Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Archives by Tag 'Productivity'
Samuel Obara

Sammy Obara: Transparency allows for better productivity (and can be stressful)

By Samuel Obara, - Last updated: Monday, April 15, 2013
The same way we have different ways to handle manufacturing scenarios: slow or high mix, low or high volume, custom or standard products, etc, etc… I think there are some distinctions when we talk about office environments.  There are those transactional standard procedures with limited variations, such as the one a postal service clerk would have at the counter.  There are those that can require a lot more decision making and unpredictable resources, perhaps as in mortgage banking.  There are those of knowledge creation, which may seem one of the most difficult ...

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Jeff Liker

Daniel T Jones: Lean and Productivity

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Let me add another perspective to the excellent posts by my Lean Edge colleagues. For me the lean approach to productivity is distinguished by a wider as well as a deeper perspective, reaching beyond the shop or department to the whole value stream, ideally all the way from raw materials to the end consumer. This engages everyone in thinking about customer value and how their work contributes to delivering that. But we are missing a trick if we just look inwards as lean folk often do at the metrics and actions that improve the quality and physical productivity of internal processes. ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Productivity and Improvement

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
In theory this issue of measuring productivity is pretty simple but in reality it is usually complex for a variety of reasons…In general however I don’t like the question of “is there a specific lean way to measure productivity”.  I will elaborate on the topic with some background information and explain my concern and attempt to make some suggestions. First off here are a couple of quotes from the eminent British Nobel Prize winner (1906) J.J. Thompson regarding physics. The quotes also apply to lean as far as I am concerned. “To measure is to know. If you cannot measure it you ...

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Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: Group leaders have to compute their team’s productivity standards

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013
As the ole’ saying goes “you can lead a horse to water……”, well you can give a person a measure but you can’t ensure it’s going to be totally value added.   I think most people understand the concept of managing by the numbers or objectives it’s more common than not; if you tell me what you need and you are my boss then I will normally do what is necessary to get you that number especially if it’s tied to my performance evaluation, bonus, wage increase, or promotion (*note just because I meet numbers doesn’t always mean I deserve a ...

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Mark Graban

Mark Graban: Focusing on staff morale, quality, and waiting times leads to better productivity, but as an end result not a primary goal

By Mark Graban, - Last updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013
In hospitals, productivity measures are typically based on direct labor productivity or financial calculations (such as the oft-dreaded "Worked Hours Per Unit of Service" measure). These raw productivity measures are often easy to tabulate, but it doesn't mean that it's the most important thing or that it's meaningful to staff. A hospital can measure revenue per employee or the lab department can measure the number of tests completed per hour of labor, but they often struggle to measure things that are more important - like safety, quality, and waiting times. My ...

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The Lean Global Network: Is there a lean way to measure productivity?

By , - Last updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Many companies compare production hours to standard hours. Several still use indirect/direct ratios. Is there a specific lean way to measure productivity?
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Takt time is a thinking device to combine flexibility and productivity

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012
As time goes by fact becomes legend and legend becomes myth. Takt time is one of the core concepts of lean, which origins are now misted in myth – uncertain and unknowable, but thought-provoking anyhow. Legend has it that Ohno hit upon Takt time thinking when trying to improve productivity. Toyota was assembling trucks for the US army, and Ohno realized they’d spent three weeks in the month getting all parts in and then producing like crazy for the last week they started again. He figured out that rather than be an end-of-month company, if they were a end-of-day company ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Program vs System: Lean’s ambition is to propose a full business model, not just a productivity improvement program

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010
A few years ago, at the first French Lean Summit, one participant would stand up at the end of every presentation and ask “what about six sigma? Couldn’t this be done better with six sigma?” – until José Ferro, President of the Lean Institute Brasil answered with his incomparable charm that he didn’t feel competent to answer, having never worked with six sigma, but that the Toyota veterans he knew absolutely hated six sigma for its anti-teamwork spirit. The idea of having a green belt or black belt present to senior management the work of an entire team, he explained, ...

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