Tag: Everyday Lean
It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from the blog to enjoy some downtime with family.
Improving operations, usually through Lean, was my main job in different manufacturing companies that I worked for before moving to healthcare in 2005.
Ah, whiskey. I like whiskey. I’m not afraid to say that. I’ve blogged about whiskey (or whisky) once before: Why Kaizen is an Important Differentiator for Japanese Whisky. I also have a personal Kaizen story that I need to write about...
Gwendolyn Galsworth is a leading thinker and author on Lean and various aspects of "visuality." One thing she talks about in the workplace is "information deficits."
I’m a big nerd in that I love reading newspapers basically cover to cover. I’m a nerd in many ways, I guess. You don’t have to be a survey nerd to take my short reader survey (and you might win a book!).
I hope y’all had a nice Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. It’s a global audience for the blog, but I had the take the day off from Lean (other than this post for the holiday).
I spent a lot of time over the weekend being lazy and resting as many people do – but for medical reasons, in my case. I threw out my lower back on Friday morning. Allow me to warn you about the workplace safety threat that is the sneeze. I was seated and turned to sneeze…. ouch, my back. By Friday afternoon, I was really hobbling around with a lot of pain shooting down my left leg, muscle twitches and spasms… it was pretty bad. So what to do?
One of the key aspects of the Kaizen process is that we SHARE completed improvements with others. That’s a key principle that Joe Swartz and I wrote about in Healthcare Kaizen, and it’s a key aspect of the KaiNexus software platform.
Last week was the annual LEI Lean Transformation Summit (see my notes here).
There were many inspiring stories, but are always reminders that it’s not always a Lean world around us.
Mark’s Note: Today’s guest post is from a colleague I have worked with before on a hospital project. Bernita and I worked together at a children’s hospital, as she wrote about here on the HKS blog. Bernita’s post is modified from something she originally shared internally at HKS… the topic of “Lean and Kaizen at home” is something that’s near and dear to my heart (see my previous posts on “Everyday Lean” and Chapter 12 of our book Healthcare Kaizen).
In my role at HKS, a leading architectural firm, I am involved with projects that involve Lean process improvement in hospitals and health systems.
My household would crumble without systematic implementation of Lean strategies. 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain) is one such strategy.
Between my two children, there are nine extra- or after-school activities that they participate in. And I know that this will only get worse. Every activity has gear associated with it. We have implemented 5S for each activity.
There’s a fun post on Lifehacker with photos of (and links to details on) ten clever household “hacks.”
In the “kaizen” mindset, there’s a great value placed on using “creativity over capital” or “putting your mind before your wallet.” There’s usually more than one way to solve a problem and the most expensive way isn’t always the best way (such as this $750,000 lab automation system that’s intended to prevent labeling errors instead of just having a good process).
Anyway, here is the Lifehacker post: Top 10 Awesome MacGyver Tricks That Speak For Themselves.
I’ve had people suggest writing something about Lean in ambulatory care and outpatient clinic settings. Or maybe an introductory Lean book for another industry.
What I’ve decided to work on (and have already written, actually) might surprise you. But, I think you’ll like it. And your kids will like it too!
Here in New Orleans, there was a problem with the city water today and there’s a 24-hour “boil water” order in effect through tomorrow morning. We could play a good game of the 5 Whys:
- Why can’t we drink the water? It’s potentially unsafe
- Why? The water pressure dropped earlier this morning
- Why? Because there was a power outage
- Why? Because there was a small fire
- Why? We don’t know (publicly… yet?)
I saw this at an office supply store today (but didn’t buy it). For all of the coffee making problems I have, tipping mugs over isn’t one of them (knock on wood).
This mug is advertised as having a clever mechanism that allows the mug to be lifted only vertically, preventing it from tipping over and spilling. Has anybody seen this in action? It seems to illustrate the Lean concept of mistake proofing or error proofing, does it not? For me, using a travel mug (or disposable cup) with a lid at least prevents tipping from becoming a mess (since only a small amount of coffee drips out of the drinking hole).
Hat tip to Bob Emiliani (a Lean Blog sponsor) for pointing out this article a while back: “Case in Point: Avoiding martial-arts moves by ‘pulling the Andon cord‘” that was in the Washington Post, of all places.
The piece, written by a duo of a professor and a consultant, attempts (I think) to make Lean and process improvement concepts by creating a scenario in the daily life of a family. But, I’m torn between thinking the example is helpful and thinking it’s superficial. Is it really a good illustration of Lean?
It’s been a month now since my wife and I moved to San Antonio. I’ve been on the road most or all of the last four weeks… so my home office is still very unsettled. Today, I’m working on that while listening (plug alert) to my college buddy John Sandfort’s new jazz CD.
Here are links to some more articles I’ve read recently that might be of interest on a number of Lean related topics:Twin boys die after morphine overdose (understaffing, poor training, & other system issues) Two years on, gov’t says it’s Leaner
As I’ve mentioned, my wife and I are in the process of moving from suburban Fort Worth to San Antonio. As we have potential buyers coming through the house, one thing I have to be mindful of is NOT turning on the home alarm system when leaving. As with many process improvements, it’s tough breaking an old habit of always hitting the “ON” button on the way out the door.
Being a somewhat forgetful chap, how can I avoid turning on the alarm? If I turn it on, we might have a false alarm and it might annoy a real estate agent and potential buyer (something that seems like a bad idea). How can I error proof this?
As I lighten my workload a bit during my “Blog Break” in preparation for my family’s move to San Antonio, I thought new readers might want to check out my post from 2008 titled “A Home Kanban System – Toilet Paper & Paper Towels.” Do you utilize kanban at home?
Continuing this first week of the year’s theme of using Lean principles to improve our lives, I’m going to write about two pieces of technology that can help prevent two different types of health problems, particularly in the elderly.
The first is suggested by a blog reader who had an elderly parent forgetting to take medications, requiring lots of reminders and phone calls from the concerned son.
My mom ened up in the ER last Aug. problem, forgetting her meds. She forgot for two days and then took three pills. I bought her a MEd-Q pillbox. It flashes the individual box to be taken and has a beeping alarm. It makes forgetting impossible. I don;t have to call three-four times a day to remind her. It’s a real life saver.
A system like this could be considered a form of “poka yoke” or “mistake proofing” as described in the Lean methodology.