Everyday Lean: 3:30 AM


I know we have a winner in our May contest (or, see below). I was up at 3:30 AM yesterday to go do some lean work at a hospital.

I borrowed a lean trick that my wife, a former road-warrior consultant, taught me. It's a trick I should have figured out on my own, applying the lean concept of external setup.

Traditionally, machine “setup” was done without much regard to time. You would shut the machine down and then start gathering tools, etc.

External setup is the idea that you take as much of that work as possible and make it “external”, doing it “outside” of the machine downtime. In my simple example here, you can do many things, such as gathering tools, while the machine is still running. That way, you minimize the amount of time that the machine is down. Anything that MUST be done during downtime is called “internal” setup. Core lean concept.

To maximize my sleep, I “set up” my hotel room and bathroom at 9:30 PM the night before, when I had more energy than I would have at 3:30 AM.

  • Prepped the in-room coffee maker with water and put the filer in the basket. Just had to hit “start”.
  • Prepped the bathroom: Shampoo and soap in shower, bath mat on floor, toothbrush, razor, etc. all set up on the counter, not in my bag.
  • Prepped clothes: Clothes out and ready to put on (still on the hangers though, one piece of setup that could have been made external

I might have saved five minutes, max. But still, my morning was easier and faster than it would have been otherwise. External setup. Faster morning. Everyday lean.

Here is an article on setup from our friend, Norm Bodek. You can visit his blog here.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Scroll down to comment or share your thoughts and the post on social media. Don't want to miss a post or podcast? Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.


Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.