Archive for June, 2009

A Breakthrough in Training — Call it "Near-TWI"

I’m very pleased to present a guest post from Arizona about the successful use of Lean concepts and, more specifically, the “Training Within Industry” methodology. You may recognize Dr. Pete as a regular commenter here on the blog. We’ve spoken a number of times by phone about the lab’s work and I invited Dr. Pete and Chuy to document some of their collaborative work here on my Lean Blog. If you have questions, post a comment and I know Dr. Pete will be glad to interact with you.

"Do" Lean or "Be" Lean in IT?

Lean & IT « IT Business Alignment (IT2B)

Oops… I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save as draft.” For a Lean guy, I don’t have error proofed, apparently. So that was released as my shortest blog post ever.

Breaking: GM Dumps NUMMI Partnership with Toyota

After 25 years, GM ditches NUMMI tie-up with Toyota

In the news this afternoon:

PRESS RELEASE:

2009-06-29

GM Media Statement Regarding GM’s Ownership Stake in NUMMI

Attributable to Troy Clarke, president, GM North America

Book Review: "Kaizen Express"

Book Review: "Kaizen Express"

I have always learned a lot from John Shook. As I’ve blogged about before, I’ve seen John present about TPS and management (leadership, really) a few times and probably learn more “insights per hour” than anyone else in the Lean world, as he has a way of communication concepts and methods in a way that’s easy to relate to and share with others.

Clear and Relevant Metrics

By Matt Wrye:

I have been implementing lean over the last 10 years at five different companies. Only during the last eight years and three companies was I truly learning about and implementing lean (and not just the tools). During that time, I have become very passionate about metrics.

The Power of Explaining Why – A Funny Example

The Power of Explaining Why – A Funny Example

This sign and picture might be a bit rude, so I saved this for a Saturday.

To me, a very powerful and often unknown principle of the Toyota Production System and Lean is the idea that managers must “explain why” to employees if they give a directive order. I saw this when I visited the NUMMI plant and wrote about how they treated employees like adults by explaining why certain defective parts shouldn’t be used rather than just barking orders or relying on formal positional authority.

I’ve found this to be a very powerful method to use in hospitals — going out of your way and making the extra effort to explain “why?” to employees or even patients and families.

Bad News Not Flowing Up at Boeing?

Tomorrow’s blog post today… not that anyone will be reading anything non-Michael Jackson related. RIP. A modern tidbit… I learned about the news via a friend’s Facebook status update. The new, new media, I suppose.

LeanBlog Video Podcast #5 – Dr. Sami Bahri, D.D.S.

This is an interview with Dr. Sami Bahri, D.D.S., a dentist from Jacksonville, Florida. He is a pioneer in using Lean methods in the management of his dental practice. The book documents his learning journey for himself and his office staff as they learned how to apply Lean in a very non-traditional setting.

LeanBlog Podcast #69 – Dr. Sami Bahri, D.D.S., “Follow the Learner”

LeanBlog Podcast #69 – Dr. Sami Bahri, D.D.S., “Follow the Learner”

This is an interview with Dr. Sami Bahri, D.D.S., a dentist from Jacksonville, Florida. He is a pioneer in using Lean methods in the management of his dental practice. The book documents his learning journey for himself and his office staff as they learned how to apply Lean in a very non-traditional setting.

Toyota Leaders Get a Lecture From a Toyoda

Toyota Names Akio Toyoda President, Apologizes to Shareholders for Losses

This was rumored for a while, but Toyota has formally named Akio Toyoda as the next President. Yes, “Toyoda” with a “d” — that’s the family name. Back when Toyota starting making automobiles, the company name was changed from Toyoda to Toyota. Two reasons I’ve heard for that – one had to do with the number of strokes in the kanji character for Toyota being a lucky number and second that it was easier and quicker to write than Toyoda.

Virginia Mason’s CEO on Health Reform

Dr. Gary Kaplan, the CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center is now part of an effort called “Health CEOS for Health Reform“. He posted a video on YouTube talking about health reform, framing some of it in a “lean” or Toyota Production System perspective.

Saving the Most L.A.M.E Day Ever

By Andy Wagner:

This summer, I am supervising three interns. The first week one of them asked what “lean six sigma” was about. She had heard about it, and that our company was into it, but didn’t really know much about it. Would she get a chance to learn about it this summer?

More Online Criticism of Lean Healthcare

Park Nicollet CEO to retire

In the new story about CEO David Wessner’s retirement, one of the listed accomplishments is their use of Lean methods:

Wessner, the first non-physician CEO at Park Nicollet, also brought Japanese-style lean manufacturing techniques to health care, adopting productivity principles later adopted by a number of other health care organizations. He declined to quantify how much the strategy saved Park Nicollet, saying only it has reaped more than what was invested into it. “It’s not a short-term initiative,” he said.

Another Bad Design Example

Another Bad Design Example

Let’s go with a light thought and topic for a Sunday, considering there are sad examples of medical malfeasance and poor management oversight in the news today.

Following up on my blog post from last week about hotel room lighting controls that were so confusing, they required directions, I found this picture in my recent archives. It’s a hotel Pepsi machine (from the U.S.) where the front of the machine has these huge rectangular pictures of the products.

Learn to Play Before Picking Up a Sax

by Jamie Flinchbaugh, co-author, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean

A3 thinking, A3 problem solving, A3 report writing – whatever you might call it is growing popular in the same way that value stream mapping did many years ago. But just like value stream mapping, just using the tool solves nothing. You still need to get the right thinking in place to make any of the tools, methods or skills effective.

Lean at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center

Tamra Kaplan Named COO of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center – Yahoo! Finance

There aren’t too many details in this story, but Lean *has* led to some good results at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in CA… benefits to the hospital and a promotion for the former head of the Lean program to Chief Operating Officer. Congrats.

LeanBlog Podcast #68 – Ben Harrison, Lean from CEO Perspective

LeanBlog Podcast #68 – Ben Harrison, Lean from CEO Perspective

Podcast #68 is a discussion with Benjamin G. Harrison, President & CEO of Kaysun, a privately-held manufacturer that, for over 60 years, has designed and manufactured complex, high-tolerance plastic injection molded products and assemblies. In his role as CEO, Ben is the champion for Kaysun’s lean strategy and efforts and we discuss his support for lean in this episode. Kaysun was just named Lean Initiative and Plastics Supplier of the Year by Rockwell Collins, so congratulations to them for that award.

Article about Lean Hospitals in my Local Paper

Article about Lean Hospitals in my Local Paper

Doctors praise consultant’s book | News for Keller, Texas | The Keller Citizen

This story isn’t important enough to be a main blog post for the morning, but I’ll slip it in here. A reporter did a very nice job about learning about Lean to write this article about my book and the Shingo Prize.