22 Seconds to Burn – Excel VBA Teaches Lean Execution

Background: VBA for Excel has once again provided the opportunity to demonstrate some basic lean tenets.  The methods used to produce the required product or solution can yield significant savings in time and ultimately money.  The current practice is not necessarily the best practice in your industry.  In manufacturing, trivial or minute differences in methods deployed become more apparent during mass production or as […]

Seasons Greetings

This year has been filled with many new experiences, hard times, great times, and many opportunities for learning.  While some may prefer to see this year pass sooner than later, 2009 is hopefully a year that presented many new opportunities and even greater challenges. As lean practitioners, we learn to appreciate failure from a different perspective than most people would enjoy.  The focus is not the […]

Communication Breakdown – The Language of Lean

Getting people engaged and “on the same page” requires everyone to understand the language used to convey the message.  Even the method of disseminating information can create confusion.  Oral presentations can convey a completely different message than one delivered in writing. The tone used in an oral presentation cannot be delivered in writing using the same words.  Voice inflections, body language, and atmosphere […]

Lean Execution: Competing with Giants – It’s all about Speed

Sometimes you need a break from reading and learn from others who are truly walking the talk.  We trust you will find this video, “Competing with Giants – It’s all about Speed“, featuring Dominic Orr, CEO of Aruba Networks, as interesting and thought provoking as we did. This short clip will be done in less time than it takes to make popcorn. Another clip that […]

Agility Through Problem Solving: a Model for Training and Thinking

We tend to use analogies when we are discussing certain topics, introducing new concepts, or simply presenting an abstract idea.  Analogies are intended to serve as a model that people understand, can relate to or identify with, and, more importantly, remember.  Our challenge is to identify a simple model that can be used to teach people to identify and solve problems – a core competency […]

Software Modeling for Standardized Work

The concept of Standard Work is understood in virtually any work environment and is not exclusive to the lean enterprise.  Typically the greater challenge of standardized work is actually preparing an effective document that adequately describes the “work” to be performed. The objective of standardized work is to provide a documented “method” for completing a sequence of tasks that can be […]

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Resources

In our first post on this topic, “Using Triz for Problem Solving – Introduction“, we provided a very basic introduction to TRIZ.  In the spirit of TRIZ, it is not our intent to rewrite or redefine the TRIZ process when excellent information is already available.  Our intent is to identify the few of the many excellent and exceptional resources that we have found. What is […]

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Introduction

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Introduction A famous quote from Albert Einstein, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.“, applies to the discussion of problem solving and more so to the topic of TRIZ, The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, developed by Genrich S. Altshuller. TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving […]

Contingency Plans – Crisis Management in Lean Organizations

Contingency Planning For Lean Organizations – Part IV – Crisis Management In a previous post we eluded that lean organizations are likely to be more susceptible to disruptions or adverse conditions and may even have a greater impact on the business.  To some degree this may be true, however, in reality, Lean has positioned these organizations to be more agile and extremely responsive to crisis […]