Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lean Tips Edition #105 (1576-1590)

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 #1576 - Get the Whole Team on Board
To get the greatest advantages out of Lean, the entire organization should adopt and promote its practices, and extend its influence to suppliers as well. You must involve the people who are the closest to the work and you must get support from senior management as well.

Lean Tip #1577 - Ask Other People for New Ideas
It is really important for ideas to constantly be discussed, some of these ideas might pop in the minds of someone but due to lack of communication it might get lost. It is really important to keep asking the team and the people involved in the Kaizen process their ideas and this can actually create a train of thought that will help the team have fresh ideas most of the time. When evaluating your process you should take this into account by asking the team about when was the last time this occurred.

Lean Tip #1578 - Do Not Stick to a Specific Kaizen Procedure
In Kaizen it is really important to keep everything fresh and updated, some ideas might have seen useful or bright before but it is important to be able to reevaluate them. Just like some martial arts, Kaizen is something to learn from others but when you reach certain level of mastery you become able to modify and use this knowledge in different ways. This gives Kaizen the ability to evolve to different times, if you stay with the same kind of Kaizen for a long time it is possible that many things that applied when it was first implemented might not work correctly now and will probably need some tweaking.

Lean Tip #1579 - Record and Analyze the Kaizen Process
It is really important to measure and analyze how the process is going. Measuring will allow to have a clear idea of how the process is working and what flaws the process might have, this will make it easier to tackle this specific aspects of the Kaizen process. Also, if the measurements are positive, it will also show how close the company is to the desired level of quality and this will encourage everyone involved in the process. Doing this will also show exactly what we are trying to avoid, the process getting stuck, keeping this measurement will show when the process might start waning or starts getting weaker and will help the team plan a way of restoring the strength to the project.

Lean Tip #1580 - Make Sure You Have a Continuous Improvement Leader
It is really important to have someone leading the improvement, this leader or group of people should be constantly analyzing and helping to push forward the Kaizen operation. Sometimes Kaizen might get stuck and this is the moment when these leaders should act, making the necessary modification to keep it going strong. These leaders should be ready to push Kaizen when it is necessary, so it never stops, and this means they need to have knowledge of how Kaizen works and they need to be optimistic and enthused about Kaizen. Having the proper leaders will make sure the process advance properly, making sure it doesn’t lose its momentum.

Lean Tip #1581 - Be Realistic and Review Your Plan
Step one is to create a realistic plan that you can immediately implement. Step two is to review your plan every three months. Don’t be afraid to adjust it. Although it’s important to create a business growth plan and stay on course if you’re seeing positive return, it is just as crucial to have the confidence and ability to quickly analyze data and know how deviate from the plan if it’s not working.

Lean Tip #1582 - Form a New Habit to Improve Your Business
Force yourself to do it for two to three weeks and it will start to become a habit. Habits don’t happen overnight. Studies show that a habit takes 20-30 consecutive days. Make certain parts of your businesses growth habit and it’ll help your business unlike anything you’ve tried in the past.

Lean Tip #1583 - Learn Something New In the New Year
As professionals, we often learn what we need to achieve our licenses and stop there. Your field is constantly evolving. Being comfortable with new technology plays a part. Take at least one continuing education course, either in person or online. An additional professional certification is even better.

Lean Tip #1584 - Plan for the Next Day Before Leaving
The details are fresh in your mind before you leave the office. They won’t be after dinner and a good night’s sleep. Write out a short plan and prioritize the next day’s activities.  You can get productive immediately if you arrive at the office knowing exactly what you want to accomplish that day. There will be interruptions, but you have a fighting chance.

Lean Tip #1585 - Expect the Obstacles to Be Successful at Your Goal.
Most people run into a challenge or obstacle and seek immediate escape. Have a plan to push forward when this happens. If you’re not ready to suffer during adversity, you’re not going to be successful. You need to know going in that making a change is going to be hard work, not a walk in the park.

Lean Tip #1586 - Conduct Daily Gemba Walks
Each department should post their goals and objectives. During daily gemba walks executives can then ask a department head or manager what resources they may need. This is not a time for in-depth examination; the action should provide guidance to department heads for respective goals, demonstrate a commitment from the executive to supporting those goals, and be a mechanism for monitoring progress.

Lean Tip #1587 – Share Information and Numbers With Your Employees
Let them in on what is going on within the company as well as how their jobs contribute to the big picture. When you keep you employees informed they tend to feel a greater sense of worth. Keep communication hopeful and truthful – do not be afraid to share bad news, instead be more strategic about how you deliver it. Improve performance through transparency – By sharing numbers with employees, you can increase employees’ sense of ownership.

Lean Tip #1588 – Collaborate and Share on Problem-Solving
When employees get the idea that their manager or leader is the one who has to solve all the problems, it takes away from their sense of empowerment, and ultimately is likely to decrease engagement over time. Encourage team members to take responsibility, and work through problems or issues on their own, or collaboratively. It’s not the manager’s job to fix everyone else’s problems.

Lean Tip #1589 – Provide Constant Feedback on the Positives
When people know what they’re doing well, they’ll keep doing it – or, even better, do more of it. Providing someone with a little recognition on what they’re doing well can go a long way toward boosting morale. This is not to say “ignore the weaknesses” – just don’t make the weaknesses the only focus area of feedback. This doesn’t mean you should not create accountability, it actually means the opposite – but, if all you do is criticize, people will learn how to hide their mistakes or shift blame.

Lean Tip #1590 – Encourage Open Communication

You can get insight into what things are important to the employee by using surveys, suggestion boxes and team meetings. Be open-minded and encourage them to express their ideas and perspectives without criticism. This means putting into practice everything you have learned about effective listening. Address their concerns in the best way you can.

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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and valuable tips. I have contact with Lean in the daily work, and any new point of view is interesting.

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