Archive for April, 2009

How to Get Started with a Lean Culture?

Here’s another Lean Blog reader question from Joe, who writes:

Last year I was part of an ERP implementation team at our company, and while part of that I became interested in lean manufacturing. For reference I manage our Field Service group and am a mechanical engineer by trade with some manufacturing experience.

Reader Question: Why Do We Still Do It?

Dan asked a really good question in the forum for the Move to Healthcare networking site.

He suggested I pose it here, and I thought that was a great idea. Click “comments” to share your thoughts on this (and a 2nd reader question tomorrow afternoon):

One Place Lean Probably Doesn’t Apply

One Place Lean Probably Doesn’t Apply

I’m in New Orleans, presenting this morning at a medical laboratory industry conference, giving a talk about how Lean isn’t just a set of tools or a cost-cutting methodology — it’s a management system, a culture, and (maybe most importantly) a way of developing employees and leaders in your organization.

LeanBlog Video Podcast #2 – Kevin Frieswick, Error Proofing Handwashing

LeanBlog Video Podcast #2 – Kevin Frieswick, Error Proofing Handwashing

I’m still experimenting with video podcasting, after my first attempt with Jamie Finchbaugh. LeanBlog Video Podcast #2 is content you may have seen and heard before — the video from Kevin Frieswick and MetroWest Medical Center with the device for error proofing hand washing on the way into patient rooms, combined with some excerpts of audio from LeanBlog Podcast #65.

LEI Education Network Conference

This year, the Lean Enterprise Institute is helping the MIT Lean Advancement Initiative’sEdNet” jointly host their annual conference. It’s May 28-30 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis — for more information, click here –>

Hospital Coach

Lean Leap to Health Care #4 (click for Part #3)
by Scott McDuffee

“Hey Coach Mike, what have you been up to?”

I had been sitting at my “second office,” which will remain nameless, though their symbol is an American Bison with little white wings (What is it with me and buffalo?) My standard fare includes traditional wings because as one waiter abrasively stated, “If you want chicken nuggets, go to McDonalds.”

Standardization Vs. Accuracy @ Starbucks

Standardization Vs. Accuracy @ Starbucks

Maybe *$ mgmt IS dumb, they put the “get a coffee and egg san… on Twitpic

I visited my local hometown Starbucks the other day and saw their promotional sign that’s in every Starbucks — get a coffee and sandwich for $3.95 or something like that.

Why You Should Twack Twitter

Sorry about the headline, I mean “track” twitter. I was channeling Barbara Walters instead of Larry King that time. Sorry.

You’re probably sick of hearing about Twitter in the media, they’re obsessed with it. I’ve been using Twitter since the first of the year and I’m sick of hearing about it. So if you’re not a Twitter user, I can empathize with your annoyance.

This is Broken = This is Waste

This is Broken = This is Waste

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 on Vimeo

I really enjoy Seth Godin’s writing, his books (including this one I recently read: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us) and blog posts. His presentations are outstanding too. In this talk, he outlines some reasons why things (services, products, and experiences) are “broken.”

Nokia, Just Call Them "Layoffs"

Nokia Siemens Networks in ‘synergy-related headcount restructuring’ ‚Ä ¢ The Register

Nokia may have developed the worst Orwellian euphemism ever. The company, in a press release, actually referred to layoffs as:

It’s That Season Again – the 2009 Lean Conference (Networking) Marathon

By Adam Zak, Adam Zak Executive Search:

From now through early November we’re on the road again, meetin’ and greetin’ our Lean colleagues from around the country.

By April 24, 2009 7 Comments Read More →

Revisiting Handwashing, Time, Systems, and Blame

I’ve struck a chord with a few nurses with this post from late last year:

Why Do Hospitals Have to Rely on Vigilant Patients and Families?

I asked:

I’ve written before about my questions of why so many hospitals abdicate their leadership responsibility for quality and patient safety, or at least offload much of it onto the patients. I think it’s wrong to put patients of the position of asking the providers if they’ve washed their hands. The hospital, the providers, the physician leaders, and the administrators need to take on this challenge. They need to fix processes and put better management systems in place. That’s getting closer to fixing the real root cause of these problems instead of asking families to play the role of “quality inspector.”

Bad Times? Don’t Blame!

Management Tip of the Day :: April 15, 2009 ::

It’s nice to see HBR, for once, spreading the message of Dr. Deming. If you have tough financial circumstances in your company, one of their four tips includes:

Doofus and Leanie Cartoon #1 – Gemba

Doofus and Leanie Cartoon #1 – Gemba

Back in February, I did a parody of a “Goofus and Gallant” cartoon, if you remember them from “Highlights for Kids” magazine that was in every doctor’s office and dentist’s waiting room.

LeanBlog Podcast #65 – Error Proofing Hospital Handwashing

LeanBlog Podcast #65 – Error Proofing Hospital Handwashing

LeanBlog Podcast #65 is a discussion with Kevin Frieswick, a Lean Process Manager, with MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, MA. I found Kevin earlier this year when I discovered their YouTube video about innovations at MWMC, which included a unique error proofing device to help encourage hand washing by staff and physicians before entering patient rooms. In this podcast, Kevin gives us more details behind the invention of the device and how it has been received in the hospital.

Networking with Bison and Doctors

Lean Leap to Health Care #3 (click for Part #2)

by Scott McDuffee

It would seem to be an efficient method to move into Health Care to PUSH my resume to as many potential employers as possible – thus increasing the odds until a match is made. Although I can´t neglect the job boards like or, this approach is batching at its finest. In reaction to a job post, a few quick clicks and my resume is blasted but so were a thousand others.

Washington "Natinals" Error

D.C. Sports Bog – Nationals Uniform Fail

OK, Monday = sports day on the Lean Blog, apparently. I’ll get it out of my system today and get back to more traditional industries soon…

This is a pretty systemic error when EVERY player on the Washington Nationals baseball team has their team name misspelled on the front of their uniform (click on the link above for a photo).

Waste in the New Yankee Stadium Layout?

New Yankee Stadium a winner, team a big loser to Tribe 10-2 –

If you’re not a Yankees fan, let’s kick them while they’re down (losing 22-4 Saturday). As the kid Nelson from the Simpsons would say, Haw-HA!