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What’s Your Countermeasure?

At first, the question of countermeasures will be met with strange looks and panic. Over time, however, people will come to meetings prepared to talk about how problems have been addressed and what is being done to keep the problem from affecting the operation in the future. Continue reading

Performance Improvement or Performer Improvement?

When an improvement process is only about business performance, team members will not necessarily develop kaizen skills. And in this situation, the organization misses out on the opportunity to grow kaizen activity because the number of people who are able to facilitate improvement projects remains static. Continue reading

Letting Up Is Not An Option

People in organizations where lean thinking has taken hold understand that continual improvement requires continual effort. This means never letting up on the drive to develop people and assure continued learning. As with an athlete mastering a sport, there is no such thing as maintaining a certain level of performance. There is either improvement or deterioration – and as you get better, improvement becomes more difficult to maintain. Continue reading

Making Your Processes Speak

Processes must be designed so they sing out when problems occur to enable issues to be identified and addressed quickly. Without the ability to speak, a process can hide problems until they become such a normal part of the operation that they no longer become recognized as problems. Continue reading

For Success With Kaizen . . . Think Small!

I read a whitepaper recently that touted the benefits of a kaizen process. The paper presented an example from a British company where an improvement project resulted in an annual savings to the organization of £1.2 million.  The point of the paper was to demonstrate the type of improvement that companies could achieve with an … Continue reading