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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 #208 – Michael Bremer, “How to Do a Gemba Walk”

Podcast #208 – Michael Bremer, “How to Do a Gemba Walk”

MP3 File (run time 36:24) Joining me for episode #208 is Michael Bremer, author of the recently released eBook How to Do a Gemba Walk. Michael is president of The Cumberland Group, a business improvement consulting firm based in Illinois. In today’s episode, Michael talks about different types of gemba walks, key behaviors that need to […]

By September 9, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Lean Healthcare Success in Minnesota – And One Off Base Op-Ed

Lean Healthcare Success in Minnesota – And One Off Base Op-Ed

Here’s an article that summarizes the pocket of Lean healthcare activity in and around Winona and LaCrosse, Minnesota: “Waste reduction: Area health systems embrace lean practice“ One hospital mentioned is Winona Health. You can listen to my earlier podcast with their CEO, Rachelle Schultz. I’m glad she’s one of the CEOs who realizes that Lean […]

By September 8, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Mark Graban Interviewed by HealthcareTechTalk.net

Mark Graban Interviewed by HealthcareTechTalk.net

I was recently interviewed for the Healthcare Tech Talk podcast, talking about Lean healthcare, Kaizen, and how IT professionals can get involved in these pursuits within a hospital or health system. I appreciate them having me on their show. My episode: Episode 23- Healthcare technology professionals can stop asking. Yes Lean transformation includes you! It’s […]

By September 5, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Turning “Waste” Into a Clever Acronym

Turning “Waste” Into a Clever Acronym

I wrote about Kaizen the other day on LinkedIn and the first comment was from Dr. Leke Agbejule, BPharm, MSc, PharmD, from South Florida: Very well said. As a Lean Six Sigma practitioner I live & consult by the “Kaizen” philosophy. I like the mantra of Patrick Davidson which says “Eliminate Waste & Create Flow” My definition of […]

By September 4, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Six-Second Vine Video: Plan then Do then Study then Adjust then…

Six-Second Vine Video: Plan then Do then Study then Adjust then…

For those of you not familiar with Vine, it’s a social network owned by Twitter that allows you post videos that are six seconds long. The videos have sound and can loop repeatedly, which allows for some cool effects. I made a short video that’s made up of two three-second loops… the PDSA cycle. Click […]

By September 3, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Managing With Red/Green Charts is Like Driving By Looking at the Rear-View Mirror

Managing With Red/Green Charts is Like Driving By Looking at the Rear-View Mirror

There’s an expression that was used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, and also by Dr. Don Wheeler, that says managing through metrics (and comparisons to targets) is like driving by looking in the rear-view mirror. Deming said: Taking action on the basis of results without theory of knowledge, without theory of variation, without knowledge about […]

By September 2, 2014 16 Comments Read More →
Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

It’s the Labor Day holiday today in the United States today, so I’m trying to minimize my own labor (that said, I’ll be working a bit… by choice… and not for an hourly wage). Many people ARE working today, including folks at the grocery store and a few other stops I’ll be making. Anyway, thanks […]

By September 1, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
It’s Easy to See Why Labor Would be Upset with This Hospital CEO

It’s Easy to See Why Labor Would be Upset with This Hospital CEO

Monday is Labor Day, a holiday here in the United States. Some nursing unions support Lean in healthcare, while others are in opposition. My stance is been that the unions should love Lean (since it  improves the workplace for their members), but they are right to criticize practices like layoffs and other things that aren’t really […]

By August 29, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
Podcast #207 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation, Part 2

Podcast #207 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation, Part 2

MP3 File (run time 49:30) Episode #207 is part two of my conversation with Chris Jerry, founder of The Emily Jerry Foundation.  The foundation was created in the aftermath of the tragic death of his daughter, Emily – a preventable medical error caused by a number of factors and bad systems. You can read Emily’s story here. In the first […]

By August 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Why Lunch Can Be Annoying at the Sensei Cafe

Why Lunch Can Be Annoying at the Sensei Cafe

Last week, I published my first cartoon collaboration with a skilled artist (and medical assistant), Carrie Howarth. You might call that cartoon “Strategy Dog-ployment.” None of us expect this to be a weekly thing, but sometimes you strike when inspiration hits. Here is our latest collaboration, the “Sensei Cafe.” Again, at the risk of killing the […]

By August 27, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
To Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Put Away the Gavel!

To Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Put Away the Gavel!

I am giving a new webinar on Wednesday, hosted by the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (to promote a public registration workshop on Kaizen that we’re doing in October). The webinar’s theme is: “Practical Continuous Improvement Leadership: Coaching, Not Judging” I’ll give a bit of a preview of the webinar in this blog post. As […]

By August 26, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Proof That Nelson from The Simpsons is Not a Good Kaizen Coach

Proof That Nelson from The Simpsons is Not a Good Kaizen Coach

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of The Simpsons. The show has been on TV for 25 of my 40 years. The cable channel FXX is having an “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon, showing all 552 episodes over 12 days. I’m watching it here and there, especially my favorite episodes from the […]

By August 24, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
My #IceBucketChallenge Video for #ALS and Patient Safety

My #IceBucketChallenge Video for #ALS and Patient Safety

I was nominated to do the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” I think I was officially the last person to do so, judging from my Facebook feed. I made a donation to the ALS Association and also made this video. I’m doing this to honor a friend’s mother, who has ALS. Watch a touching news story about her of her […]

By August 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Webinar Recording – Our First Years in Continuous Improvement

KaiNexus Webinar Recording – Our First Years in Continuous Improvement

Here is a recording of our most recent KaiNexus webinar: Getting Started with Continuous Improvement: Lessons and Reflections Dr. Greg Jacobson and I reflect on our first year being involved in continuous improvement. Greg’s was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I had two “first years” — at GM and then later in healthcare. What are […]

By August 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

There are certainly many serious problems in healthcare. Let’s look at nursing, in particular. It’s a rewarding job, but it’s far more frustrating for nurses than it needs to be. Nurses often don’t have enough time in the day (or in a given hour) to do all of their work the right way in the […]

Teaching Up in the Organization?

Teaching Up in the Organization?

People often talk about the need for senior leadership support for Lean. If we’re going to really transform our culture, workplace, and performance, “quality starts in the boardroom,” as Dr. Deming said. Lean is not about “fixing” the employees — it’s about changing the way we think and lead at all levels. If executives and […]

By August 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
“Lean Coffee” for Healthcare in San Antonio, 9/24/14

“Lean Coffee” for Healthcare in San Antonio, 9/24/14

I held the first “Lean Coffee” gathering for San Antonio healthcare folks in June and we’re going to do another one in September, on the 24th (changed from the 25th). It’s a great format that I learned from Jim Benson. You use a “personal kanban” board (the table really) to solicit discussion topics from the […]

By August 19, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

There have been plenty of headlines and updates since I first blogged about the controversy over Lean healthcare in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan (see my previous posts here). From my outside perspective, there are some good things happening. I admire their adoption of a “patient safety alert system” and a blame-free culture (see Saskatoon […]