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Tag: Deming

A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

I travel a lot and, thanks to my work, I’m pretty well attuned to the idea of not blaming individuals for systemic problems in an organization. Or, at least I try to be good about this. I’m human, so I slip up sometimes… like the time I wrongly blamed a bartender for a bad attitude, […]

By December 9, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

The ideas, principles, and methods that we’d recognize as “Lean” aren’t exclusively of Japanese origin. Many of us, myself included, draw inspiration from Toyota, reading books about them and visiting their factories. For me, I’ve had a chance to visit Toyota plants in Japan, California, and Texas, and the story is very consistent. As Masaaki […]

By December 8, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

One question I was asked to ask during my Japan trip was to see if “Quality Circles” are still active in Japanese companies. I think the term was brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, but generally wasn’t widely adopted for a number of reasons – probably due to management mindsets and organizational […]

By November 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Lean is a “Generic” Term for TPS (and The Toyota Way), Says Dan Jones

Lean is a “Generic” Term for TPS (and The Toyota Way), Says Dan Jones

People often say Lean is pretty simple (or that it’s just “common sense“). Yeah, some of the concepts are simple… but sometimes deceptively so. Or, we find that it’s easier to describe Lean (as a management system, a set of methods, and a culture) than it is to say how an organization should transform itself […]

By September 29, 2014 1 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 →
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 →
The One Where a Dog Reviews the Strategy Deployment Metrics Wall

The One Where a Dog Reviews the Strategy Deployment Metrics Wall

I’ve had some cartoons on the blog before, including a few “Doofus & Leanies.”  I can’t draw at all, believe me (although I sometimes do my own simple digital graphics). I’ve been fortunate to partner up with other artists before and today’s cartoon is a new collaboration with Carrie Howarth, CMA (AAMA), a workflow facilitator at […]

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

Many healthcare organizations are non-profits. They provide some “community benefit” in terms of charity care (as do for-profit healthcare organizations). Then, there are healthcare organizations that are very charity focused, where providing free care and social services is their primary mission. Some of these organizations even refuse to accept payment from insurance companies or the […]

3 Ways to React to Human Error

3 Ways to React to Human Error

What happens when a mistake is made in your organization? How do you react when an error occurs? A lab specimen gets mislabeled. The wrong product is shipped to the wrong customer. A patient is injected with the wrong medication. These are moments that matter. Does emotion take over or do we stay calm? How […]

The Worst Root Cause Problem Solver in the Animal World Is… Who?

The Worst Root Cause Problem Solver in the Animal World Is… Who?

We all know the beaver is “the engineer of the animal kingdom.” That’s why MIT has a beaver as a mascot… it’s an engineer who likes to build things and is generally nocturnal, an apt description of MIT students. A survey taken by the National Geographic Society has found that the owl, however, is the […]

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

PDSA, back to the days of Dr. Deming, has stood for Plan Do Study Adjust. A key point in the application of PDSA (and a key to A3 problem solving), is to avoid jumping to solutions. We Plan — and this includes understanding the problem and the current state of our process or system. We don’t […]

America’s Oldest Bike Company Could Use Lean Manufacturing to Remain the Oldest?

America’s Oldest Bike Company Could Use Lean Manufacturing to Remain the Oldest?

Mark’s Note: Today’s post is by Andy Wagner, who contributed regularly to this blog from 2007 to 2010. This CNN video caught his eye and he couldn’t help blogging about it. Recently, CNN ran a short piece on Worksman Cycles of New York City highlighting them as the last major bicycle manufacturer left in the […]

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

Visiting Two Japanese Hospitals with an Eye for Lean; I Can’t Wait to Go Back

In November 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Japan for the first time as part of a Lean healthcare study mission. It was fascinating to compare notes with colleagues from the U.S., Belgium, and Holland as we visited factories, including a Toyota plant, and two hospitals that are using the methodology – at least […]

Live Blogging Day 1: Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2014

Live Blogging Day 1: Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2014

Today is the first day of the 5th annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. Follow along on Twitter with hashtag #HCSummit14 to see my tweets and thoughts from others. I will be adding updates to this post during the day, as well. These are not meant to be complete notes or a transcript… but quotable and interesting thoughts or comments […]

Secretary Shinseki Has Resigned; Will Things Change at the VA?

Secretary Shinseki Has Resigned; Will Things Change at the VA?

Following up on posts from Monday and Wednesday, we see this headline today: “Shinseki resigns after VA scandal.” As I wrote about on LinkedIn, instead of blaming “bad managers” or a “lack of integrity” at local VA sites, like Phoenix, we have to look at the system. Dr. W. Edwards Deming always said that senior […]

Podcast #198 – Harry Kenworthy, #Lean in Government

Podcast #198 – Harry Kenworthy, #Lean in Government

MP3 File (run time 39:17) Episode #198 is a discussion with Harry Kenworthy about his work bringing Lean into local and state governments. We had a great conversation that touches on the influence of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and many other concepts that might be of interest even if you’re not interested in “Lean Government” […]

Blame: Human Error Occurs Even IF We’re Being Careful

Blame: Human Error Occurs Even IF We’re Being Careful

I’m not sure why “error” was put in quotes since this seems like an actual error, not a quote-unquote error: Staff ‘error’ blamed for chlorine leak at Louth’s Kenwick Park Hotel which led to five being taken to hospital When people talk about human error, they often seem to miss the point. They think calling […]

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, Deming, and Lean Leadership

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, Deming, and Lean Leadership

Since moving to San Antonio two years ago, I’ve become a big fan of the San Antonio Spurs. For one, it’s essentially a civic responsibility to cheer for them, with the Spurs being the only major pro team in town. They are similar to the Green Bay Packers in that regard. Second, they are a […]