Tag Archives: Kaizen

The Heart Of Improvement

Jon Miller from Gemba Panta Rei wrote an excellent post Act Small, Think Big.  I have seen some “world peace” lean improvement requests lately.  His post is a great reminder to get to the heart of Kaizen.

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Remember To Add-On The Andon

How important do you think andon is?  I think it is extremely important.

Kaizen workshop teams usually build great standard work or reliable methods.  I see them eliminate waste, create detailed implementation communication schedules, and ensure the auditing plan will give something to measure in PDCA.  Andon is not always added.

Andon must be built into a new or updated process to make it sustain.  If there is no mechanism to stop and fix errors before they are passed to the next step, quality will suffer.  Waiting for the error to show up in the audit or a visual management system may be too late.

Workshop teams usually have tons of confidence their new process will be flawless because they thought it out thoroughly.  Challenge and remind them the importance of andon. 

I would like to recommend two articles:  Fixed Position Stop Systemby Jon Miller at Gemba Panta Rei and Parenting Tips from Toyotaby Craig Woll at Evolving Excellence

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Lean Articles

** Updated the links ** 

I am in a workshop this week so I wanted to share some articles I have enjoyed recently.

101 Kaizen Templates: Kaizen Newspaper by Jon Miller

  • Lean Topic:  KAIZEN – A visual way to involve people in giving improvement ideas to areas other than their immediate work area or job scope
  • Excerpt:  The only responsibility of a non-manager or non-team leader is to identify the problem and write it down on the kaizen newspaper, number it, identify the type of problem (safety, category of waste, etc.) and take a stab at a cause or root cause. The kaizen newspaper frees people from bringing the solution along with the problem and in that sense it is very different from the kaizen idea suggestion system. … The kaizen newspaper is a daily management tool and should be read and acted upon each day.

Lean Leadership In Healthcare White Paper by Richard Doss and Cameron Orr

  • Lean Topic:  GROW LEADERS – This 9-page paper suggests a focus on the leadership behaviors that are crucial for Lean to progress beyond limited pilot studies and get sustainable results.
  • Excerpt:  Take note of the statement there is “no such thing as organizational change, only personal change” (source unattributed). Lean Leadership in healthcare, as in any other industry, is dependent on the transformation and behavior of individuals. Training courses, culture change initiatives, rapid improvement teams, etc., will have only limited impact unless Lean leadership is developed on a one-to-one basis. The good news, however, is that behavior can change very quickly. Given the right support, the rest of the stakeholders will begin to mimic the Lean leadership behavior.

The Physician Culture and Resistance to Change, Part I by Richard L. Reece, MD

  • Lean Topic:  DEVELOP EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE – Tips for understanding why physicians resist change and suggestions for handling them.
  • Excerpt from Part I:  To understand why physicians have resisted, you have to get inside their minds and skins. … These cultural characteristics may reflect a self-centered, narrow-minded, and shortsighted worldview. But these traits dominate many physicians’ minds and can’t be dismissed.
  • Excerpt from Part II: Certain specialists, including heart surgeons, cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, neurosurgeons, and oncologists – the economic lifeblood of most hospitals – are accustomed to acting decisively in clinical matters. This decisiveness carries over into business affairs. … Physicians ask to be trusted to do the right thing, to be considered professionals, to be paid for productivity, and seek information systems that provide relevant information and speed patient flow.
  • Excerpt from Part IIIIn The Effective Executive (Harpers, 1956), Peter F. Drucker state leaders igniting fundamental change share these traits: They rely on courage rather than analysis to dictate their priorities.  They pick the future rather than the past. They focus on opportunity rather than problems.  They chose their own direction, rather than climbing on someone else’s bandwagon.  They aim high, for something that will make a difference, rather than something that is “safe” and easy to do.  They seek fundamental contributions to improve society.

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