Punching Data Analysis Right in the Face

Punching Data Analysis Right in the Face
I’m not always the smartest Continuous Improvement practitioner in the room (unless I’m all by myself…  at least until the cat walks by).  Sometimes I get to pretend I’m smart, and other times I’m smart enough to not even try. One person who I’ll never try to outsmart is Zach Weinersmith.  Zach is a fantastic ...

Changing Micro-Managers’ Behavior 2

Changing Micro-Managers' Behavior
If you’re like me, you can’t stand being micromanaged.  Micromanagement crushes productivity and morale.  Nobody wants to work for a micro-manager. The worst part is that micro-managers don’t usually realize that they are causing problems.  They feel that they are being proactive and doing an extra-groovy job ensuring that the job gets done.  So simply ...

Perfect Bacon, Every Time! 3

Perfect Bacon, Every Time!
You may not think of Bacon as a “lean” product.  Get ready for a pig surprise! While researching sources for color-coded cleaning equipment for a set of shadow boards, I made an interesting discovery.  Our friends at Munsell Color have found a great use for one of their products by using a color chart to ...

Lean Dating 5

Lean Dating
What is “Lean Dating”, and how do you get in on this magical system? I’m happily married so I don’t get to suffer the “joys” of dating any more.  But if I’m ever cloned, I’ve got some good advice lined up for my “other me”: Date lean. How? First off, I’d use a “pull” system. ...

PICK a Winner!

PICK a Winner!
An Impact/Effort Matrix (also known as a PICK Chart) is a great way to prioritize improvement opportunities that are identified by your project team.  This tool classifies items by Impact (high or low) and Effort (again, high or low).  The chart below shows one way to implement a PICK chart: The labeling in the chart ...

Can Training Be Replaced With Poka Yoke??

Can Training Be Replaced With Poka Yoke??
I recently had an “oopsie” moment that made me reassess my thoughts on mistake-proofing. I wanted to score a “quick win” and ran a Pareto Analysis of the top causes of downtime on one of my facility’s processes.  The top two areas for concern (the “long poles in the tent” so to speak) were expected.  ...

Standard Specifications, Standard Procedures, and Standard Work… What’s the Difference?

Standard Specifications, Standard Procedures, and Standard Work… What’s the Difference?
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  Except in my neighborhood, where the Reno summer heat has taken its toll on all grass equally.  If only there were some written standards that could help run our sprinklers efficiently and effectively, maybe we could keep a nice, uniformly green neighborhood.  You’d ...

Do These 4 Steps In Order And Win 1

Do These 4 Steps In Order And Win
Shigeo Shingo is well-known in Continuous Process Improvement, and his ideas permeate much of what is accomplished in the CPI arena.  One of my favorite ideas that came from him follows in the quote below, and it can be a big help to you if you are seeking direction in how to approach your Lean ...

Analysis Paralysis – 5 Steps to Conquering it

Analysis Paralysis – 5 Steps to Conquering it
Are you “spinning your wheels” but getting nothing done?  Jumping from task to task without making progress?  Wondering why you can’t move forward on your projects?  Drowning in data?  Just can’t figure out what to do next? You, like me, may suffer from Analysis Paralysis.  For me, it is something I always have to be ...

3 Easy Steps to Negative Feedback – Gently! 1

3 Easy Steps to Negative Feedback - Gently!
You always have opportunity to give feedback to team members.  Usually it will be good feedback.  Occasionally, you will have to give negative feedback.  Here is an easy way to soften the blow when delivering negative feedback: Start with a positive -Emphasize something the team member has done well. -Be sincere, not fluffy.  Don’t “blow ...