Reflections on Reader Feedback – Part 2


Following up on Part 1 of my Reader Survey reflection exercise, here is Part 2. Thanks for the 113 survey responses and for the time you took to give free-form feedback.

I won't share the generally positive comments and praise and thanks (although I really appreciated it).

There were lots of comments from people who enjoy the diversity of content. I agree — I think I enjoy writing the “Lean is Lean” stories that show how it's a consistent and pretty universal management philosophy. I think healthcare can absolutely learn from manufacturing and I hope the reverse would be true. I like the comments about how it's inspiring (or helpful) to hear how healthcare is adapting Lean successfully and making it work even though they are “different.”

What Should I Cover?

I got some good feedback as far as content, which I'll take into consideration.

“more general info particularly for office environments”

Good idea. I'll try to get more guest posts from Dan Markovitz, but I encourage you to check out his outstanding blog that focuses on office lean.

“I would like to see more examples of Lean used in the healthcare workplace.”

“I would appreciate articles that have more specifics and are more fact oriented or case study oriented.”

I think you'll continue to see more healthcare related posts here on the blog. The balance of posts has gradually shifted toward healthcare over time. I started the blog in early 2005 when I was still working in manufacturing (switching to healthcare in August '05). When I was working as a consultant, I had to be careful about not sharing stories from “the day job.” In my new role with the Lean Enterprise Institute, I might be able to share more stories from my current site visits and travels.

One idea I have is to include, at the end of each blog post (or at least 3 times a week), a link to a particular Lean Healthcare case study from one of the many consulting organizations or hospitals that post case studies, just a single line with a link and attribution.

“More manufacturing stuff.”

“I enjoy this blog very much. Is it possible to have blogs available for each type of industry your readers specify in this survey?”

The rule of thumb for me is always going to be “blog about what I'm interested about. I think that's the only true way to keep a blog your own. I don't mean to chase anyone away, but I do want to point out the growing “blog roll” of different blogs that I highlight and recommend in the left-column of the page here. I think my truest and best differentiation is to blog about health care a lot, but not exclusively.

“Get a bit more software related materials. It would be great to read more about parallels in hospitals, manufacturing and software development. Agile and lean are nowadays big topics in SW dev.” and “Post more about IT, reducing bugs, turnaround time in software”

I'm happy to announce that a new guest blogger will be Steve Hebert (@stevehebert). He has blogged previously about the software/IT space and he's going to resume blogging by posting weekly or bi-weekly here. Many of my new Twitter followers are from the software/IT world and I'm happy to host some content for that aspect of the Lean world. That will start soon.

How Should I Write?

Other than one not so “helpful” comment (from lean blogging friend, you know who you are, ha ha) about how I should “quit” “overusing” the “scare quotes” in my writing “style” (that starts reading like a Zagat review of my blog, ha ha), I got one piece of feedback on writing style:

“wordy, wordy, wordy. You should think about leaning up your posts. How about some clue in the first 3 sentences what the post will be about?”

Duly noted. Good idea for the longer posts to structure them with a summary and better headers.

Thanks for all of your feedback. I can't thank you enough for all of the reader feedback via the survey and all of the constructive comments that come with each post. I look forward to the comments. I'm glad we have a friendly, constructive community around the blog. Not every blog is so lucky.

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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.


  1. I'm personally leaning towards unsubscribing because your writing has become (to me) less and less credible the more you write as if lean were a magic bullet. Saying, "Lean is not a magic bullet" and then writing as if lean is the cure for world hunger, everything that's wrong in manufacturing, healthcare, and the services industry doesn't really hold up.

    That and after reading some of the comments to your previous posts it is becoming apparent that the folks that subscribe to your site are becoming zealots. All of that is pretty unappealing to me. Just the facts the please.

  2. To the previous guy, yeah, your fellow readers will miss your insightful, brave anonymous comments.

    There are like 100 ways to reach Mark to give feedback like a man and you dump on him in a blog comment? Nice.

  3. I don't mind constructive criticism or feedback, that's why I asked.

    I guess I'd ask that you make comments on specific posts where you think I'm just being a zealot or a "silver bullet" guy.


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