Pure Genius: Teach, Build, Model

At first I thought this approach seemed to be a little too simplistic as an execution strategy.  On second thought, however, it seemed to be very appropriate to most situations that we may encounter.  It has certainly been a very practical superview for our current project. Teach: Teach the concepts, systems, processes, and procedures that are required to achieve a given goal or […]

Getting the Bugs Out

We updated the link to “Chasing the Rabbit:  How Market Leaders Outsdistance the Competition and How Great Companies Can Catch Up and Win” authored by Steven J. Spear.  If you haven’t had a chance to add this book to your library, now is the time to get your copy. Remember to visit our Lean Books page for other great selections too.  Readers are leaders […]

Lean, OEE, and How to beat the “Law of Diminishing Returns”

Are your lean initiatives falling prey to the Law of Diminishing Returns?  Waning returns may soon be followed by apathy as the “new” initiative gets old.  For those who have not studied economics or are not familiar with the term, it is defined by Wikepedia as follows: The law states “that we will get less and less extra output when we add additional […]

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 […]

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 […]