Leading Lean: Missed Opportunity

Leading Lean: Missed Opportunity [the broken link was removed] by Jamie Flinchbaugh:

Three elements are needed to gain the benefits from using pull production to drive problems out into the open. First, you need strong problem-solving skills. Bringing a problem to the surface is only half of the battle-you still have to correct the problem. Second, you need an infrastructure capable of solving problems. This means persuading employees at all levels to respond to problems in real time. This does not happen overnight. Third, and perhaps most important, you need a culture that values solving problems as prevention, not crisis management, and is willing to step up even if the problems seem small at the moment.

Great points. One of the counter intuitive things with lean is to make problems visible. So often people try to hide problems (which inventory can do – making it difficult to see emerging problems and to diagnose problems once they are finally discovered).

The idea that you then must improve the system as these problems are made visible is fairly obvious but is also worth emphasising since without it the problems increase.

I think the typical perfromance appraisal process adds to the desire to hide problems. As does excess mobility of management (just hide it until you move on). These show my Deming view of management leanings.

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