Tag Archives: Toyota Production System

“Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”

Remember the song “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”? 

I was thinking how appropriate some of the lyrics are for people who see problems in their work area everyday that never get fixed.  Encourage your teams to make problems visible so they can begin to solve issues. 

  • Make a whiteboard where everybody writes problems they see. 
  • Have blank A3 paper handy so someone can begin to uncover the root cause. 
  • Remind people to not just keep problems limited to memory because in a fast-paced workplace it is easy to forget or trivialize as time progresses.
  • Assign or facilitate someone in the workgroup to own the resolution of the problem.
  • Reinforce a culture where leadership supports problems being visible and not used as an easy punishing device.

Giving your team an avenue to express the problems they see will bring massive improvement to your organization.

My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation.  How can I help harness that inspiration?

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Filed under A3, Business, Change Management, Communication, Encouragement, Improve With Lean, Learn Leadership, Personal Development, Productivity, Respect For People, Visual Communication

Book Review: The Birth Of Lean

 “The Birth Of Lean” published by the Lean Enterprise Institute is a terrific book.  This book is for people who want to gain a deeper insight into the thinking and struggles Toyota went through to develop what we call Lean. 

I have been on my Lean Journey for 1.5 years.  This book was perfect for someone at my stage of learning.  I do not think this is a good introduction to Lean but functions as a book to help get a deeper understanding of the topics.  If Lean was a college course, this would be a book for the level 300 classes. 

The most powerful aspect of this book was the first person narrative from TPS & TQC pioneers such as Taiichi Ohno, Masao Nemoto, and Eiji Toyoda.  I felt I was able to “get into their head” for a bit and understand their thinking and perspectives.

There are many gems in this book and different things that stood out to me.

  • SCOLDING – This surprised me to see how often the speakers talk about scolding workers and showing what went wrong and why.  I am not suggesting this becomes a new practice, but this really shows an approach Toyota took to creating a learning organization.  Many Lean transformations strive for the feel-good approach.
  • EXPERIMENTATION – Toyota just kept trying new things over and over again.  They stopped the line and kept at it. They did not wait for a workshop.  They practiced GAMBARE (just do it).
  • TWO PILLARS – I was surprised to read that Ohno’s Toyota Production System was created almost in parallel with Nemoto’s Total Quality Control.  The two systems complimented each other but were not made in conjunction.  Most Lean literature has merged these two systems and call it TPS but they were independent for quite a while.

If you want to think like the pioneers of Lean, this book will let you hear directly from them.  There are many nuggets inside the book that will be valuable for you.

Conflict of interest disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation.  How can I help harness that inspiration?

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Slideshare: Learning from the Toyota way

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I really enjoy seeing how others teach or have learned about the Toyota Production System and Lean.  This slideshare from whatidiscover is a nice summation of the basic concepts ( *RSS readers will have to open this post to be able to view the presentation*).  I haven’t seen the great Taiichi Ohno quote on slide 45 before and I LOVE it (skip ahead to read it if you are short on time).  I half expected a consultant blurb at the end of it but it may have been created from someone who is just reading the books and sharing their learnings.

My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation.  How can I help harness that inspiration?

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more about “Learning from the Toyota way“, posted with vodpod

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A Toyoda Set To Lead Toyota Again?

Our Lean benchmark, Toyota, may see President Katsuaki Watanabe step down and Akio Toyoda rise up to lead the company started by his grandfather.  See the AP article on msnbc.

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Check Your Culture: Stop To Fix Problems

The Toyota Way Principle 5: Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.  Quality takes precedence (Jidoka). Any employee in the Toyota Production System has the authority to stop the process to signal a quality issue.

Do you have this culture yet?

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Keeping Too Much Inventory On Your Hard-Drive?

The Trouble with Terabytes by John C. Dvorak at PCMAG.COM is a great article about how cheaper information storage is causing us to keep unneeded files, duplicate documents, bad photos, lame music tracks from ripping a whole CD to your iPod, ect.  He points out how important it is to maintain our information storage systems.  The solution sounds a little like 5S to me! 

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Galileo On Gemba

What was observed by us is the nature or matter of the Milky Way itself, which, with the aid of the spyglass, may be observed so well that all the disputes that for so many generations have vexed philosophers are destroyed by visible certainty, and we are liberated from wordy arguments.

Galileo Galilei was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution.

My paraphrase: “When going to gemba with a spyglass and learning to see, we are liberated from wordy arguments in a conference room.” 

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Poka-yoke Health Care

I recommend a great resource for you to check out: Mistake-Proofing the Design of Health Care Processes from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

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Interruptions Waste

Ralph Bernstein at Lean Insider posted a great piece “Quiet Time” and “No Email Day”: Eliminating the Waste of Interruptions.  I love this idea and think it is very Lean thinking.  We are in a culture where interruptions are so common we now must be proactive to own our time!

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Value Added – Happiness as Your Business Model

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Tara Hunt from Citizen Agencycreated this brilliant slideshow (RSS readers will need to open this article to view).  This really helps me get a picture of the mind of the customer.  Once we understand their minds, then we can ensure our process steps are creating value.

Slide 124 inspires me from a Lean perspective.  While there are some necessary non-value-added steps that have to be taken (especially in healthcare), look for the possibility to make it value added by giving the customer tools to personalize their experience.

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more about “Happiness as Your Business Model“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

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Tim Ferriss – Profitability & Pareto

Tim Ferriss wrote a great piece called The Margin Manifesto: 11 Tenets for Reaching (or Doubling) Profitability in 3 Months.  His suggestion to use the Pareto 80/20 rule for “Hyperactivity vs Productivity” is right on the money.  His comment about all the time spent firefighting makes me reflect on how lean can help remove the waste and variability that creates the fires.

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Last Week’s Event

The team did an outstanding job last week.  A couple of their targets were to increase on-time starts for lab draws in the cancer clinic and create visual systems to see demand.  They met their targets and really caught the spirit of improvement.

One factor that made the workshop a success was having a patient’s parent involved.  The parent was able to come in and explain their experience and perspective.  Their participation created a lot of value for the team.

This event demonstrated the power of going to gemba.  A team-member commented how it always felt chaotic but could never pinpoint where the chaos was coming from until they observed and broke it up into pieces.

Last but now least, I saw how important data is for an event.  I am a data consultant so this was impactful to me.  Data in other events seemed to stop after establishing the current state of a process.  This team was looking at cycle times and percentage scheduled during time of day all week.  This helped them figure out specifically where to make improvement adjustments.

I had a great time and learned a ton!

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Deming’s Golden Rules

Mark Graban at leanblog recently posted DEMING’S GOLDEN RULES.  There are great principles and it is nice to read more about Deming.  I have read about him in relation to Lean and PDCA but have not delved to much more into him.

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Value Stream Assignment

I am excited to be assigned to a value stream.  I have been learning our standard work as internal consultants at my hospital for the last few months and have just received my value stream assignment. 

I will now be working primarily in our Heart Center as a Lean Data Consultant.  The Heart Center team is full of great people and I am honored to be a part of the improvements that will take place.

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Effective vs Efficient

I think Lean practitioners should replace the word EFFICIENT with EFFECTIVE.

This thought has been ruminating in my mind since reading Timothy Ferriss “The 4-Hour Workweek“.  The book explains how you do not want to spend your time being efficient on tasks that are not effective.  It reminds me that we do not want to be efficient with non-value-added tasks, we want to remove those wastes. 

Lean is sometimes lumped into the category of “efficient changes” but it really goes deeper than that.  Lean is all about optimizing effectiveness.  Procedures will become efficient as a result of the attention to being more effective.  By stating our purpose to increase effectiveness, the efficiencies will follow.  Replacing a simple word has a deep impact.

I recommend Kevin Meyer’s post from Evolving Excellence about how this book can apply to Lean thinking: Productivity: Eliminate Before You Optimize.

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