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 'start'
Tracey Richardson

Tracey Richardson: A good goal to start with is a 70% value add process

By Tracey Richardson, - Last updated: Monday, February 9, 2015
In the past several months I have had this question come up actually in different industries. So how should one determine or "calculate" value add percentage within a process (micro)? This can be subjective depending upon what you are measuring and how, but I know, based on my Japanese sensei's, you can weave through a process and determine its value add and non value add content/percentages if you are conditioned to see it and categorize it. In manufacturing type work, by nature, can be easier to "see". In M & I flow (for example) the ...

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Karen Martin

Karen Martin: Start the conversation

By Karen Martin, - Last updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014
The Lean Edge: How do you make time for improvements? As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my career, but now that I'm CEO, I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work. They’re already completely busy doing their regular work. Moreover, this company is in the outdoor sports industry, and many people join these companies because they want time to climb, backpack, canoe, etc., and I'm reluctant to ask them to work more hours and sacrifice time for these activities. Any advice?" When clients say they have ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Start with the person and learn with them

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Let’s look at this differently: let’s not start by wondering how to most efficiently organize temp labor, but let’s start from the fact that temporary workers are persons, just like any one else that works in the firm. Temporary workers are an essential part of the lean system because they help us be more flexible to volume variations no one knows how to handle internally. Temporary workers add value. Temporary workers are either forced by the circumstances of not having a full time job and then accepting a temporary position in the hope of getting that job, or, and I’ve ...

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Samuel Obara

Sammy Obara: First aks yourself: “how not to start with lean”, then go find a good sensei

By Samuel Obara, - Last updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The question on "how to start with lean" allows for a wide range of answers and perspectives, probably most or all of them correct. Without more background information, I guess a safe answer would be to find a good sensei. An easier question would have been how not to start with lean. Perhaps understanding that could be as helpful. Top places I believe you should never start: 1) learning how to use the "lean tools". They may all have their benefits and merits, but once we learn how to use them, we run the risk of using where they are not needed. ...

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Karen Martin

Karen Martin: Start with a demonstration activity and engage the leadership team

By Karen Martin, - Last updated: Saturday, February 8, 2014
While I agree whole heartedly with all of the responses so far, I'm going to offer an alternative viewpoint from pragmatic perspective. Many of the organizations I've worked with that have made significant progress on the Lean journey, didn't begin with the ideal: "what problem do you want/need to solve?" In several cases, they had no idea what Lean was; they simply knew that they wanted to improve their performance. So I've often started with a "demonstration activity" to get their feet wet, expose them to Lean thinking, and show them the world they could head into. In most of ...

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Steven Spear

Steven Spear: Start with a ‘model line’ so that leadership can learn to see and solve problems

By Steven Spear, - Last updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Becoming an exceptional organization, one capable of short term reliability and longer term responsiveness and agility requires building skills that accelerate feedback, correction, and learning. The reliable mechanism is starting with a ‘model line’ incubator in which leadership is connected to creating and harnessing a problem seeing problems solving dynamic and then using that incubator as a developmental tool to propagate those skills broadly. PERFORMANCE LEVELS AS FUNCTION OF LEARNING RATE We get entranced by the difference in "performance altitude" between those who are exceptional and those who are typical. In doing so, we overlook the fact that superior altitude was ...

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Daniel Markovitz

Daniel Markovitz: Start by identifying a specific problem to solve

By Daniel Markovitz, - Last updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Start with lean by identifying a specific problem to solve — preferably one that has a serious impact on the company’s ability to serve its customers. One company I know that has made incredible strides started its journey with the president (upon seeing their D/C filled to the ceiling with unshipped goods), setting a corporate goal for same-day shipment of orders. Once a problem has been identified, I believe that introducing the A3 as a tool to solve that problem is a great way to start. Doing an A3 correctly necessitates going to the gemba; engaging in conversation; showing respect; ...

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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: Start Local!

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: Friday, June 28, 2013
Start local! There will be plenty of waste and opportunity for improvement without the burden of tying it all together. The core change for the culture is totally unrelated to full global value stream integration. Learn how to listen to the voice of the customer. Learn how to identify the work that you do that your customers so not care about (waste). Learn how to use defects as way to see what can be improved. Learn how to make work visual. Learn how to work across functional line as you focus on processes. Learn how to evaluate demand. This will take a couple of ...

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Karen Martin

Karen Martin: Start with 4-step “Hoshin Lite” to gain consensus on priorities

By Karen Martin, - Last updated: Sunday, April 28, 2013
In The Outstanding Organization, I address my concern that companies often attempt Hoshin planning prematurely, before they’ve established a strong foundation for success. I describe a 4-step “Hoshin-lite” approach I use for clients who aren’t ready for the full monty as it were. The significant behavioral changes that are needed for the successful and full deployment of Hoshin Kanri often take years to develop–and that’s if the leadership team is committed and stable. My “lite” version (which I obviously recommend) focuses on identifying problems vs. solutions, gaining consensus around the priorities, reducing the number of priorities, using a modified version of ...

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Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: Where to start with Hoshin Kanri in a not-yet-lean company?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013
A mid-sized manufacturing company is finalizing its strategic plan and believes that it is time to begin Hoshin Kanri. The company is not currently operating as a Lean Enterprise -- functional silos create significant amount of waste which results in poor product/service quality and high cost to serve. Additionally, different departments and regions of the company are "pulling in different directions." What advice, resources, and lessons learned can you provide to the managers of this company to successfully organize and deploy Hoshin?
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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Andrew Turner: Where do we start in a Press shop?

By , - Last updated: Saturday, September 22, 2012
“Our company is split in 2 sections, the one a JIT assembly plant, the other a mass production Press Shop. Implementation of Lean in the JIT plant has been relatively simple (not that Lean is ever really simple), however, we are struggling with the implementation in our Press Shop. I know the importance of items like SMED and Heijunka in driving this journey, yet we are battling to get the ball rolling forward. Where do you think we should start the process in the Press Shop?”
Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Five “Why?” Not Five “Who?” – start pointing fingers and engagement is over

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Interestingly I just spoke to a Canadian manufacturing company today that supplies Toyota and has several years of experience implementing TPS. He said his biggest disappointment was the the culture still does not support surfacing problems.  People are afraid they will be blamed and they hide problems.  So this seems to be a generic problem across manufacturing and service.  When I interviewed the first head of human resources for the Georgetown, Kentucky plant (Japanese) he said what was most startling to him when he first came to America was that Americans did not like to say they had a problem.  ...

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