Tag: Gemba

Toyota’s Blog on Pillars of the Toyota Production System & Lean

Toyota’s Blog on Pillars of the Toyota Production System & Lean

I didn’t know , until yesterday, that Toyota has an official company blog (at least for Toyota UK). Even though I’ve learned from Toyota people and many books and classes (and I’ve written books of my own), I always encourage people to get Toyota Production System knowledge directly from the source whenever possible – including […]

Things That Make Me Worry About My Colonoscopy: Patient Safety

Things That Make Me Worry About My Colonoscopy: Patient Safety

Sorry to get all Katie Couric on you, but I’m going to have a colonoscopy on Friday. I turned 40 last October and I have some family history that leads my doctor to get one done now rather than at 50. Unlike Katie, I won’t be broadcasting mine live, but I’ll share some articles and […]

Today’s Dilbert – Employee Ideas, PHBs & Chipmunks

Today’s Dilbert – Employee Ideas, PHBs & Chipmunks

Today’s Dilbert is a very funny illustration of what goes wrong in what you might call “boss-driven suggestion systems.” The first part of the strip, which starts off with the “pointy-haired boss” (PHB) asking Dilbert if he has any “great” ideas. What’s the threshold for “great”? read more

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Not Doing Kaizen, Engaged Sailors, Etc.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Not Doing Kaizen, Engaged Sailors, Etc.

Every once in a while, I have too many browser windows open and it slows my computer down. That’s when I dump a bunch of links in a post that clears out the Lean Blog backlog. Dan Markovitz had a thought provoking post called “How not to build a kaizen culture in three easy steps,” […]

By February 28, 2014 2 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 →
Valentine’s Day Thoughts & Past Posts

Valentine’s Day Thoughts & Past Posts

It’s Valentine’s Day. I’ll be on a flight home from Boston later, hoping to see my wife at least a little bit on this day. Anyway, we never go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day proper — our attempt to help “level load” the restaurants (and we get plenty of chances to go out otherwise). […]

By February 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Reader Question: Pros & Cons of Observing in the Workplace

Reader Question: Pros & Cons of Observing in the Workplace

I was asked a question by a Twitter follower over the weekend: “What are the pros & cons of using direct observations in hospital environment to identify value & none value adding activities?”  It’s a short question, but I didn’t think I could answer it in 140 characters. So here goes (and please add your […]

By February 3, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Fantastic Mixed Media Online Presentation about Lean in Healthcare

Fantastic Mixed Media Online Presentation about Lean in Healthcare

I recently stumbled across a very interesting and well-produced mixed-media presentation that starts with the sounds of snow crackling under a pair a boots… a video clip that illustrates Delvecchio Finley, the CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, making a snowy trip to ThedaCare, in Appleton, Wisconsin to learn about Lean and healthcare improvement. read more

By January 8, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Lean For Thought

Lean For Thought

Mark’s Note: I’m just getting back from vacation, so we’re wrapping up the guest posts. Today’s post is by Christina Kach and you can read her previous guest posts here. Check out her updated bio at the bottom of the post. I’m sure there will be a lot of good discussion on this post, so […]

Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

My wife is a leader in a business (not GE) that does aircraft engine “MRO” work – maintenance, repair, and overhaul. I’ve been able to visit her shop floor (her “gemba”) and we noticed similar parallels between their work (bring engines back to prime “health”) and what’s done in healthcare. This parallel was also explored […]

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

I recently read an article (a case study) about “Lean Six Sigma” in a publication. It’s not online, so I can’t link to it, nor do I really want to call them out by name. I didn’t like the article, in part, because it used the old, tired (and wrong) idea that “Six Sigma is […]

By September 10, 2013 18 Comments Read More →
Weekend Fun: An Example of Poor Problem Solving

Weekend Fun: An Example of Poor Problem Solving

Here’s a funny ESPN commercial featuring golfer Rickie Fowler. Fowler is pouring coffee, yet he makes some bad assumptions about which coffee is decaf and about the “milk” being bad (compounded by the joke that he’s supposedly color blind). I guess if there’s any Lean lesson, it’s that we can be at the “gemba” and […]

By August 30, 2013 7 Comments Read More →
Gemba Wine: Variation in Wine Seals and Variation in Customer Needs

Gemba Wine: Variation in Wine Seals and Variation in Customer Needs

My wife and I just got back from four days in Napa and Sonoma counties doing, ahem, “gemba walks” at a number of wineries, both large and small. As tourists, we like doing winery visits where you get to walk the process, from grapes on the vine, through production, and into the glass. I tweeted […]

By August 21, 2013 6 Comments Read More →
Data vs. Facts – Bridge Wait Times & Hourly Rounding

Data vs. Facts – Bridge Wait Times & Hourly Rounding

There’s a great Taaichi Ohno quote that I was reminded of last week (see a previous post from 2010 on this). “Data is of course important in manufacturing, but I place the greatest emphasis on facts.” I was in northern Ontario and was going to be driving back across the border on Friday afternoon to […]

Have Staff Really Lost Sight of the Patient Experience?

Have Staff Really Lost Sight of the Patient Experience?

Dr. Delos (“Toby”) Cosgrove, President and CEO of the famed Cleveland Clinic, wrote an article on LinkedIn recently: “Patient Experience: Time for Hospitals to Look Under the Bed.” Cosgrove described his process of going to visit patients after heart surgery (good, which sounds like the Lean practice of “going to the gemba” to see what’s […]

Toyota’s Jamie Bonini on Organizational Culture

Toyota’s Jamie Bonini on Organizational Culture

Last week at the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, I really enjoyed the presentation by Jamie Bonini,  General Manager of the  Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC). Jamie started his career at Chrysler (where he knew Jamie Flinchbaugh, a good friend of this blog) and both Jamies, like me, are graduates of the MIT Leaders for […]

Lean Thinking (Finally?) Gets to Chrysler Windsor Plant?

Lean Thinking (Finally?) Gets to Chrysler Windsor Plant?

This article appeared back in March… March of 2013… as in this year: “Windsor Chrysler workers reduce waste to be world class.” I mean, good for them, but they are just now getting to this (even if the effort started in 2009 or so)… in the auto industry? Many hospitals were applying Lean thinking before […]

Partial Transcript of Podcast #164 – Rachelle Schultz, CEO of Winona Health

Partial Transcript of Podcast #164 – Rachelle Schultz, CEO of Winona Health

Occasionally, I have transcripts made from podcasts – and here is the transcript from Podcast #164 with Rachelle Schultz, CEO of Winona Health. Last year, Rachelle was also part of the CEO panel at the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. I’ll be at this year’s Summit, June 5-6 in Orlando, and I hope to see you […]