July 26, 2014

Get the Big Picture

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TweetThe Toyota Way Fieldbook is an interesting read for Lean thinkers looking to sharpen their sword.  Chapter 14 is titled Develop a Thorough Understanding and states that if we fail to look at a problem in the larger context we may limit the possible solutions and impact.  On the other hand, examining a problem in the larger context [...]

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Stop Placing Blame and Understand the Why.

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TweetLeaders don’t worry about the who.  Leaders figure out the why and fix it. When a problem occurs don’t worry about who did what or find fault.  The important thing is to figure out the problem, contain it and then determine why it happened. Too often people are worried about covering their tracks and start [...]

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Process Improvement and the free flow of laundry

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Around the house, we’ve always had a problem with laundry. There’s always a heap waiting to be ironed, hampers are overflowing, and many morning a search for clean socks would necessitate a trip to the basement to dig out a fresh pair from a laundry basket that was washed a week ago but still waiting to be folded.

While a lot of folks might point to large-scale factory-wide process improvement efforts that take months to design and implement, I’m pretty content knowing that I was able to take all those concepts and apply them right here…….at home…..where it counts. [Read more]

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Automating Daycare…Just Like Manufacturing

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The other night while I was watching TV I saw this Geico commercial. I thought this was very funny. The commercial is funny because it is ludicrous. We would never consider this a viable option. We want a human to interact with our children so they can adjust to their needs and solve problems that come up throughout the day. We value having the mind that is attached to the hands and feet of the daycare workers.

So, why don’t we value the minds attached to hands and feet in a manufacturing environment? [Read more]

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The uncluttered mind

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TweetI came across this site recently, and I have to say, it is absolutely fascinating. Unclutterer.com is a fascinating, intensive site dedicated to improving personal productivity and quality of life by the elimination of unnecessary stuff.  The site’s dozens of topics range from bedroom and kitchen, to college dorm, office, and general productivity and time management. The Productivity [...]

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Process And Inventory Turns

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You will never find a magic technology tool that you buy and that will instantly start a waterfall of cash onto your bottom line.

Technology?

Sure – it can help automate or standardize a good process. But people have to be doing the hard work involved in those processes first. [Read more]

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Why Don’t People Follow Procedures?

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The Toyota Way Fieldbook states that when people deviate from the original plan, it’s a strong indication that there is a flaw in the plan. This was also one of the main points of Implementing Change – Get It Done! There are reasons why people are not following a new procedure. You need to find out what those reasons are and figure out what to do about it.
Sustaining the improvements can be the most difficult part of the change process. It can be very tempting to move on to the next project in today’s busy manufacturing environment. But don’t let up just yet because you are likely to see everyone drift away from your new best practices if you do not have the right systems in place. There are a few important points if you are to Sustain the Gain: [Read more]

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Guest Post: The Importance of Respect for People

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TweetSometimes lean thinking and behaviors are being used without being known.  Common examples are Subway or Zappos.  But it can happen in our own work too. I have been implementing lean for 10+ years now and just this morning it hit me about a time when I was putting good lean thinking to work and [...]

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So, 5S didn’t take hold…again….

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TweetI came across the tale of a 5S implementation failure this week.  The work cell had been enthusiastic at first but, over time, that wore off and the discipline necessary to maintain the system weakened.  As typically happens, the folks in the cell had reverted most of the way back to old behaviors.  They remained [...]

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Amusement Parks: What is the customer paying for?

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TweetSo, it’s the busy summer season and many of us will spend at least one day in the regional theme park(s) for fun-filled day of rides, games, snacks and family fun. Then again, maybe not. When we go to amusement parks, what is it that we want?  Well, some of the snacks are fun and those [...]

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