This tag is associated with 9 posts

Standardized Work: Avoiding the Complexity Trap

Organizations guided by PDSA thinking, however, consciously accept the notion that following the practice to consistently producing safe, efficient, and high quality work is a hypothesis – and people are always looking for the hypothesis to fail. Whenever a defect, delay, or incident occurs, it is understood that the hypothesis has failed and that a quick adjustment – or improvement – is necessary to prevent a similar failure from occurring in the future. Continue reading

Making Learning a Habit

Creating a learning organization requires establishing the culture, methods, and systems that support learning and make it become a part of the work people do every day. Leaders can talk about the importance of learning, but without a method that institutionalizes it in some way, it will never become a part of the organization’s DNA. Continue reading

Is Assessing Lean Wasteful?

“The most important things cannot be measured.” – W. Edwards Deming   The other day, I was asked my opinion about assessments to measure an organization’s progress on a lean journey.   Although I generally don’t use assessments, I really hadn’t given the subject much thought before our discussion. The idea behind a lean assessment is to identify the gap between the current state of the organization … Continue reading

Simple Formulas Are Nice But They Don’t Work

Although controlling costs is obviously important, companies are not in business to save costs. If your approach to managing costs is not backed by knowledge, you can wind up saving your way into oblivion. Continue reading

Making Problems Visible Is More Difficult Than It Sounds

Even without open competition, organizations that tend to promote those who hide problems by putting a positive spin on poor performance are unconsciously cementing a behavior that it is not okay to openly discuss problems. Continue reading

Demotivating Employees One Performance Review At A Time

It is interesting that some businesses feel that their systems for hiring and developing people are consistent and predictable enough to justify a normal distribution of ratings. This is often driven more by gut feel than data, and it assumes that the company has no effect on employee performance beyond assigning a rating to motivate the person to improve on his or her own. Continue reading

Deadwood and Leadership

“Were they dead when you hired them? Or did you kill them?* –  W. Edwards Deming Who is responsible for the poor performers in an organization? These are the people about whom leaders regularly complain and blame for many of the company’s problems. According to Jack Welch, they are the 10% of the workforce who … Continue reading

The Enemy Within

Although companies face external forces that impact results, it is generally the internal forces that cause the major problems. In fact, when it comes to organizational performance and improvement, we are our own worst enemy. We continually throw up barriers that interfere with focusing on what is truly important . . . serving customers. Continue reading

Profound Knowledge & Sociology

Sociology: noun \ˌsō-sē-ˈä-lə-jē, ˌsō-shē-\.  the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships; specifically : the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. [Merriam-Webster.Com] W. Edwards Deming’s Systems of Profound Knowledge has been a cornerstone to successful lean deployment for the last 20 years (longer, if … Continue reading

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