I recently got to meet Prof. Donald J. Wheeler when he gave a keynote talk at the Society for Health Systems Conference. Check out his book Understanding Variation and learn more about him in this post.
Here are some recorded keynote talks and video presentations from the "Results Washington" annual conference, as part of the state's Lean government efforts. See this post for talks from LEI's Jim Womack and John Shook, Toyota's Jamie Bonini, and many healthcare improvement leaders.
A hat tip goes to Brian Buck for sharing this quote via email recently. Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, was a pithy and wise man. I didn't remember this quote, but it is attributed to him. It's very appropriate for the type of work we do...
Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week. Follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation. See the previous installments of Key Tweets here.
Back in 2007, I had my first opportunity to travel to England, a country I really love visiting. I had the chance to attend the “First Global Lean Healthcare Summit” that was produced by Dan Jones and the Lean Enterprise Academy. They actually have posted many of the slide decks from the Summit there on the site, but there’s no video that I can find. I’ve embedded some of the decks below and I’ve also added some of my notes that I took.
Last Monday, I had the chance to attend a Lean Startup event in Austin where Eric Ries announced the launch of a Kickstarter project for a new book. 10 days ago isn’t much of a “throwback,” but bear with me.
As often happens, I have too many open browser tabs full of articles that I was going to potentially blog about. Too much WIP (a problem that Jim Benson will discuss in our upcoming Boston workshop).
So, it’s time for me to clear out my backlog and to share some articles I’ve been reading with some quick notes, instead of full blog posts. Well, I got my backlog down by three. I’ll try again next week with some shorter blurbs about more articles, perhaps.
Friday, I shared my song “Gemba Claus is Comin’ to Town” and I thought I was done posting for the year.
But, my wife and I were watching a recording of the old “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer” special. We couldn’t help noticing that the show has a lot of awful themes — for example, there’s a lot of bullying that occurs when a raindeer or a boy is different than the rest. I’m not sure how that’s an uplifting Christmas tale.
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 from here to there.
I get a lot of emails from regular readers or people who have just stumbled across my blog. I try to be as helpful as I can (although I’m not really a good connection for Lean healthcare jobs that people are always looking for).
One email was from somebody who has recently discovered Lean and is reading up a storm:
“It led me to the Gemba Kaizen book which I still am trying to get through, The Toyota Way which I am also reading, Womack’s Lean Thinking, the Gemba Academy videos (the lean dishwasher being my favorite), your blog and several other popular lean sites.”
Here’s somebody who is buying inexpensive used books through Amazon and craigslist, building up an impressive initial library without spending a fortune. I wonder how many CEOs at hospitals that are “implementing Lean” have read that many books on Lean?
MP3 File (run time 31:13)
My guest for Episode 188 has been a leading voice in the Lean community for 25 years, Daniel T. Jones, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy, based in the UK. Dan collaborated with Jim Womack on the books The Machine That Changed the World, Lean Thinking, and Lean Solutions and published other books through the LEA.
Currently, Dan is helping promote Lean in healthcare and government and is learning about the Lean Startup community by becoming an advisor to the company Elastera. He has also recently joined Twitter as @DanielJonesLean. You can also watch recently-released free videos (via Gemba Academy) of Dan, Jim, and John Shook reflecting on 25 years of Lean and other topics. In this episode, we touch on all of these questions and also take a question via Twitter.
For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/188.
For earlier episodes, visit the main Podcast page, w
Mark’s note: Christina Kach is back with a new post, this time a review of what should probably be considered a “Lean classic.” Come back tomorrow for my first podcast interview with one of the co-authors, Dan Jones. You can find my previous podcasts with Jim Womack on the Lean Podcast main page. Maybe this will be the start of a “Belated Book Review” series. Let me know if you would like to review a “Lean classic” (or a book by Henry Ford, Frederick Taylor, etc.).
The Machine That Changed The World By James Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos isn’t a new title to those in the world of Lean. If we’ve not read it, we’ve certainly heard about it or seen it referenced in more than one book or lecture.
Taking public transportation to my new job gives me the opportunity to finally get some reading done on a long list of books I’ve been tagging on my GoodReads App. First up was this Lean classic and the following is a report on my thoughts and commentary about this hallmark book.
With a title so strong and tempting, and known to be the one that started it all, would this book deliver? I think it did, though not in the way I’d expected.
When I wrote the post The Term “Lean Production” is 25 Years Old – Some Thoughts on the Original John Krafcik Article back in September, I was frustrated that this groundbreaking article was NOT available for viewing or even purchase through MIT Sloan Management Review.
The Lean Enterprise Institute has now made the article available as a free PDF download on their site.
Read my thoughts on the article here. John Krafcik and Jim Womack have published their reflections on the 25th anniversary as a new essay in Gemba Walks Expanded 2nd Edition, available now. I’m hoping LEI will make that essay available on lean.org.
People often ask me where the term “Lean” comes from. It’s not an acronym, so it shouldn’t be spelled “LEAN” (but it often is). Lean is not a synonym for “lacking or deficient” in resources, as some dictionaries will tell you or as it gets used in news headlines about “surviving the lean economy.”
The term “lean production” arguably was first used in a MIT Sloan Management Review article by John Krafcik that was published 25 years ago this fall (Fall 1988), titled “Triumph of the Lean Production System” (pdf via LEI). In the 1980s, Krafcik, who worked with The Lean Enterprise Institute’s Jim Womack in the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program is now president and CEO of Hyundai North America (update: he’s now CEO of TrueCar).
When the book Lean Thinking (by Jim Womack and Dan Jones) was originally published in 1996, it seems likely that hardly anyone was applying Lean principles in healthcare. Sure, you had organizations applying TQM or CQI principles (or even some of the lessons of Dr. W. Edwards Deming) and Joan Wellman did some of her first Lean healthcare experiments in 1995, but there weren’t any “Lean healthcare” case studies yet.
The book (with the same text in the original and updated editions) spends about two pages talking about the potential of Lean principles in healthcare. You can likely read the pages (289 and 290) through the Amazon “look inside” feature or possibly through Google Books (search for “medical care”).
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 Global Operations program.
Jamie shared great insights on what we might call “Lean culture” as Toyota aims for and others have emulated.
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!