Management Improvement Blog Carnival #188
Posted on March 3, 2013 1 Comment
The Curious Cat Management Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, published twice a month, links to great, recent, management blog posts. I hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow me online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.
- Toyota, Respect for People (or “Humanity”) and Lean by Mark Graban – “I’ve really come to appreciate how ‘respect for people’ and ‘continuous improvement’ (or Kaizen) are intertwined. We practice CI because we have RFP… we practice RFP by engaging people in CI and challenging them to perform better… for the sake of our customers and our patients (who we have respect for).”
- Where There is Fear You Do Not Get Honest Figures by John Hunter – “The problems fear creates result in bad data, ineffective decision making and the destruction of joy in work.”
- Comparing the Five Lean Principles to the Toyota 14 Principles by Matt Wrye – “The standardization allows for a baseline when a problem arises. If standards are being followed then the problem becomes easier to diagnose. Once the root cause is discovered, allowing the employees the freedom to improve the standard so the issue doesn’t surface again promotes empowerment and respect for people. This respect for their knowledge of the process will help to foster more improvement ideas from them.”
- Disruption guru Clay Christensen says incumbent media players are making a classic mistake by Mathew Ingram – “incumbent players in a particular industry routinely fail to make the necessary changes to the way they do things, even when they can see the disruption occurring all around them. In almost every case, they see the disruptors as not worthy of their attention because they are operating at the low end of the market, and either don’t see that as important or are too committed to their existing business models.”
Curious Cat 5th Annual Management Blog Review – Part 2 of 2
Posted on January 15, 2013 No Comments
The 5th annual Curious Cat Management Blog Review has been completed.
This year, 15 blogs (a record) reviewed a total of 39 management blogs (not a record, in 2010 44 were reviewed).
4 blogs have been reviewed every year: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, Evolving Excellence, Gemba Panta Rei (all of which were reviewed by Ron Pereira on Lean Six Sigma Academy in 2008) and Timeback Management which was reviewed by me here on the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog. 2008, and this year, are the years that prevented several others from recording 5 year appearances. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog and Evolving Excellence are the only 2 blogs to have hosted a review every year.
Here are links to the those reviews that have been posted since part 1 (with the number of years each author has participated in the annual review).
Author of blog
|5||John Hunter, Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog||Gemba Walkabout and Not Running a Hospital|
|4||Karen Wilhelm, Lean Reflections||Michel Baudin and Square Peg Musings|
|3||Mark Hamel, Gemba Tales||Shmula|
|2||Nicole Radziwill, Quality and Innovation||Business 901, Design Thinking, Peter Bregman and Stats Made Easy|
|2||Joe Dager, Business 901||Beyond Lean and Knowledge Jolt with Jack|
|1||Scott Rutherford, Square Peg Musings||Lean Pathways, Quality and Innovation and Squawk Point|
|1||Gregg Stocker, Lessons in Lean||Steven Spear|
Follow the management carnival all year with twice monthly highlight of management blog posts.
Curious Cat 5th Annual Management Blog Review – Part 1
Posted on December 26, 2012 3 Comments
This is the 5th year in which multiple management blogs have participated in reviewing the year in management blogging. Once again we have many great blogs reviewed. Each year a few blog authors stop, or nearly stop publishing, but each year more great new management blogs start.
Here are links to the reviews that have been posted so far with the number of years each author has participated in the annual review.
|Years||Author of blog||blogs reviewed|
|5||Kevin Meyer, Evolving Excellence||Edit Innovation and TimeBack Management|
|4||Dan Markovitz, TimeBack Management||Evolving Excellence and Brad Power on HBR blog|
|3||Tanmay Vora, QAspire||HR Bartender, Jamie Flinchbaugh and Seth Godin|
|3||Mark Hamel, Gemba Tales||Old Lean Dude|
|2||Tim McMahon, A Lean Journey||Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, encob blog and Kaizen Notebook|
|2||Matt Wrye, Beyond Lean||Lean Blitz and My Flexible Pencil|
|1||Michel Baudin||Gemba Panta Rei, Lean Edge and Lean Reflections|
|1||Evan Durant, Kaizen Notebook||Gemba Tales and Gotta Go Lean|
|1||Dragan Bosnjak, encob blog||Gemba Coach and The Lean Edge|
|1||Scott Rutherford, Square Peg Musings||Fridge Magnets|
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #182
Posted on November 18, 2012 1 Comment
The Curious Cat Management Blog Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, published twice a month, links to great, recent, management blog posts. I hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow me online: Google+, Twitter and elsewhere.
- How to Build it: Lean Prototyping Techniques for Hardware – “Good user feedback is essential, and this feedback should guide making the next round of prototypes. It is an iterative cycle. The key to making good products is making mistakes early and learning from them. This is best done through prototyping and getting user feedback.”
- 3 Reasons Why Layoffs Don’t Benefit Hospitals in the Long Run by Bob Herman – “Dr. Gruner says ThedaCare has had a “no layoff” philosophy and commitment to Lean techniques, similar to Scripps, since 2003. He agrees with Mr. Van Gorder, saying layoffs are only a patchwork strategy with immediate financial gains and long-term financial and cultural losses. However, focusing on the retention of employees without layoffs is actually the simpler strategy — it just requires an undying commitment and focus.”
- The Greatest Waste by John Hunter – “The sentiment of failing to use the ability of people is not that uncommon. But putting the thought and effort behind changing that failure is. Dr. Deming consistently re-inforced the creation of a management system that sought to take advantage of the ability of people.”
- Coach Says: What Do You Think? by John Shook – “Your challenge will be to find a way to reconcile the apparent contradiction. You need to reconcile them not to satisfy the sensei (absolutely not for that reason) but to deepen your own learning. Presume that there is some truth in what both sensei are telling you. You need to determine just what that truth is and how you can make sense of it in this specific situation.”
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #177
Posted on September 2, 2012 No Comments
I am returning to publishing the Curious Cat management carnival twice a month; from the schedule of three times a month that has been the case recently. The posts selected for the carnival focus on the areas of management improvement I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996.
- Delegate or die: the self-employed trap by Derek Sivers – “Because my team was running the business, I was free to actually improve the business!”
- Why You Must Stop Putting Out Fires: the Urgent Disrupts; the Important Erupts – “Firefighting, sadly, is a lot easier than fire preventing. It takes comparatively little thought. You just get into “action mode” and can be really busy. Busy resembles productive. And you feel like a hero. But, when you really stop to ponder the matter, wouldn’t it be better if you allowed the important, planful, preventive work to erupt from the constraints you’ve placed on it so those fires never occurred?”
- via, Innovation is Nothing but ECRS by Jon Miller – “The letters ECRS stand for a work analysis and redesign method originating in industrial engineering and commonly used as part of kaizen. The work is observed and the observer looks for opportunities to improve by taking steps to eliminate, combine, rearrange or simplify each step.”
Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #174
Posted on August 1, 2012 No Comments
The Curious Cat management blog carnival is published 3 times a month with hand picked recent management blog posts. I also collect management improvement articles for the Curious Cat Management Articles site; an RSS feed of new article additions is available.
- How to Identify Your Team or Organization’s Purpose by Jesse Lyn Stoner – “What is the end-result that you offer? Look at your purpose from the viewpoint of the result, not the products or services you offer.”
- What we can learn from Russell L. Ackoff by Aleksis Tulonen – “If you want to (dis)solve the problem you need to understand how (dis)solving the problem will affect the system and what the problem really is. Gathering the mental constructs of several people with different mindsets will gain you more understanding of what you are dealing with.”
- Why smart managers do stupid things by John Stepper – “What You See Is All There Is. Over and over, he demonstrates how people systematically disregard basic probability and other facts in order to (quickly and easily) make up a story that fits with the things they see.”
- Downtime Antipatterns for SaaS owners, ZipCar edition – “Use an automated system to point DNS entries to a ‘sorry, we’re down, please see http://status.zipcar.com’ page running on a commodity VPS in a completely different datacenter. Provide useful information to the customer RIGHT AWAY, and don’t leave them wondering why the page isn’t loading.”
- Espoused Vs. In-Use by Anthony DaSilva – “From over 10,000 empirical cases collected over decades of study, Mr. Argyris has discovered that most people (at all levels in an org) espouse Model II guidance while their daily theory in-use is driven by Model I.”
Value Stream Mapping for Fun and Profit
Posted on July 24, 2012 1 Comment
Guest post by Evan Durant, author of the Kaizen Notebook blog.
I tend to get a little preachy about the importance of value stream maps, but they really can be useful tools not only to plan an improvement effort but also to monitor your progress going forward. In particular they provide a way to quantify the impact of changes to your process. Here’s a real life example as a case in point.
For a particular value stream a team went to gemba, followed the flow of material and information, collected process cycle times, and counted inventory. When everything was mapped and all the data tallied, here was the current state that they came up with:
|Total Lead Time:||
|Process Lead Time:||2.2 days|
|Process Time:||1.9 days|
|Operator Cycle Time:||8.2 minutes|
So what does all this mean? First of all the Total Lead Time represents the amount of time that a new piece of raw material would take to enter the value stream, be worked on, wait around with all the rest of the material in process, and then finally make its way to the customer. This number is usually driven higher by large amounts of in-process inventory caused by pushing between operations.
Second, the Process Lead Time is the amount of time it would take to process a single batch through the process, if it didn’t have to wait behind any other batches. Note that even though parts are processed one at a time through all of the manual operations, a certain amount of batching is required to overcome long machine cycle times in automatic operations. Also we do not ship parts to the customer one at a time, but rather in standard package sizes.
Third, we have the Process Time. This is the total amount of value added time, manual and automatic processing, that a part sees in the value stream.
Finally the Operator Cycle Time (also called manual time) is the amount of actual “touch” time required to make a part. The difference between the Process Time and the Operator Cycle Time is the Machine Cycle Time (also called automatic time). This is when a batch of parts is on a machine that does not require any operator intervention during a cycle. (We have a lot of machine cycle time in this value stream.)
Then the team applied the concepts of flow and pull to reduce overproduction and pace the value stream to the rate of customer demand. The results of the future state map were as follows:
Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #173
Posted on July 21, 2012 No Comments
The Curious Cat management carnival is published 3 times a month highlighting some recent management blog posts. The posts generally focus on the areas I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996.
I added a page on our blog showing the most recent blog post from a large number of management blogs.
- Software Inventory by Joel Spolsky – “Trello works great for a reasonable amount of inventory, but it intentionally starts to get klunky if you have too many cards in one list. And that’s exactly the point: it makes inventory visible so that you know when it’s starting to pile up.” (I use Trello, and like it, at Hexawise where I am a consultant – John)
- You don’t “do Lean” by Paul Levy – “Lean is not a program. It is a long-term philosophy of corporate leadership and organization that is based, above all, on respect shown to front-line staff.”
- Queueing Theory at Chipotle by Evan Durant – “I like Chipotle for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they have hands-down the greatest food service process in the industry. I could talk about standard work, flow, material replenishment, customer focus, and a whole bunch of other lean stuff”
- Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant – “‘Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,’ Eichenwald writes… ‘It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.’” [This is exactly what Dr. Deming said would happen and even the current head of HR that lead this process said she was going to get rid of it when she started at Microsoft - John]
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #172
Posted on July 10, 2012 No Comments
- Waves at Old Lean Dude: Bruce Hamilton (a.k.a. the Toast Guy) writes about surges in production and work load that are self-inflicted. One of the 14 Toyota Way principles is to level-out the work load. Waves of work or production is not Lean or effective.
- Error Proofing at Beyond Lean: Matt Wrye often sees Lean applications in the real world and not just in the manufacturing plant. He brings these examples to his blog illustrating how to be Lean. He was having fun with charts in a recent post.
- Why do you ask? at Gemba Tales: Mark Hamel compares the Leader as a Fixer to the Leader as a Teacher. Mark’s blog demonstrates the difference well and provides the kind of questions teachers should be asking.
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #171
Posted on July 1, 2012 No Comments
The Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival has been published since 2006. We find great management blog posts and share them with you 3 times a month. We hope you find these post interesting and find some new blogs to start reading. Follow me online: Google+, Twitter, Reddit, and more.
- Ticket Grab: New Game at Caine’s Arcade + 5 lessons for entrepreneurs – 5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs Caine (shown is video above) has Learned: 1) Be nice to customers. 2) Do a business that is fun. 3) Do not give up. 4) Start with what you have. 5) Use recycled stuff. Caine is 9 by the way.
- How I hire writers by Hitesh Sarda – “We spend a quick 10-15 min assessing if the candidate deserves our time and next interview round or not. My favourite questions include: spelling of conscientious, explain oxford comma… Once I am convinced of their hold on words, we move to round 3… Here we take a deep dive into the writers command over the intricacy of the language. Sample questions: Question on lexical roots of some words. More spellings and grammar questions….”
- Without work standards there can be no kaizens by Tracey Richardson – “When was at Toyota those actions were things like – Go See, Respect for people, Continuous Improvement, Teamwork, and Challenge, these were values that could be translated into an action a leader could show from top management down to a team member level, this creates the consistency for the values and principles to become the belief system for the organization that its more than just words on the wall in the lobby.”
- Innovation at Bell Labs by Michael McKinney – “Humans all suffered from a terrible habit of shoving new ideas into old paradigms. ‘Everyone faces the future with their eyes firmly on the past and they don’t see what’s going to happen next,’ observed John Pierce.”
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #170
Posted on June 20, 2012 No Comments
The Curious Cat management blog carnival is published 3 times a month with hand picked recent management blog posts. I also collect management improvement articles for the Curious Cat Management Articles site; an RSS feed of new article additions is available.
- Standardized Confusion by Art Smalley – “Changing of a work standard was done very infrequently and normally an engineering activity for the types of items I just described. Maybe we wanted to improve the life of a tool, or alter how the part was clamped in response to a problem on the shop floor, etc. Problems or kaizen sometimes drove us to reconsider work standards but by and large these did not and should not change very often if we planned and launched the process correctly.”
- Deming’s Speech at Mount Hakone, Japan (1950) – “The first step, therefore, belongs with management. First, your company technicians and your factories must know that you have a fervor for advancing product quality and uniformity and a sense of responsibility for product quality.
Nothing will come of this if you only speak about it. Action is important…
At first do it on a small scale, and once you think that has value, then expand.”
- How we reduced our cancellation rate by 87.5% by Kareem Mayan – “Since implementing changes 1-3 two months ago, we’ve seen our cancellation rate drop from 40% to 5% – an 87.5% decrease. We’re going to run another cohort analysis in a couple months to isolate the impact of each change as it’s still too early to know the long-term impact of these changes”
- Design of Experiments: “Fractionating” and “Folding” a DOE by Bruno Scibilia – “In science and in business, we need to perform experiments to identify the factors that have a significant effect. The objective of DOE is to reduce experimental costs—the number of tests—as much as possible while studying as many factors as possible to identify the important ones.”
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #160
Posted on March 11, 2012 No Comments
The Curious Cat Management blog carnival highlights recent management blog posts 3 times each month. The posts generally focus on the areas I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Guide since 1996 (Deming, innovation, lean manufacturing, customer focus, process improvement…).
- Reflections on the 100th Birthday of Taiichi Ohno by Masaaki Imai – “Taiichi Ohno always placed respect for the worker first in his approach to kaizen. His focus was always on the customer, both external and internal”
- A Lean Leader strengthens the business by developing people through coaching process improvement at the gemba by Jeff Liker – “Thinking of a leader as a teacher and coach, as managing from the gemba, believing deeply that people are the only appreciating assets of the company, believing in the value of intentionally creating a common culture and being a role model of that culture, and that the adaptiveness of the business to meet the challenges of the environment comes from how people are developed all the way down to the worker is quite different than the leader as the captain of the ship steering it cleverly through brilliant personal insights.”
- Inspiration Stimulates Productivity and Engagement by Nicole Radziwill – “I’d also like to propose that engagement is a symptom – a consequence of feeling good and having a high quality consciousness! Let’s work on the root causes, and focus less on the symptoms.”
- Kanban Networks Exerciseby Yuval Yeret – “The exercise brought to life the complexity of the organization’s network but highlighted how a Kanban system can simplify its operation as well as drive towards improvement. There were several A-Ha moments of understanding how Limited WIP would solve systemic problems currently haunting the organization.”
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #155
Posted on January 22, 2012 1 Comment
The Curious Cat management blog carnival is published 3 times a month with hand picked recent management blog posts. I also collect select management improvement articles and blog posts in the Curious Cat management article library. The annual management blog roundup event covered #151 – #154, so this is #155.
- We Don’t Know quote by David York, via Mike Wroblewski-
We don’t know what the problems are…..that’s why we make them visible.
We don’t know what the root causes of the problems are….that’s why we ask 5 Whys?
We don’t know what the evidence is….that’s why we collect data.
We don’t know what is actually happening….that’s why we observe.
We don’t know what solutions will succeed….that’s why we experiment.
- Why do we pay sales commissions? by Dan Ostlund, Fog Creek Software – “For us, it’s been a great success, and at least from that perspective it might be time we punch the Theory X, commissions-based sales culture right in the nose. Real redemption might lie in removing the source of the derangement and treating sales people like we treat programmers and other workers that we implicitly trust.”
- The C-Suite Double Standard by Dan Markovitz – “I started noticing what I call the C-suite double standard: leaders and executives who are ferocious about improving manufacturing processes and eliminating waste, but who passively accept waste in their office operations and individual work.”
- Standard Work Is Like Food – Taste before Seasoning by Mark Hamel – “No doubt, we have heard the Taichii Ohno quote, “Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen.” Standard work implies that there must be adherence. Without it, it’s more like a standard wish…as fickle as the wind. We can’t sustain improvements and we have little foundation for the next.”
- How to trick yourself into thinking you’re doing lean (and trick others at the same time) by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “Don’t believe you are doing lean just because you’re filling out a template or following an agenda. It’s the thinking that counts.”
- Defying Time: Dr. W. Edwards Deming by John Persico – “the more difficult part of our consulting at PMI was not in teaching statistics or process analysis but in helping to change management attitudes from the old thinking of meeting goals and quotas to the new thinking that went beyond goals and quotas to never ending improvement and innovation.”
USA Spent $2.6 Trillion, $8,402 per person,17.9% of GDP on Medical Expenses in 2010
Posted on January 19, 2012 2 Comments
Total health expenditures in the USA in 2010 reached $2.6 trillion, $8,402 per person or 17.9% percent of GDP. All these are all time highs. Every year, for decades, health care costs have taken a larger and larger portion of the economic value created in the USA.
USA health care spending grew 3.9% in 2010 following an increase of 3.8% in 2009. While those are the two slowest rates of growth in the 51 year history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts, they still outpaced both inflation and GDP growth. So yet again the health system expenses are taking a bigger portion of overall spending. This has been going on so long that the USA spends double what many other rich countries do on healthcare with no better results.
As a result of failing to address this issue for decades the problem is huge and will likely take decades to bring back just to a level where the burden on those in the USA, due to their broken health care system, is equal to the burden of other rich countries. Over 2 decades ago the failure in the health care system reached epidemic proportions but little has been done to deal with the systemic failures. Dr. Deming pointed to excessive health care cost, back then, as one of 7 deadly diseases facing American business. The fact that every year costs have increased more than GDP growth and outcome measures are no better than other rich countries shows the performance has been very poor. The disease is doing even more harm today.
Some good things have been done over the years, most notably by Don Berwick while at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He was effectively thrown out of office by the politicians recently. The same politicians that have through decades of such foolish acts contributed more than any other group to the broken health care system that burdens the USA today. In the last 10 years a significant amount of good work has also been done in “lean healthcare”: applying lean thinking to healthcare. But it is similar to the quote that a “bad system will beat a good person.” With all the bad systemic issues the efforts, good as they are, in lean healthcare are mainly improving around the edges. Of course, “around the edges” of a $2.6 Trillion dollar system can still be extremely valuable and important.
Related: USA Heath Care System Needs Reform – USA Spends Record $2.3 trillion ($7,681 Per Person) on Health Care in 2008 – Systemic Health Care Failure: Small Business Coverage – Measuring the Health of Nations – How to improve the health care system performance – Management Improvement in Healthcare – USA Spent $2.2 Trillion, 16.2% of GDP, on Health Care in 2007
2011 Management Blog Roundup Completed
Posted on January 11, 2012 No Comments
The 2011 Management Blog Roundup has been completed. I hope you enjoyed it and learned from the great posts highlighted by all the participants in this effort. The final group of posts to be added are:
- Mark Hamel at Gemba Tales added his 2nd and 3rd reviews of: A Lean Journey and Steven Spear.
- Hank Anderson, at Stats Made Easy, offered up some great posts by Jurgen Appelo at the oddly named NOOP.NL, but nevertheless excellent, blog on managing software development. Jurgen Appelo has had 2 guest posts on this blog (Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, of course), the last one was: The Achilles’ Heel of Agile.
- Tim McMahon, posted his 3rd and 4th reviews on A Lean Journey, reviewing: Lean Leadership and Lean Pathways.
- And I posted my 3rd review in this roundup here (on the Curious Cat Management Blog) looking at the previously mentioned Stats Made Easy.
I offer my thanks to all the bloggers who took the time to participate.
I hope you found many concepts and ideas to adopt at your organization in 2012. And lets hope that those companies we have to deal with in 2012 are adopting these ideas so we can have much more rewarding and enjoyable experiences as customers.
More 2011 Management Blog Roundup Posts Added
Posted on January 3, 2012 2 Comments
As we start 2012, the 4th Annual Management Blog Roundup continues. Once again some of the most popular management bloggers are taking a look back at the last year in the management blogging world. The following reviews have been added since my last update:
- Jamie Flinchbaugh, on his blog of the same name, took a look at 3 blogs, including this one, Curious Cat Management Improvement, as well as: Old Lean Dude and Brad Power’s posts at the Harvard Business Review
- Mark Anderson, at Stats Made Easy, added another post looking at: Unfolding Leadership.
- Karen Wilhelm, of Lean Reflections, took a look back at the posts on: The Mistake Bank, Lean Thinker and Business 901.
- Ron Pereira, of the LSS Academy provided links to interesting posts from the last year on some more excellent blogs: Dan Pink, Evolving Excellence and Got Boondoggle.
- Mark Hamel, at Gemba Tales, took on the task of the quite prolific Mark Graban’s Lean Blog. Mark Graban is also selling an ebook of his best 2011 blog posts.
- And I reviewed two great management blogs, right here on this blog (the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, of course): Gemba Panta Rei and Lean Six Sigma Academy.
These posts provide many great ideas for you to apply in the new year. The 2011 management blog roundup has more great posts coming up in the next week. The home page for this collaborative effort of many management bloggers provides links to all the posts in the 2011 Management Blog Roundup.
2011 Management Blog Roundup: Gemba Panta Rei
Posted on December 24, 2011 1 Comment
We are lucky to have so many great management blogs to read all year that provide inspiration and great advice. This year 12 management bloggers contributed to highlight nearly 40 blogs, be sure to check out all the posts.
Jon Miller is the of the Executive Director of Kaizen Institute Consulting Group and author of the excellent Gemba Panta Rei blog. With so many good management blogs it is hard to read all the good posts, but this is one blog that is at the top of my to do list.
Jon provides extremely thought provoking posts that challenge managers to think. Over the years I have been thinking about why so many organizations fail to get most of the benefits provided by lean thinking and I have become more convinced in recent years a significant problem is the oversimplification and desires for solutions that don’t require thought. If you are not willing to spend time thinking about the profound implications of lean thinking the benefits you can achieve are several limited. Jon’s blog will help you by providing a reminder. But you then have to think yourself about how the ideas he raises relate to your situation. A few posts from last year in this vein:
- The New Math of Daily Kaizen – “When kaizen is done in ways that it involves everybody and everywhere, but not on a daily basis, the gains from each additional person or area is additive. However, when even one person in one area is able to do kaizen every day, a curious thing happens. The impact is not additive. It is geometric, transformational.” [Lean is geometric, transformational, when done right. Reading Jon's blog and adopting fundamental changes in how you think and work is how you can find yourself on this path instead of one where you have incremental success but not much more. - John]
- Lean Maturity and the Four Stages of Competence – “The lean journey is a long and arduous one. It spans one’s full lifetime… There is a larger contest that is being played out every day: the battle of backsliding versus continuous improvement.”
- The Importance of Thinking About the Box – “The fruit I buy travels in boxes of metal, wood, cardboard and finally reaches me in a plastic container. Nature only makes containers that are edible, biodegradable or both. That is a thinking box worth stepping back into.”
- Why Don’t We See More QC Circles? – “Even today the span of control of a typical leader is far too large and ineffective, driven by direct-to-indirect labor ratios and financial models that are divorced from the reality that people who function in small teams can solve and prevent problems in ways that lower cost. [I recently posted some comments on QC circles - John]
- Kitchen Jidoka: Low Cost Automation Example – “separate human work and machine work so that humans can do less non value added and more value added work within a given period of time… Second, autonomation is used to prevent processes from making error after error by building in en error prevention or detect-and-stop functions.
Another theme on the Gemba Panta Rei blog is ambiguous visual controls. Effective visual management tools greatly enhance safety, productivity and usability. But using a concept is not the same thing as successfully using it, as the periodic posts on failed attempts Jon posts illustrates very well. Ambiguous Visual Controls: Airport Hotel Edition, too much information, in the park, lost in the supermarket…
Newly Added 2011 Management Blog Roundup Posts
Posted on December 20, 2011 No Comments
The 4th Annual Management Blog Roundup is making good progress. It is wonderful how many great blogs there are to chose from. Even with us covering 40 management blogs there are many more great management blogs we didn’t include. The following reviews have been added since our initial post:
- Matt Wrye, at Beyond Lean, posted the last of his reviews covering Lean Reflections (which will be hosting their own reviews later).
- Dan Markovitz, at TimeBack Management, posted on Daily Kaizen, Peter Drucker’s Management Philosophy and Shmula. Dan’s first book was also just released: A Factory of One.
- Mark Anderson, at Stats Made Easy, posted their first review, this year, covering: Edge Perspectives.
- Joseph Dager, at Business901, posted reviews of: The 99 Percent Solution (Behance) and Customer Insider blogs. The 99% solution preceeds the excitement around the 1% and 99% movement this year – Dan Markovitz actually reviewed that blog in 2010.
- Tanmay Vora, at QAspire, reviewed Seth Godin’s Blog.
- Kevin Meyer at Evolving Excellence selected some great posts in the last year from Jamie Flinchbaugh, Matthew May, My Flexible Pencil and TimeBack Management.
These posts provide many excellent management ideas and the annual review has many more great posts coming up. The home page for this collaborative effort of many management bloggers provides links to all the posts in the 2011 Management Blog Roundup.
Dr. Deming in 1980 on Product Quality in Japan and the USA
Posted on December 5, 2011 No Comments
I posted an interesting document to the Curious Cat Management Library: it includes Dr. Deming’s comments as part of a discussion organized by the Government Accounting Office in 1980 on Quality in Japan and the United States.
The document provides some interesting thoughts from Dr. Deming and others; Dr. Deming’s statements start on page 52 of the document. For those really interested in management improvement ideas it is a great read. I imagine most managers wouldn’t enjoy it though (it isn’t giving direct advice for today, but I found it very interesting).
Some selected quotes from the document follow. On his work with Japan in 1950:
The statistical control of quality is not for the timid and the halfhearted. There is no way to learn except to learn it and do it. You can read about swimming, but you might drown if you had to learn it that way!
One of the common themes at that time was Deming’s methods worked because Japanese people and culture were different. That wasn’t why the ideas worked, but it was an idea many people that wanted to keep doing things the old way liked to believe.
You didn’t come to hear me on this; there are other people here much better qualified than I am to talk. But in Japan, a man works for the company; he doesn’t work to please somebody. He works for the company, he can argue for the company and stick with it when he has an idea because his position is secure. He doesn’t have to please somebody. It is so here in some companies, but only in a few. I think this is an important difference.
At the time the way QC circles worked in Japan was basically employee led kaizen. So companies that tried to copy Japan told workers: now go make things better like the workers we saw in Japan were doing. Well with management not changing (and understanding Deming’s ideas, lean thinking, variation, systems thinking…) and staff not given training to understand how to improve processes it didn’t work very well. We (those reading this blog) may all now understand the advantages one piece flow. I can’t imagine too many people would jump to that idea sitting in their QC circle without having been told about one piece flow (I know I wouldn’t have), and all the supporting knowledge needed to make that concept work.
Management Improvement Blog Carnival #150
Posted on December 1, 2011 No Comments
- Watching Waste in the ER! – As part of his relatively new blog, Anthony Scott (Frontline Lean) writes about his experiences with waste in an emergency department. The waste isn’t surprising to those who have been a patient or those who have worked in the E.D. Scott is a supervisor in a lean manufacturing setting and he applies lean thinking to this unfamiliar environment.
- Case Study: The Nordstrom Innovation Lab – Eric Ries (Startup Lessons Learned), author of the excellent book The Lean Startup, has a post with video featuring the use of “Lean Startup” methods and mindsets within a Fortune 500 company. Eric writes, “It’s one thing to talk about “rapid experimentation” and “validated learning” as abstract concepts. It’s quite another to see them in action, in a real-world setting.”
- Top 3 Things I’ve Learned After 18 Months in Healthcare – My friend and DFW-area neighbor Mike Lombard (Hospital Kaizen) reflects on his first 18 months after transitioning from manufacturing into healthcare. In addition to his main points, Mike ends the post with an invitation for others to Move to Healthcare, writing, “Like I said earlier, I’ve learned a lot (a lot more than is shown here) and I continue to learn everyday. If you’re an engineer, project manager, quality professional, operations manager, or any other type of business professional, you can make the move to healthcare. Just be ready to focus on people, deal with complexity, and be proud of your work. Most of all, be ready to continuously learn and improve.”
I know we are all busy but, Mark, has done a great job highlighting some excellent posts. Take a look at the full carnival post and each of the posts. It is very nice to see how many great posts we are able to find for every carnival. A decade ago finding this kind of content was nearly impossible.