Author Archive: Mark Graban

Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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Dr. Deming on Why Improvement Stalls Out, Today’s Hospital Patient Safety Parallels

Dr. Deming on Why Improvement Stalls Out, Today’s Hospital Patient Safety Parallels

The other day, I was re-reading parts of the classic book by W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis.

Chapter 11 focuses on variation, an extremely important topic, as I’ve written about before.

The chapter includes this chart and some discussion from Dr. Deming… before the chart, he writes:

Sad Bloomberg BusinessWeek Article on Auto Supplier Safety, Thoughts for Healthcare

Sad Bloomberg BusinessWeek Article on Auto Supplier Safety, Thoughts for Healthcare

A few of you sent me this article... and you were correct to think I would be interested: "Inside Alabama's Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs." What are the parallels and lessons for hospitals?

Free Webinar Next Tuesday: How to Coach for Creativity & Service Excellence

Free Webinar Next Tuesday: How to Coach for Creativity & Service Excellence

I'm happy to be playing the role of host for a free webinar being held next Tuesday, March 28... presented by Karyn Ross, co-author of the Shingo Award-winning book The Toyota Way to Service Excellence. Her webinar is titled: "How to Coach for Creativity & Service Excellence"

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 20: #Lean, ROI, Shopping Belt

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 20: #Lean, ROI, Shopping Belt

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff. You can follow me @MarkGraban and join the fun and the conversation...

Podcast #277 – Kay Kendall, #Lean and Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way

Podcast #277 – Kay Kendall, #Lean and Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way

Joining me for episode #277 of the podcast is Kay Kendall (@KayAKendall), co-author (with Glenn Bodinson) of the excellent book Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way: How World-Class Leaders Align Their Organizations to Deliver Exceptional Results.

Learning Not to Blame: Spring Training Baseball Edition

Learning Not to Blame: Spring Training Baseball Edition

Lean thinkers do their best to avoid blaming individuals for systemic problems. This lesson comes also from W. Edwards Deming who was deeply influential on Toyota.

It’s easier said than done. Old habits die hard. We all sometimes find ourselves thinking blaming thoughts instead of thinking about the system and how that contributes to the problem or scenario.

10 Years of “L.A.M.E.”

10 Years of “L.A.M.E.”

It's been 10 years since I first wrote about my awkward acronym L.A.M.E. Is it helpful to distinguish between true Lean principles and "Lean As Misguidedly Explained?" Will we see more L.A.M.E. talk and behaviors in the future?

Good Design of Products or Processes Makes Doing the Right Thing Obvious & Easy

Good Design of Products or Processes Makes Doing the Right Thing Obvious & Easy

Good design, for products or processes, should be intuitive, if not obvious. In this post, I struggle with refueling my car, opening a trash can, and finding an auditorium seat writing surface. Hilarity ensues.

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 13: #Lean Healthcare in Europe & More

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 13: #Lean Healthcare in Europe & More

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff. I was in Belgium all week for the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit Europe (#HCsummitEurope17).

The Challenge of PDSA: Feeling Like You’ve Fallen Short

The Challenge of PDSA: Feeling Like You’ve Fallen Short

Mark's note: Today's post is by Cristal Totterman, a pharmacist and Lean leader I have known for a couple of years now. She's written a post that made me think about and reflect on the never-ending journey of improvement, both as individuals and organizations.

Your “Lean Daily Management” Approach Would Be Even Better with Some Simple Statistical Methods

Your “Lean Daily Management” Approach Would Be Even Better with Some Simple Statistical Methods

Here is an article that I wrote and published on LinkedIn on Tuesday on the topic of managing metrics in a better, less wasteful, less frustrating, and more productive manner.

Who Are Your “Decision Makers?”

Who Are Your “Decision Makers?”

I was at an organization recently where one of the relatively senior leaders kept using a curious phrase that made my ears perk up. The senior executives were continually being referred to as "the decision makers." Why can't everybody be a decision maker?

Meeting A Professional Hero: Donald J. Wheeler, PhD, of “Understanding Variation”

Meeting A Professional Hero: Donald J. Wheeler, PhD, of “Understanding Variation”

I recently got to meet Prof. Donald J. Wheeler when he gave a keynote talk at the Society for Health Systems Conference. Check out his book Understanding Variation and learn more about him in this post.

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 6: Fire Fighting, Confusing Signs & More

Key Tweets from @MarkGraban Week of March 6: Fire Fighting, Confusing Signs & More

Here’s the latest installment of “Key Tweets,” a (usually) weekly post that summarizes some of my tweets (or retweets) from the week, including pictures and other interesting stuff.

New White Paper: “#Lean for Doctors”

New White Paper: “#Lean for Doctors”

I'm happy to share a link to a white paper that I co-authored for Catalysis (formerly the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value). The paper is titled: "Lean for Doctors." It's co-authored with Dr. John Toussaint and Dr. Jack Billi.

#TBT: Don’t Blame the Kicker, Don’t Blame the Oscar Presenter, and Don’t Blame the Healthcare Professional

#TBT: Don’t Blame the Kicker, Don’t Blame the Oscar Presenter, and Don’t Blame the Healthcare Professional

Today's Post in <50 words: Lean thinkers don't blame individuals who are in a bad system, whether that's a presenter at Oscars, a kicker in a football game, or a healthcare professional in a hospital.

Personal Kaizen: How I Reduced Effort & Time in Scheduling Phone Calls

Personal Kaizen: How I Reduced Effort & Time in Scheduling Phone Calls

In today's post, I write about how Kaizen starts with you. I share some examples of "personal Kaizen," including the way I've streamlined my call scheduling process, for my benefit and for others.

Podcast #276 – Andy Sheppard, #Lean, Change Management & More

Podcast #276 – Andy Sheppard, #Lean, Change Management & More

My guest for Episode #276 is a Lean consultant (although he might not prefer that term) and an author, A J (Andy) Sheppard. Andy is the author of The Incredible Transformation of Gregory Todd: A Novel about Leadership and Managing Change and also contributed a chapter to my Practicing Lean book project.