A Washington DC Lean Tour, Part 5 – Camden Yards, Early Computers, and More


I got sidetracked from the DC lean tour. I'll wrap it up with this installment. The tour starts here, with Part 1.  See all of the posts here.

Random lean images and thoughts from the trip:

I was able to tour the Baltimore Orioles' ballpark at Camden Yards. This photo shows the scoreboard. See the two orioles in the upper corners? Those were designed to be weather vanes, to show the wind direction. Notice how they're pointed different directions?

Turns out that the birds are too heavy to turn freely in the wind. That's a nice design lesson — test and prototype along the way. Which such expense, they couldn't afford “Plan, Do, Check, Act” — they have “Plan, Do, Check…. DOH!”

See all of the “computers” in the upper right photo there?

The women at those desks were “computers.” They did calculations for aerospace engineers after World War II. Sometimes technology brings job change that's unavoidable. What's the best career strategy in a changing world? Be adaptable and have skills that are transferable. Lean skills are a great example of that.

You think skilled people can't benefit from standard work, whether that's engineers or doctors? Here is an example of what might be called “Standard Work” for U.S. Space Shuttle crews. Even with all of their training, they still kept standard work close by (on their wrists).

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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