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Monday, February 24, 2014

Daily Lean Tips Edition #60 (886-900)

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 #886 – Doing It Right Costs A Lot Less Than Doing It Over
Why does it seem that there is never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do something over?  If you want to be a proactive organization it will pay huge dividends if everyone concentrates on doing their job right the first time - even if it takes a little longer to make sure it is right.  And by doing it right the first time, you not only increase your company's efficiencies, but you can also have an immediate impact on customer loyalty, retention and overall profits.

Lean Tip #887 - Break The Daily Grind
Most every employee is assigned a task according to his/her skill set; however, it is important to consider rotating people throughout an organization.  This will give them two things: One, a better appreciation of what others do and two, it will help break the daily complacency, monotony and boredom of a job.  You can do this by and giving people new tasks/job functions within the company or other divisions -- which adds to their skill set and a better overall view of the organization.

Lean Tip #888 - Make it Easier to Get Things Done
After removing distractions, you want to make working as easy as possible. In general, make sure that tools for completing jobs are nearby the workers. Fewer distractions will increase productivity.

Lean Tip #889 – Don’t Work Hard, Work Smart
This is somewhat of a cliché, but it has to be mentioned. We aspire to instill this in all employees. On the long run this can make all the difference. Think about this scenario, would you rather spend thirty minutes everyday on a specific task, or implement a system that will require you to invest 2 hours for one day then a couple of minutes every day instead of the thirty? I think the choice is simple and this is an example of working smart.

Lean Tip #890 - Offer Training to Build Employees Skills and Engage Them.
No one wants to get stuck doing the same thing every day for the rest of their lives. Encourage employees to take courses that expand their skill sets. Imagine how much more productive your business will be when employees have enhanced their ability to better communicate, solve problems, and find improvements. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their jobs, confident in their ability to achieve excellence and motivated to have a greater impact on the success of the business.

Lean Tip #891 - Don’t Talk About It, Just Do It.
Lean requires a bias for action. Just like the Nike tagline, you should go ahead and just do it. Deploying Lean means you're following a PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle and that it's okay to fail. Whether you succeed or fail, you're following through on Lean.

Lean Tip #892 - Discard Conventional Fixed Ideas.
Part of problem solving is thinking outside of the box. Encourage people to think this way and not in the same old way that got them into the problem to begin with!

Lean Tip #893 - We Don't Have Bad People, Just Bad Processes.
For the most part, this is true. By concentrating on the process and building continuous improvement there, you will have the culture change that you're looking for.

Lean Tip #894 - Do Not Seek Perfection. Do It Right Away.
Taiichi Ohno used to regularly nag at people not to let a quality problem "escape" to the next customer. You've got to stop what you're doing, put a countermeasure on it and do it right away.

Lean Tip #895 - Correct Mistakes Immediately.
You've got to fix mistakes immediately. Don't wait for the next shift to do it. Don't wait for the weekend to do it. Don't wait for maintenance to do it. Quality depends on immediate action to correct mistakes.

Lean Tip #896 - Do Not Spend Money For Kaizen.
It is not necessary to spend money to fix every problem. All that proves is that you have a lot of money. I don't care whether you're in manufacturing or health care, you don't have "extra" money. Toyota says that they use their wits, not their wallets, for continuous improvement.

Lean Tip #897 - Question Everything. Ask "Why" Five Times.
A brilliantly simple root cause problem-solving tool, asking why five times becomes easier the more you do it. Adopting this as a default way of looking at things will aid, not only your problem solving, but other areas, too.

Lean Tip #898 - Ideas are Infinite. Execution is the Key.
This simple maxim is often overlooked as people get caught up in meetings and so on. You've got to be the change you want to see, not the change you'd like to see. It's the same as not confusing better with best. You want to move to better right away, not take forever working out what "best" looks like.
Lean Tip #899 - Take No Action and Nothing Will Happen.
If you do nothing, nothing changes. Be aware of items that stall your action. It's better to have a 50-percent reduction in waste right away than it is to take no action and hope for a 100-percent reduction in waste sometime in the future.

Lean Tip #900 - Kaizen Starts With Taking a Look at the Actual Place of Work. Continuous improvement efforts must start with a trip to the Gemba. The Gemba might often be the factory floor, but people forget about Lean in the office, where half of the work starts out being late! It's easy to see waste on the floor, but it's harder (at first) to see waste in the office or other value streams. Going to the Gemba will make it easier.

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