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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lean Roundup #99 – August, 2017

A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of August, 2017.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.

Is Lean a Set of Principles or a Set of Tools? – Pascal Dennis says Lean principles (thinking) are the road to transformation.

What it Means to Turn the PDCA Cycle One More Time – Jon Miller says each turn of the PDCA cycle lets us peer deeper into the cracks in our processes where systemic root causes hide.

Motivation and Helping People Learn, Make a Difference, and Have Fun – Gregg Stocker says we are here to learn, to make a difference, and to have fun and what that means to him.

The Hidden Costs of Batching [Lessons from the Road] – Jamie Flinchbaugh explores the impact of batching on your processes and on your customers.

The Power of Freed Capacity – Karen Martin discusses the power of freed capacity and how you can quantify the results.

When You’re Convinced You’re Right, You’ve Lost Your Ability to Learn – Pascal Dennis discussed the corrosive effects of self-righteousness to personal growth, and hence to lateral learning in an organization.

Life is complicated. Supply chain management shouldn’t be. – Alexa Cheater says connecting data, processes and people in your supply chain will help you embrace the simple life and take back your day.

There Are No Silver Bullets – Mark Rosenthal explains the real work is understanding what social and cultural norms in your organization are holding you back and dealing with those.

The Battle Between Activity & Action – Marci Reynolds explains why there is a big difference between activity and action.

Variation in Definitions of #Lean (The Good, the Bad, and the Different) – Mark Graban says Lean is not just about cost reduction… it’s more about “respect for people” and changing the way we do things… which leads to lower cost as an end result.

It's All About the Mindset on Gemba Walks – Darren Walsh says approaching gemba walks with the right mindset can be the deciding factor in how effective the management team is in eliminating firefighting, making good decisions, developing people and improving performance.

Why You Should Think of Lean Tools as Frames – Michael Balle says to understand the essence of lean thinking, it’s critical to see many of what are popularly interpreted as powerful tools as frames.

Do You Practice Routine Personal Development? – Katie Anderson says we all have to practice daily, without fail, to maintain our skills and desired habits, work to close our personal behavioral gaps, and then have space for innovation and developing new skills and habits.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Speaking at the Northeast Lean Conference

Successful Lean transformation requires a deep understanding of the technical side of Lean supported by a culture that favors human development and broad employee engagement.

But which comes first: culture or tools...?

Come to the conference and you'll learn more.

I will be presenting at The Northeast Lean Conference in September in Worcester, MA on a topic I've covered here a few times.

SIPOC – The First Picture of Your Process
Wed Sep 20, 2017
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM


Whenever you are planning to start some process improvement activity, it’s important to capture an easily communicated picture of the current process first. A SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) diagram identifies at a high level the potential gaps (deficiencies) between suppliers and process inputs and between output specifications and customers’ expectations, thus defining the scope for process improvement activities. In this interactive session, you’ll learn to understand the fundamentals of creating an SIPOC diagram, demonstrating how you can dissect a process and create a workable improvement plan that can be applied in your everyday workplace. Armed with a detailed and shared visual understanding of how work actually occurs, the organization can more easily identify project ideas for improvement.

Hope you can join me at this exceptional industry event for Lean practitioners in a few short weeks.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

See You Soon!

Blog Vacation Till August 28th! 

Here is a collection of the Top 10 posts for 2016 by views:

Creating a process map is a relatively straight forward process but some mistakes can derail the process so avoid these most common pitfalls.

When performing a mistake-proofing analysis on a manufacturing, service or business process, it is of course important to identify every human error possible during each process step.

Lean provides a framework to improve the flow of a process, it is therefore important to create a plan or roadmap describing the improved flow, highlighting changes, and areas for improvement.

The path for your improvement journey consists of the work processes your organization uses to create and transport goods and services to its customers, the map you use for your improvement journey must focus on customer value.

Embarking on your Lean journey by implementing 5S is beneficial for several reasons.

Mistake Proofing is about adding controls to prevent defects, reduce their severity, and detect them if they can occur.

The Seven Basic Tools of Quality is a designation given to a fixed set of graphical techniques identified as being most helpful in troubleshooting issues related to quality.

Leader Standard Work is the system that provides a structure and routine for leaders and drives process definition and daily accountability.

Luckily, there is no shortage of literature on Lean Manufacturing over the last several decades, but there 10 books I recommend on learning Lean.

Empowering employees is the ongoing process of providing the tools, training, resources; encouragement and motivation your workers need to perform at the optimum level.

See you soon!
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vacation Break But Enjoy

Blog Vacation Till August 28th! 

Here is a collection of the Top 10 posts for 2015 by views:

The 5S system is a good starting point for all improvement efforts aiming to drive out waste from the manufacturing process, and ultimately improve a company’s bottom line by improving products and services, and lowering costs.

Quality is about prevention—you cannot "inspect" quality into a product. It has to happen before the inspection process.

Success in your business and for that of your company is a matter of effective problem solving. If you do one thing well this is paramount.

Coaching is one of the premier skills of a good Lean leader, but one that is often overlooked. A leader whose goal is to help employees fulfill potential must be an exemplary coach.
Anyone who has worked in or led an organization's transformation understands change is not easy. People commonly resist change for a variety of reasons. Tips on reducing resistance to change.

While a leader can be a boss, not every boss is a leader. The distinction between being a boss and being a leader may seem small, but it means the world to the people who work for you.

A well-stated problem statement speeds a robust corrective action process. It helps identify potential root causes and eliminate bias and noise.

Companies can leverage their resources, including their employees’ time or donated funds and products, to support STEM initiatives in a variety of ways.

A Visual Factory provides a clear and common understanding of goals and measures of the business. With this information employees are able to align their actions and decisions with the overall strategic direction of the company.

Management must go to the Gemba to practice Lean management. Gemba walking teaches us to see in new ways what we have failed to see before. There you can identify problems, non-value added activities, or wastes through a deliberate observation of a particular area or process.

See you soon!
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Monday, August 21, 2017

On Vacation Till August 28th, Still

Blog Vacation Till August 28th! 

1. What Do We Mean By True North? - In a nutshell, True North is a vision of the ideal condition both from the standpoint of the customer and the provider that is distinguished at once by its simplicity and also by the challenge it presents to status quo thinking. 
2. What Lean is Not - 10 Things That Are Not Lean - Despite Lean Thinking being around for three decades there are still surprising many misconceptions about Lean. 

3. Lean and Inventory: Misunderstood -Lean doesn’t mean ZERO inventory. It means the right inventory at the right time at the right quantities and in the right place. 

 4. 8 Principles of Quality Management - These principles have been identified to facilitate the achievement of quality objectives and form the foundation for effective quality management.

5. Keep Calm and Let the Quality Manager Handle It - Quality is not something we can rely on a single person or group to perform. Quality is everyone’s job. 
6. Five Simple Ways to Make Your VSM A Valuable Improvement Tool - Value stream mapping is a tremendously valuable tool for improving a process.These tips will help you develop accurate value stream maps that you can use to drive continuous improvement.

7. ASQ: Improve Your Strategy Through Hoshin Kanri - Hoshin kanri is not a strategic planning tool, it is an execution tool. It is a system to deploy an existing strategic plan throughout the organization. In other words, hoshin management is an idea handler, not an idea generator.

8. Ten Lean Lessons That Building Legos Has Taught Me - Time has taught me that you can learn valuable lessons from almost any experience. Legos are more than building blocks, they teach essential leadership skills. 

9. The 3 A’s of Respect for People - There are 3 essential elements of Respect for People that start with “A” which managers need for a sustainable Lean culture: Alignment, Autonomy, and Accountability.

10. Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change Is All About The 4 C's - Change doesn't just happen. It needs to be driven with purpose and intent. Change management requires planning for acceptance. Here are four more factors—the four C’s—to promoting acceptance of change: Caring, Control, Choice, Competence.
See you soon!

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