Videos: Lean in Daily Work at the University of Michigan Health System


If your organization blocks access to YouTube… shame on them. The videos I'm sharing here are two reasons you should insist they open access to the world of Lean healthcare education that exists there.

Today, I'm sharing two videos produced by the University of Michigan Health System about “Lean in Daily Work.” Their approach builds on the scientific problem solving approaches that are embedded deeply in the Toyota-based Lean methodology and philosophy.

Highlights of their management methods include:

  • Daily (or by shift) team huddles
  • Daily management “gemba walks” for recognition and problem identification / improvement (this is done weekly or monthly by higher levels of leadership
  • Problem solving (in the form of increasingly complex “just do its,” Everyday Lean Idea” forms, and A3 problem solving)

The videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Great quote (said in a collaborative supportive way, not pointing fingers at employees):

“If you can't find problems… that's a problem.”

That's very Toyota-like. See this post.

You can see, at eight minutes into the 2nd video, some examples of their “Everyday Lean Ideas,” which are a lot like Norman Bodek's “quick and easy kaizen” and methods shared in my book Healthcare Kaizen.

One example:

Better for patients (customers), better for staff… better for the University of Michigan Health System.

Great work.


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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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