Author Archive: Mark Graban

Mark Graban founded LeanBlog.org in January 2005. He is the primary blogger and managing editor of the site.

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Podcast #228 – Zeynep Ton, “The Good Jobs Strategy”

Podcast #228 – Zeynep Ton, “The Good Jobs Strategy”

Labor Day is Monday, so maybe it’s appropriate that my guest for episode #228 of the podcast is Zeynep Ton, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. You may have recently seen her being interviewed by Fareed Zakaria on CNN. Read her full bio here. She is author of the […]

By September 3, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
Football, Holistic Systems, and Challenging the Way It’s Always Been Done

Football, Holistic Systems, and Challenging the Way It’s Always Been Done

Many of you might not care, but it’s football season. Major college football starts tomorrow night and the NFL kicks off their season next Thursday. On that note, if you’d like to “kick off” a Kaizen approach to continuous improvement in your organization, I’d like to help. By the way, 20 years ago today, I […]

By September 2, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Updating a Vision, Again, for Lean Hospitals (or Lean Health Systems)

Updating a Vision, Again, for Lean Hospitals (or Lean Health Systems)

Back in 2011, I asked for and received some great input from readers about updating a chapter for the second edition of my book Lean Hospitals on “A Vision for Lean Hospitals.” A lot has changed in the healthcare environment over four years (as has our understanding of Lean, both generally speaking and in healthcare). So it’s […]

By September 1, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
Another Conversation About L.A.M.E. and Lean in Manufacturing and Healthcare

Another Conversation About L.A.M.E. and Lean in Manufacturing and Healthcare

It’s far too common to see somebody with just a little bit of understanding about Lean do things that really shouldn’t be described as Lean at all… in terms of the decisions they are making or the approaches they are taking. I saw an article about Lean in physician practices: “Lean Practice Management for Physicians.” […]

By August 31, 2015 7 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 24, 2015

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 24, 2015

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better experience by clicking through to view […]

By August 29, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Are You Really Listening to Your Customer or Just Going Through the Motions?

Are You Really Listening to Your Customer or Just Going Through the Motions?

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is by Rodrigo Bernal, with the first post on this site contributed from Mexico. Rodrigo uses a lunch outing to raise important questions about customer focus and the voice of the customer. If there is a quality problem, does that feedback get back to the source of the problem for root […]

Throwback Thursday: Inc. Writes About Dr. Deming in 1987

Throwback Thursday: Inc. Writes About Dr. Deming in 1987

I stumbled across an article from the Inc. magazine archives from 1987, so it’s today’s “Throwback Thursday.” In 1987, I was starting high school and that was probably right about the time when my dad, an engineer for General Motors, was able to attend one of Deming’s famed four-day seminars. Hearing about that was my […]

By August 27, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
I Wish I Could Say I Intentionally Made This Mistake to Illustrate a Point

I Wish I Could Say I Intentionally Made This Mistake to Illustrate a Point

As I mentioned on Monday, I’m working on a 3rd revised edition of my book Lean Hospitals. Traditional book publishing is a funny (and sometimes frustrating) value stream, in a lot of ways. There are many batches and many queues along the way… one of the reasons it takes so long to transform a Word .DOC manuscript […]

By August 26, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
What’s Demoralizing? The Colors on a Chart or Not Improving the System?

What’s Demoralizing? The Colors on a Chart or Not Improving the System?

I forget what hospital these charts are even from, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s become more common, in my gemba visits, to see hospital departments charting metrics. They are often part of “huddle boards” that teams gather around on a daily basis (or, ideally, each shift). It’s good to see daily metrics, as opposed […]

By August 25, 2015 9 Comments Read More →
Updating “Lean Hospitals” and a New eBook, “Practicing Lean”

Updating “Lean Hospitals” and a New eBook, “Practicing Lean”

Hopefully you’re aware of my book Lean Hospitals. It was first published in 2008 and I was able to do a second, revised edition that was released in 2011. Traditional book publishing doesn’t really allow any sense of continuous improvement, other than maybe fixing a spelling error in a new printing of an edition. So, changes […]

By August 24, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 17, 2015: Deming, Church 5S, Straight Outta Ohno

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 17, 2015: Deming, Church 5S, Straight Outta Ohno

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better experience by clicking through to view […]

By August 22, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
So-Called “Just in Time” Retail Staff Scheduling is not #Lean At All

So-Called “Just in Time” Retail Staff Scheduling is not #Lean At All

Stories like this have been in the news before, but this was circulating the past few days: “Why erratic schedules are one of the worst parts of low-wage work.” The story refers to so-called “just-in-time” scheduling techniques that jerk employees around and disrupt lives. It happens to share a term, “JIT” with “Lean manufacturing” or […]

By August 21, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
Can You Even Consider Kaizen When the Chart Showing Time and Workload Looks Like this?

Can You Even Consider Kaizen When the Chart Showing Time and Workload Looks Like this?

In th KaiNexus webinar that I did with Dr. Greg Jacobson earlier this week (“Making Time for For Continuous Improvement” – view the recording), I shared a graph that shows what could or should be time for continuous improvement in a workplace. The red line shows the amount of time available – this could be hours […]

Running Dr. Deming’s Red Bead Experiment & the Implications for Healthcare

Running Dr. Deming’s Red Bead Experiment & the Implications for Healthcare

Later next month, at the Northeast L.E.A.N. Conference, I’m facilitating the famous “Red Bead Experiment” of W. Edwards Deming (sometimes referred to as the “Red Bead Game”). If you’re going to be there, please join me on Tuesday September 29. I’ll also be doing a pre-conference workshop on Kaizen and daily continuous improvement the afternoon […]

By August 19, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
Lean Thoughts at a Toronto Blue Jays Game

Lean Thoughts at a Toronto Blue Jays Game

I love what I do and I travel a lot… the travel can sometimes be a drag, such as last Monday’s flight delays with storms in Chicago, arriving in Toronto three hours late (after midnight). But, sometimes things work out in a surprisingly good way. I was in Toronto to take a training class to […]

By August 18, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Gemba Academy Podcasts – Jon Miller on “Practical Problem Solving”

Gemba Academy Podcasts – Jon Miller on “Practical Problem Solving”

If you’ve got time over the weekend (or in the near future)… about three hours to be precise… these three four podcast episodes from Gemba Academy are outstanding and they’re well worth the time. Jon Miller, former CEO of Kaizen Institute, and co-author of the book Creating a Kaizen Culture: Align the Organization, Achieve Breakthrough Results, […]

By August 17, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 10, 2015, Baseball, #LeanStartup Sushi

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban – Week of August 10, 2015, Baseball, #LeanStartup Sushi

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here. If you’re reading this via email or RSS, you might get a better experience by clicking through to view […]

By August 15, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #227 – Ruthie Davis & Steve Cook on “Do The Right Thing”

Podcast #227 – Ruthie Davis & Steve Cook on “Do The Right Thing”

Joining me for episode #227 are Ruthie Davis and Stephen Cook, talking about the book that they edited, Do the Right Thing: Real Life Stories of Leaders Facing Tough Choices. While this episode isn’t focused on Lean, per se, I think you’ll enjoy the discussion and I highly recommend the book, which highlights the role of […]

By August 14, 2015 0 Comments Read More →