An Ironic Ad?


You've probably noticed that I run Google ads on the blog. The ads are usually pretty well targeted and, I think, of interest to the lean world. Here was an ad I saw on here a few weeks back:

Red flags started going off seeing the promise of a Kaizen Blitz “in minutes.” Here's another software vendor promising “Easy” lean or some way of short-cutting the process.

What they're selling is process simulation software. I realize there can be some value with that kind of software, but when used the right way.

I can't blame the vendor for trying to sell software. When you go their website, you links to “Process Model”, “Process Model for Six Sigma”, “Process Model for Lean.” It sounds like they're trying to force fit their simulation package into the latest trends and buzzwords of the moment.

This graphic, to the left, appeared on their website, in the context of it being a lean philosophy. It struck me as ironic in the sense that Process Model is trying to push their “hammer” (simulation software) as the solution for all of these different nails.

Does anyone have experience using process simulation software in the context of a lean effort? As an Industrial Engineer, I used discrete event simulation software back in 1995 when I was at GM, looking at “optimal” buffering strategies for a line. In hindsight, we should have been putting that effort into reducing the need for buffers, not micromanaging where the buffers should be and “how much.”


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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