is joy in work. People should not be miserable in their jobs. We can create what is needed while people have joy in work. 


What I care about it helping improve those 2 things: prosperity through commerce so nearly everyone has basic human and economic needs met and so people have work lives they enjoy and are proud of. 


Peace is also critical. Dr. Deming lived through, World War I, the great depression, World War II and post war recovery in decimated Japan. The importance of peace was very obvious to him. Obviously, peace is a tough goal to achieve. I think commerce and prosperity go a long way to helping the cause of peace (though prosperity and technological innovation also provide great risks of catastrophic weapons). Human nature doesn't change quickly, we have to change systems so that war is not chosen as the course of action to take, even when our human nature leads us in that direction.


When I sought to publish my list of online management resources I started on a dial up bulletin board - you had to connect by dialing a phone number and use your modem to talk to the computer on the other end. Then I was able to find an engineering professor at Clemson to publish my guide on the web (getting your own web site wasn't easy back then). I created my own websites starting in 1995. I started writing content articles on management improvement myself probably around 1997. 

I started the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog http://management.curiouscatblog.net/ in 2004.

What does Lean mean to you?
I think of it in two ways. First the way I see it for myself is in a very broad way as the application of Deming's ideas through the Toyota Production System which was then given the name lean manufacturing. And I see various tools and concepts as fundamental to lean: gemba, kanban, andon, value stream, JIT, single piece flow, A3, 5s... Respect for people is core to lean, but I see that as flowing from Deming's ideas (so I don't see it as a specific lean idea). 


When I hear others talking about lean I need to understand the context (from what else they say) to pin down what it means in their minds. Often, sadly, it is too superficial and missing critical core elements of what I think need to exist for the term "lean" to mean much of anything: respect for people, for example. Sadly I think most organizations saying they are practicing lean are not what I would consider lean. 


I discussed this idea in http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2012/05/03/lean-manufacturing-and-the-toyota-production-system/

What is the biggest myth or misconception of Lean?
That the tools are the totality of lean. The tools are great. The tools are even very useful without adopting a lean management system. But adopting a lean management system is many times more powerful than just adopting tools. The tools fit into adopting a lean system and will be used. They are a necessary but not sufficient component of lean.

What is your current Lean passion, project, or initiative?
Probably my book. 


Also, I recently started authoring The W. Edwards Deming Institute blog so that is currently of extra interest to me. I have been involved with agile software development ideas and lean software thinking and that area also hold heightened interest for me. 


And my work with Hexawise http://hexawise.com/ a software test plan creation system is also on the top of my list now. It ties to many of my interests in management improvement - using tools and statistics to create systems that are efficient and effective http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2010/05/17/combinatorial-testing-the-quadrant-of-massive-efficiency-gains/ The combinatorial (pairwise, orthogonal array) testing concepts behind the power of creating efficient and effective test plans ties to the work of my father and George Box in design of experiments http://curiouscat.com/management/doe.cfm I always have extra passion around things that include ties to my father's work.



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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Benefits of PFMEA in Preventing Failures


FMEA is a systematic analysis of potential failure modes aimed at preventing failures. This is intended to be a preventative action process carried out before implementing new or changes in products or processes. An effective FMEA identifies corrective actions required to prevent failures from reaching the customer and to assure the highest possible yield, quality and reliability.

What Is An FMEA?

  • A tool used to evaluate potential failure modes and their causes.
  • Prioritizes Potential Failures according to their Risk and drives actions to eliminate or reduce their likelihood of occurrence.
  • Provides a discipline/methodology for documenting this analysis for future use and continuous process improvement.
PROCESS FMEA:
Analytical technique used by manufacturing / engineering team as a means to assure that, to the extent possible, potential failure modes and their associated causes or mechanisms have been considered and addressed. This systematic approach parallels and formalizes the mental discipline that an engineer goes through in any manufacturing planning process.

Process FMEA Benefits
  • Identifies potential “manufacturing or assembly” process failure modes.
  • Identifies potential “product related” process failure modes.
  • Assesses the potential customer effects of the failures.
  • Identifies operator safety concerns.
  • Identifies process variables on which to focus controls for occurrence reduction / elimination or detection of the failure conditions.
  • Develops a ranked list of potential failure modes ranked according to their affect on the customer, (both external & internal), thus establishing a priority system for corrective actions.
  • Feeds information on design changes required and manufacturing feasibility back to the design community.
 Process FMEA Outputs
  • A list of potential process failure modes.
  • A list of processes or process actions to:
    • reduce Severity
    • eliminate the Causes of product failure modes
    • reduce their rate of Occurrence
    • improve product defect detection if process capability cannot be improved.
  • A list of critical characteristics and special controls to be entered on a Manufacturing Control Plan.
Roles and Responsibilities:
FMEA Facilitators:
  • Experienced in methodology, guides PFMEA
  • Does all the grunt work, finds and gathers all the data
Team Members:
  • Subject matter experts
  • Gives opinions and estimates, data if available
  • Guides facilitator to source of data if not immediately available
  • Verifies what Facilitator writes down
 Why do PFMEA? (WIIFM = what's in it for me?)
  • Increases the probability that potential failure modes and their effects have been considered in a cross-functional team environment.
  • Aids in the planning or development of processes and testing 
  • Ranks potential failure modes according to the effect on the customer, hence prioritizes improvements and controls for best use of limited resources
  • Sets priorities for manufacturing controls 
  • Proactive concurrent engineering & manufacturing approach
Process FMEA is a process design verification activity that can help avoid a minimum of 80% of process design problems before the process design is finalized.



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Friday, November 23, 2012

Lean Quote: Thanksgiving, More than Just Words

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.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving Day has evolved over the years as an important holiday. It is not just about feasting and merrymaking. The tradition of Thanksgiving dinner teaches us to appreciate the finer things in life. It is about showing one's gratitude for the blessings that we are showered with. In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Thanksgiving, take a moment to focus on what being thankful is all about. 

Being thankful for what we already have is probably the most powerful tool of positive thinking. The ability to notice what we already have and to consider ourselves blessed with it truly unlocks the door to abundance and to feeling good.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for reading, following, and supporting A Lean Journey Blog. You make sharing my thoughts more rewarding than I would have imagined.

As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, may we vow to live not just this day but every day with a grateful heart and to use our blessings to bless others.



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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to You!



Thanksgiving Friends

Thanksgiving is a time
For reviewing what we treasure,
The people we hold dear,
Who give us so much pleasure.

Without you as my friend,
Life would be a bore;
Having you in my life
Is what I’m thankful for.

By Joanna Fuchs

I would be remiss if I did not take time to thank all of you for reading, following, and supporting A Lean Journey Blog. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my journey in Lean with you. You make sharing my thoughts more rewarding than I would have imagined.   



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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Paul Akers Shares Tips for Morning Meetings

What's the point of the morning meeting? Paul Akers says it is about building a team. You can not build a team when the leader is talking. The leader must ask employees questions so they talk. When employees talk you are building a team.  What do you ask? Ask them "what bugs you?" Problems are not the employees fault. Management is to blame.

Paul shares a number of tips about establishing your own morning meeting.



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