“Lean Coffee” Topics for September 2014


Lean Coffee LogoAs I blogged about last month, “Lean Coffee” is becoming a quarterly event for healthcare professionals here in San Antonio.

We held a two-hour discussion this morning, with students, leaders, and Lean practitioners from a university MHA program and some local healthcare organizations.

There's now a landing page that's the permanent home for Lean Coffee, registration info, etc. — leanblog.org/coffee

Below is a picture that shows how our “kanban” board looked at the end of our discussion today (under headers of “To Discuss,” “Discussing,” and “Discussed”).

lean coffee san antonio

Some of the topics included:

  • Growing your own Lean facilitators vs. hiring
  • How to shift from Lean projects to culture change?
  • How to improve leadership development?
  • How do you incentivize the daily review of metrics in departments?
  • What % of people would you expect to have “trained” in Lean by the end of year 3?
  • Should you spread solutions before metrics show improvements, when there is pressure to do so?
  • How do we prioritize what Lean projects to work on?

Many of these are fairly deep questions, but we had some good discussion, even with the 6 to 12 minute time limits that were decided on by the group (voting to stop the discussion or continue after 6 minutes).

On the question of daily metrics review, there was a lot of good discussion about asking why that's not being done, rather than thinking of incentives. Do people find a daily review to be unhelpful or not a good use of time? How can we help people get better at using the metrics review to drive problem solving and things that would be helpful?

Another interesting question that came up during the discussion was “What does it mean for a CEO to ‘support' Lean?” Can the CEO just talk about Lean or are they getting directly involved?

What questions would you bring up at a gathering of your peers and colleagues? Maybe you can run your own “Lean Coffee” in your city or organization. Let me know if you do!



What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleHomer Simpson Does Some Kaizen at Home and a Gemba Walk at Work
Next articleThe Fallacy of Firing People to Fix Patient Safety
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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