Thoughts From Lean Thinkers on Coping with the Coronavirus Crisis


Thanks to Elisabeth and the team at for inviting me to contribute some thoughts in this piece:

How Lean Six Sigma Can Help Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic

Other contributors include:

Part of what I wrote:

With crisis, comes creativity. In healthcare, creative countermeasures to the COVID-19 crisis are a matter of life and death. Lean is not just a toolbox–it's a spirit of seeing problems (hard to miss now), solving problems (as many are doing), and then solving problems for the benefit of others.

COVID-19 requires people to develop new processes and methods for providing care and protecting others. Many healthcare systems have told their process improvement professionals to work from home, putting the employee's health and safety first. But, together with the healthcare system leaders–also working from home–they can still develop new standardized work through web meetings and video chats. Cycles of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust still need to take place. It takes creativity to facilitate from afar.

Click here to read the rest.

I love this sentiment from Darril Wilburn:

As a former Toyota team member, I had drilled into my brain, “When times are hard, prepare for when times are easy. When times are easy, prepare for when times are hard.”


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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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