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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Daily Lean Tips Edition #74 (1111-1125)

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 #1111 – Respect: Speak Calmly and Listen to Others.
Respect must always be a mutual concept, as you cannot hope to gain it without offering it in the first instance. It is therefore crucial that you remain a good listener at all times, and take the opinions of others on board before taking a direct action or decision. On a similar note, you must always speak calmly when interacting with both colleagues and superiors, as otherwise you run the risk of alienating them and developing a reputation as someone who is difficult to work with.

Lean Tip #1112 – Respect: Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
Whenever you start a job, you are given a basic salary and a job description that outlines the tasks under your control. As you develop relationships with those around you and earn greater levels of responsibility, however, you must be willing to operate outside of these boundaries and do more than is expected of you. Whether this is covering for an unforeseen absence or completing a project within a specified deadline, your willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty will ensure that you remain well-respected among your peers.

Lean Tip #1113 – Respect: Make Collaboration a Key Aspect of Your Work Life.
There will be instances where it is necessary to work on a collaborative project with different colleagues and departments. This can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with their working methods or prefer to operate on an independent basis. Earning universal respect requires you to communicate with people across multiple levels, regardless of status or pre-existing relationship. With this in mind, you must always be open to collaboration and strive to work effectively with any kind of team.

Lean Tip #1114 – Respect: Practice the Virtue of Patience.
Professional respect relies on your ability to showcase both compassion and understanding, as you must make the most of your colleagues’ strengths while also making allowances for their weaknesses. Everyone brings a unique skill-set to the workplace, while each individual also works at his or her own pace. It is crucial that you are patient when dealing with colleagues and superiors, as this enables you to become a productive and respected member of a multi-layered organization.

Lean Tip #1115 – Respect: Become a Problem Solver.
Professional respect can be achieved simply by adding unique value to the workplace. While you can do this by undertaking your role tenaciously and effectively, it is also possible to become a talented problem solver with skills in analytical thinking, strategizing, and negotiation. Every workplace needs proactive problem solvers, so by taking on the mantle and fulfilling this need you can gain newfound respect among your colleagues.

Lean Tip #1116 – Teamwork: Make Every Team Member Feel Valued
Success as a team can only come when each team member is aware of the importance of their role in the team’s success. Involve all team members by sharing any available information relevant to the goal/project and any deadlines. Assign them with responsibility for specific goals/outcomes and reward all members of the team for achieving them.

Lean Tip #1117 – Teamwork: Set Increasingly Challenging Team-Based Goals
Each time the team reaches a goal, set a more challenging goal for them to achieve to encourage team members to stretch themselves and learn from and build on their previous successes. Recognize the team for meeting the challenge and openly discuss how their team effort led their achieving the goal.

Lean Tip #1118 – Teamwork: Incorporate Team-Based Problem Solving into Staff Meetings
At each team meeting ask every team member to share a project or task they might feel stuck on, or challenged by, and request that other team members give feedback, provide some mentoring and share their ideas to help resolve the dilemma or impasse. Encourage team brainstorming of solutions.

Lean Tip #1119 – Teamwork: Discuss Team Dynamics on a Regular Basis
Encourage open communication in team meetings about the team dynamic - for example, talk specifically about what’s working well and what could work better. Use this as an opportunity for team members to discuss how they can work more effectively as a team, but never to whinge or criticize one another in front of other team members. Also encourage conversations reflecting on what has enabled positive achievements as a team.

Lean Tip #1120 – Teamwork: Act as a Guide
Every team needs a great leader who’s willing to guide the team in working and making decisions collaboratively. The team leader must also be committed to reaching the team’s goals and have strong communication skills to be able to share their passion and vision for success.

Lean Tip #1121 - Set Workers Up For Success
Workers who are comfortable in their workspace are more likely to be successful and productive than those who feel uncomfortable. Factors that come into play in worker comfort include cleanliness, accessibility, safety, and ease of use of working environments.

Lean Tip # 1122 - Be Consistent and Continually Reassess
Continuous improvement is one of the main tenets of lean manufacturing, and with good reason. Ensure that workers at all levels are invested in the lean manufacturing process and are accountable for maintaining the environment is crucial. In addition, you will need to adapt and change things along the way. Be sure to stay on top of how efficient the workflow is, how well practices are being implemented, and determine whether changes need to be made.

Lean Tip #1123 - All Employees Should Contribute to Lean
Lean should be practiced by employees at all levels and in all departments at your company. By engaging people in the process of problem-solving, it reduces resistance to the recommended solutions. Rather, participants want to see their ideas implemented and be successful because they are their ideas.

Lean Tip #1124 - Eliminate Scrap
People don’t always understand the true cost when it comes to scrap. If you make a product that must be thrown away, you don’t just lose the materials. You also lose the labor and the opportunity for profit. Even if you can rework a product, you’re still losing out on the labor and cutting into your profit.

Lean Tip #1125 - Ask for Help

You can ask people for advice on what to do and what they did in similar situations like yours. But you can also ask for more practical help. You don´t have to solve every problem on your own and sometimes it feels better to have someone by your side, even if it is just for emotional support.

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