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 'standards'
Peter Handlinger

Peter Handlinger: Use standards as a rallying point, not in a punitive sense!

By Peter Handlinger, - Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2013
Before considering the question directly it might be useful to understand that it only applies to the uptown white bread world of organisations that actually have standards, however misguided/informed the underlying thinking that created them may have been. There is, in the real world, a huge heaving mass of the economic sector that has very little comprehension of the benefit that ‘standards’ can bring to the organisation (this issue of establishing standards is perhaps the subject of another debate on The Lean Edge). I don’t feel that there is a simple Yes/No ...

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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: We Don’t Think About Standards the Way Toyota Does

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Monday, March 18, 2013
Question:  Standards are often described as 'the best way known to perform a certain task'. How do you change a standard? We spent from approximately 2004-2009 researching how Toyota managers think. (You can't figure it out by asking them, btw.) Based on those investigations I can say that this sort of "standard = best way" question probably wouldn't make much sense to an experienced Toyota person. Their paradigm is just too different. What we found out about how Toyota people think about standards looks more like this: This paradigm immediately and automatically leads to two fundamental questions: Where do you want to be next? Where are ...

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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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Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: Start with Production Control and Empower People through Standards

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Hi Andrew, I will answer to my personal experience in regard to this question.  I think its a good one, it can bring out many dynamics that fall under that umbrella of thinking "flow vs batch" so I will try to cover several of them within my answer.   When I was first exposed to the Toyota Production System (TPS) "thinking" in 1988 at Toyota Motor Manuf. KY (TMMK) I made an assumption that if you weren't practicing one piece flow then you weren't effectively practicing TPS.  Now to explain that statement I was in a 2-week assimilation class before I ...

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Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: Without work standards there can be no kaizens

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012
This is a very interesting and complex question but one Im drawn to answer based on my experiences at Toyota on the production floor, a current instructor at Toyota, and as a consultant over the past 14 years.  I've had the opportunity to be very close to this situation with a couple of my clients who could be categorized as silo based organizations. It's difficult at times to have a linear approach to such a nebulous type situation in trying to change a way of thinking that has been in place possibly for many years.   To say there are 5 major ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Work standards are both individual and collective

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012
I was in a plant this week where assembly operators filmed each other and compared how they work on the same station stopwatch in hand, and get to an agreement on the standard way to build a specific part. On most aspects they agreed there was a “best way” in the stopwatch sense, on some they agreed to disagree as each individually preferred to do this gesture this way or that. As they went through the exercise repeatedly, they also highlighted many opportunities for kaizen to improve the workstation to make the job easier. I’m not sure the source of ...

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Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: We all individually had standards we followed as well as the team collectively and upward

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I think from my 10 years at Toyota (TMMK) standards were the basis for everything we did, including 5S.   It really was the key to our success and the infrastructure for the culture.  Having the unique opportunity to be a team member, team leader and group leader within the company it was important to understand that we all individually had standards we followed as well as the team collectively and upward. As some have stated, standards were there for us to understand when an abnormality occurred so at an individual level we understood the expectations and what resources it took to ...

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Samuel Obara

Sammy Obara: It depends on how many people you really need to make the effort on this specific improvement to take place with its adequate adjustment of standards.

By Samuel Obara, - Last updated: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Maybe the core question ends up being:  whose role is it to improve? The question seems too simple now: When we say we are improving specifically the "standards", and if by that we mean improving standardized work and its three documents, then very often that is done by a team as small as 2 people, the team member and his supervisor (or many times a process engineer), who can document, do time taking, record steps on paper, etc. On an extended definition, I think that in most cases, when we say we are improving standards, it is implied that there has been an improvement in the process first, so ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Standards might stem from an individual’s suggestion or it could be the result of a group discussion

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
In the Toyota Way the purpose of standardized work, or any standards for that matter, is to provide a baseline for kaizen.  If 5 people do the job differently than any individual with an idea will only apply the idea to her own work.  The individual will learn something, but the group will not.  In order for a group to learn they have to agree on a standard and then when a new idea is tried and confirmed it becomes the new standard.  If only one individual was doing the job they might be able to learn in their head ...

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Cécile Roche: Are work standards individual or collective?

By , - Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
"Standards of work: an individual or a collective discipline? I understand that standards are the basis of respect in Lean, established, followed and improved at a team level as the better way to identify successes and failures (and then act .). How to balance the individual effort of everyone and the collective contribution of the team?"
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