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Tag: Deming

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

Following up on yesterday’s post that talked about “the old GM” putting cost ahead of quality, I sometimes I get flashbacks to my days working for General Motors. I’ve been in healthcare for 8.5 years now, but at the start of my career, I was an entry-level industrial engineer at the GM Powertrain Livonia Engine plant […]

How Do You Make Time for Improvement? Here are Nine Takes

How Do You Make Time for Improvement? Here are Nine Takes

I’m happy to be a participating author on “The Lean Edge” blog/site that’s hosted by Michael Ballé author of The Gold Mine and other books. Their most recent question has many responses and I’ll try to help organize them for you here. Question: As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my […]

Is it a Bad Idea to Pay a Lean Consultant Based on a Percentage of Cost Savings?

Is it a Bad Idea to Pay a Lean Consultant Based on a Percentage of Cost Savings?

The price paid for most management consulting work is based on either a daily rate or some variation of a flat-rate fee based on what is being delivered. Enterprise software pricing is also often fixed. In both cases, the client pays this with some expectation of benefits and even an “ROI” for the customer). When […]

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

Did GM Forget that the Customer Should Come First? And Who Forgot Exactly?

I wrote an article for LinkedIn yesterday about the recent GM ignition problem controversy and recall. I commented mainly on the video put out by new CEO Mary Barra (which I encourage you to watch). As a former GM employee, I reacted (at a gut level) to a few things in the video. The main […]

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

Is it Lean’s Fault or the Old Management System’s?

It’s easy for an organization to say they are “doing Lean” or they have “started a Lean transformation.” They might hire a consultant or put out a press release… or maybe there’s an optimistic (but premature) news article about how the hospital or health system is going to turn around with Lean. The problem is […]

Dilbert on Leadership

Dilbert on Leadership

The image here is the final panel of a Dilbert strip from 2010. I use the last panel because it’s an all-purpose punchline to many different scenarios. I asked Paul O’Neill what’s preventing us from improving patient safety… he said “leadership.” To become a Lean organization…. leadership. To engage people in continuous improvement…. leadership. About […]

By February 27, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

Out there in the Lean and quality improvement communities, you sometimes hear some silly things. Sometimes, I want to attach the “Lean As Mistakenly Explained” (or L.A.M.E.) label to what’s said when it really seems off the mark from what Lean is really all about. Davis Balestracci, a columnist for Quality Digest, passed along something […]

By February 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Parallels (and Differences) Between the Book “Traction” and Kaizen

Parallels (and Differences) Between the Book “Traction” and Kaizen

When I recently did a Healthcare Kaizen workshop near Detroit, I invited an old friend of mine to attend as a guest. Marisa Smith, an entrepreneur and business owner in Ann Arbor, saw the connections between my Kaizen work and a book that she uses within her company and with her clients: Traction: Get a Grip […]

By February 4, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing – 5S & #Lean

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing – 5S & #Lean

I read this valid complaint from somebody on a LinkedIn group…. it led to a “facepalm” that I managed to catch on camera: I interviewed with a medium sized company for a quality Manager position a while back. They were convinced that 5S is lean. They referred to 5S as the “five pillars” of lean. A […]

By January 17, 2014 22 Comments Read More →
Podcast Transcript – #117, Prof. Samuel Culbert on Getting Rid of Performance Reviews

Podcast Transcript – #117, Prof. Samuel Culbert on Getting Rid of Performance Reviews

Podcast Page (with Audio) One of my favorite podcasts was recorded back in 2011, with Sam Culbert of UCLA. He speaks insightfully on a topic that Dr. W. Edwards Deming championed – replacing the annual employee appraisal (or performance review) with a more ongoing leadership process… being less of a judge and more of a […]

By January 3, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Videos Look Inside the Tesla (former NUMMI) Factory – Will They Be More like Toyota or GM?

Videos Look Inside the Tesla (former NUMMI) Factory – Will They Be More like Toyota or GM?

I was able to tour the NUMMI factory in 2005, which I really enjoyed (see my series of blog posts here). NUMMI was, of course, a joint venture between Toyota and GM (as John Shook talked about recently at the Lean Startup conference). NUMMI was shuttered a few years back when GM pulled out of […]

By December 31, 2013 4 Comments Read More →
10 (Actually, 20) of the Most Read LeanBlog.org Posts in 2013

10 (Actually, 20) of the Most Read LeanBlog.org Posts in 2013

Thanks everybody for reading my blog in 2013! I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to read and participate in the discussion and I h0pe you’ll continue visiting the site in 2014… in what will be my 10th year of blogging (I started this site in 2005). Here are the ten most-read […]

By December 27, 2013 5 Comments Read More →
Learning Not to Blame: “Jerk Bartender”

Learning Not to Blame: “Jerk Bartender”

In the Lean methodology, building upon the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, we work hard to shift away from “naming, blaming, and shaming.” Dr. John Toussaint is one of many who provide alternatives to the “blame and shame” approach that’s, sadly, so common in healthcare. When I teach about focusing more on fixing systems […]

By November 21, 2013 4 Comments Read More →
The Book that Changed Me: “Understanding Variation”

The Book that Changed Me: “Understanding Variation”

For my latest “LinkedIn Influencer” post, I was asked to participate in a series about “The Book that Changed Me.” I chose to highlight not a book about Toyota or Lean or a book by Dr. W. Edwards Deming… but rather the amazing book Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos  by Professor Donald J. […]

By November 20, 2013 2 Comments Read More →
My Medication Error on Myself

My Medication Error on Myself

Thankfully, it was nothing harmful or that dangerous… but I committed a medical mistake on myself last Saturday. I tweaked my lower back last Wednesday – something that, thankfully, isn’t a chronic problem (but I did just turn 40). It got progressively more painful over the next few days, so I went to an urgent […]

By November 15, 2013 5 Comments Read More →
We STILL Need to Reduce Waiting Times for Veterans

We STILL Need to Reduce Waiting Times for Veterans

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and it’s also Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and the Commonwealth countries. The poppy  pin is worn as a symbol of Remembrance Day (as I wore, at left, last week while in Scotland and England on vacation). Thanks and an enormous debt of gratitude are owed to […]

By November 11, 2013 2 Comments Read More →
Talking about Lean Healthcare in Winnipeg – #SDEC13 – and Visiting St. Boniface General Hospital

Talking about Lean Healthcare in Winnipeg – #SDEC13 – and Visiting St. Boniface General Hospital

Thanks to the organizing sponsor Protegra and other sponsors, including my friends at LeanKit, for having me give a keynote talk about the Software Development and Evolution Conference (SDEC) 2013 Conference in Winnipeg yesterday (Storify summary here). I always enjoy being around a group of developers (it dredges up memories of my childhood coding on […]

By October 22, 2013 3 Comments Read More →
Eiji Toyoda, Credited with Developing TPS and Expanding Toyota into North America, Passes Away at 100

Eiji Toyoda, Credited with Developing TPS and Expanding Toyota into North America, Passes Away at 100

Eiji Toyoda, a key figure in the growth and expansion of Toyota and the Toyota Production System practices has passed away this week, just past his 100th birthday. His death has received fairly prominent coverage in the business press, including: NY Times: Eiji Toyoda, Promoter of the Toyota Way and Engineer of Its Growth, Dies […]

By September 20, 2013 3 Comments Read More →