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 'quality'
Peter Handlinger

Peter Handlinger: Straight Delivery Rate (SDR) basically measures how much of your product went through your process(es) within the design leadtimes and quality parameters

By Peter Handlinger, - Last updated: Monday, January 28, 2013
The adage that you get what you measure (and then some other bonus unexpected behavioural outcomes) is as true as ever. This has been lucidly described in this forum and in the literature. However, the central point still remains, and that is to achieve a specified result it is critical for one to understand the underlying processes. I recently listened to an interview with one of the South African Test cricket team members talking about how they became the world's best test cricket team (cricket, to my European and American colleagues is the game played with a flat bat and a hard red ball ...). What he said, ...

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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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Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Lean, Quality and Cost Cutting

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have met many of these folks too who talk about lean but whose heads are stuck in the old cost cutting mind set. Organisations that employ them, whether as internal or external consultants, deserve what they get – traditional cost cutting! A great shame and a missed opportunity. On the other hand I have also met good lean folk who know all the tools but who do not have an A3 plan to guide their actions. And I often encounter quality folks who imply that improving quality is somehow more virtuous than the grubby task of eliminating waste, which ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Quality = Sales is the hardest lean lesson for management

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thanks for asking the question – the difficulty in getting senior executives to focus on quality has to be my number one frustration with teaching lean (number two being people engagement). I have been puzzled for years how come all our Toyota teachers always started with quality, but somehow we never took that onboard as we did lead-time reduction or spot waste elimination. To my mind, the question is: why can’t we capture senior management’s interest on quality? The first issue appears to be the mindset of price = volume. In Ohno’s terms, I’m increasingly convinced that this is a misconception. ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Does Lean Forget Quality at Times?

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
This topic strikes a chord with comments I have made in the past regarding the state of Lean at least in the United States. Unfortunately I do feel that the Lean movement is often guilty of under emphasizing quality at times. Of course this is just a broad characterization and I am not speaking about my colleagues here on this site or directly about any company in particular. Let me try and explain my viewpoint. The Toyota Production System for many years was depicted as having two pillars. One was the famous Just-in-Time Pillar and the other was the less well ...

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Jim Huntzinger

Jim Huntzinger: Quality Is In The People

By Jim Huntzinger, - Last updated: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
As Mr. Micklewright points out one of the aspects of the lean business model is increasing productivity and efficiency – this is often the focus of many lean programs (program, unfortunately, instead of a business model).  This aspect is manifested in developing and implementing flow.  But quality is directly linked to flow, and this link is all too often missed, or ignored. In order to maintain good flow – that is constant and consistent flow (and ideally one-piece flow) – certain outcomes have to happen, and not just by circumstance; uptime on equipment, no long changeovers, consistent supply of the right ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Is Quality Central or Peripheral to Lean?

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, April 11, 2010
The most stunning accomplishment of Toyota over the last fifty years is their turnaround from making “junk” to virtually redefining quality in the auto industry.  They were influenced to the core by W. Edwards Deming and quality is evident everywhere in the company.  The objective of the Toyota Production System is presented as Quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale and any metric board in Toyota will include quality indicators. Every “lean consultant” or lean training course I know emphasizes quality.  In this sense I disagree with the questioner who claims lean focuses only on cost and efficiency.  On the other hand ...

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Mike Micklewright

Mike Micklewright: Why Is Quality So Rarely Central In Lean?

By Mike Micklewright, - Last updated: Sunday, April 11, 2010
I see so many internal Lean “experts” using “Lean” as a means to increase efficiencies and productivity, and therefore, reduce costs.  They still do not see the connection to quality.  They see quality and the reduction of variation in significant product characteristics as something that is outside of the Lean scope and something that should be handled by the quality folks independently of the lean effort.  What a shame!  If you agree with this observation, why does this exist and what can we do to change this perception?
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Quality First, Safety Always

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Friday, March 19, 2010
Would Toyota sacrifice safety for profits? I have no idea how to test such a hypothesis, but I find it highly unlikely. If culture is made visible by behavior, one of the first things that impressed me with Toyota engineers as I observed them working with suppliers, was their unique focus on people before machinery or parts. Certainly, their safety focus was much higher than anything we’d seen before, and they played a strong part in raising safety awareness across the board. Indeed, one of the first points I personally raise in doing lean with any company is safety and ergonomics. ...

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