Archive for October, 2010
It shows a before and after scenario of a factory before and after Lean.
Last week, I gave the keynote talk at a hospital’s twice-yearly lean conference for leaders and staff. As part of the seasonal decorations around the room, they had large ghost cutouts, each labeled with one of the “8 types of waste” (as shown at left).
Somebody made the clever comment that the hospital is “haunted by waste” throughout the year (not just at Halloween!).
Mark’s Note: Today’s post is by David Veech, the Executive Director of the Institute for Lean Systems. A fear or anxiety that people often have when they hear the term “lean” is that it will be a stressful environment, sort of like the famous Lucy & Ethel chocolate factory scene. David writes about dispelling that myth…
It was nice to read a recent Financial Times article featuring the concept of “Lean Startups” (“Lean start-up thinking that works for all“) and Eric Ries, who I’ll be interviewing soon for my LeanBlog podcast series.
FT highlights “Lean” as a thought process, philosophy, and management system while also dispelling some of the myths that might also be attributed to Lean in other settings, including healthcare and manufacturing.
Last week, I was a keynote speaker at an event put on by the Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence, their annual North American Operational Excellence Summit, an event attended by lean manufacturing leaders and lean healthcare leaders from Pennsylvania and beyond.
It was an honor to be there as a lean healthcare speaker and panelist, but more importantly, I enjoyed the networking and the learning from attendees and other speakers.
There was an interesting blog post at the New York Times: “The Doctor Is In (but Shouldn’t Be).” The piece talks about the healthcare cultural aspects that would drive or pressure a doctor to come to the hospital or the operating room, even if they’re sick.
Seems like common sense to stay away when sick, eh? Some researchers say this should be the norm, to stay away, but they seem to have an uphill fight against “the way it’s always been).
Episode #101 of the Podcast is a discussion with Keith Syberg, former Chairman of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (see here for more about their 2010 annual AME conference in Baltimore, this November).
Today, we talk about consortia (I word I really struggled with and got tongue-tied over) and collaboration efforts among manufacturing companies and the possibility of sharing across industries.
Click to play:
MP3 File (run time 22:44)
I was traveling yesterday, so I read a number of blog posts that I kept open in my browser for my flight. I wrote an unusually high number of blog comments on other sites yesterday, so it ended up feeling like at least a few blog posts… so I’m tapped out.
In the spirit of a “blog carnival” as we often do, I’m going to link to the stuff I read and commented on, below.
Hospital acquired infections continue to be a big problem, one that’s often unsolved except for instances like Dr. Rick Shannon’s work at West Penn-Allegheny and UPenn and the “checklists” approach used at a number of hospitals around the world.
One approach to infection prevention has been a focus on medical professionals using proper hand hygiene techniques… often done through endless education campaigns and tons of posters. Is the root cause of this problem really lack of education?
I really like Seth Godin’s writing – his blog on marketing is one that I have followed regularly for years and his book Purple Cow is a fun read about creating a service or product that delights and wows your customers. He’s mentioned Lean before (and gotten it somewhat wrong at times) and now he’s written a piece that, unfortunately, defames factories with a broad brush description of “factory thinking.” I’ll tell you why I think he’s dead wrong this time about factories and improvement.
Wow, 100 episodes of my podcast since 2006! For this episode, I’m thankful to have the author of one of my favorite books in the last two years – Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done, a book I blogged about back in 2009. Dave’s new book is called Invaluable: The Secret to Becoming Irreplaceable, a book I’m hoping to read soon.
Click to play:
MP3 File (run time 20:34)
In this podcast, Dave and I talk about so-called multitasking – why are we so tempted to do it, what are the costs of this switching back and forth between tasks, and what are some alternatives for individuals and for organizations?
I’m really excited about these two books coming out later this year — both from innovative leading lean healthcare organizations in Seattle. What’s in the water in Seattle? Actually, it’s more a matter of the Boeing influence, with the spread of lean ideas from manufacturing to healthcare.
A hospital is not like a factory. Yes, exactly. An airplane factory (Boeing) is not like a car factory (Toyota). Yet lean principles apply in each setting since we’re not just copying the tools.
Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is from Tony Manos (bio at the end of the post):
I was talking with a hospital CEO last week and we had a very wonderful conversation about all the great changes going on at her facilities. I was curious to get her opinion on a specific point. I asked her “Why aren’t more hospitals and healthcare organizations embracing Lean?” As we all know there are some exceptional healthcare organizations that are doing wonderful things by utilizing Lean techniques and more importantly, Lean thinking. Many more are starting their journey, but why is it that for the most part, healthcare as an industry isn’t moving faster with Lean?
For a more traditional approach to this topic, check out this alternative post, “Real Lean at Starbucks or Tayloristic Industrial Engineering?“.
Below is the more creative approach to addressing yesterday’s WSJ article about Lean at Starbucks. Read the WSJ article first: “At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks” and the read below for what I wish had been printed…
Once again, the WSJ has written about Lean at Starbucks (see my last post “Controversy over New Standardized Work at Some Starbucks Stores“) in Wednesday’s paper. The newest article is called “At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks“, also available in a free version from Australia.
Yesterday’s article leaves me to wonder, once again, if Starbucks is getting wrong or if WSJ writer Julie Jargon is writing about a partial picture based on her interpretation of internal company documents.
Taken on the surface, you have to ask if we’re reading about Lean or a top-down, inflexible approach that’s really more like Taylorist industrial engineering or what I would call “L.A.M.E.” For a more creative approach to this subject, click here.
We had a great group and had a number of people who had a good amount of Lean healthcare experience. To help baseline the room, after introductions I had the group do table discussions and then report out on the high level question of “What is Lean?” and “What is Lean NOT?” The groups did a really nice job with the exercise…
I had an amazing conversation on Saturday with Paul Akers (pictured at left), the founder and president of FastCap, a company in Washington, a former Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, and the host of “The American Innovator” radio program and podcast. His latest initiative is LeanAmerica.org.
After last week, which had so much negative energy, Paul is such a breath of fresh air about Lean, employee empowerment, and kaizen.