Browsing All Posts published on »June, 2012«

Lessons from Sensei Imai

June 22, 2012 by

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 Last Friday, many of us had the pleasure to listen to Dr. Masaaki Imai, a well-known lean sensei who made a special presentation to King County. In his talk, I was particularly struck with a recurring theme he stressed over and over again. The theme was that for lean and continuous improvement to succeed, there needs […]

What is the data telling us?

June 14, 2012 by

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Have you ever visited a workplace to wonder how a team’s processes are performing? What about whether that team is having a good day or bad day? Have you ever looked at a report and wondered, while interesting, that’s not really all that relevant or doesn’t tell me what I want to know. These are […]

Seeing the Value in Standard Work

June 7, 2012 by


There can be no improvement without a standard

One of the most fascinating aspects of process improvement is witnessing just how much variation exists in work processes. It is only when we do a "go see" or walk a process w/ direct observation that we recongnize it. In almost all cases, frontline staff are at the mercy of a non-specified process, and so are often left to "figure things out." What happens is that one operator might perform work entirely different from someone else. Moreover, with wide variation in how long it takes and