connections and flows

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Video: Walk-out Wednesdays at Network Rail

By | January 2nd, 2013|Categories: Videos|Tags: , , , , , , |

In our first video with a client, Andy Carlino discusses with Phil Verster of Network Rail the practice of Walk-out Wednesdays. This routine gets people to the "gemba", or real place where the real work is done, to practice fundamentals such as direct observation and waste elimination. [viddler id=d69fd878 h=370 w=437]

Creativity–An Intended Consequence

By | April 9th, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I heard that “I work in an environment that requires creativity and lean doesn’t apply to my work”.  Over and over again I have offered how important lean principles are to creating an environment for creativity.  I am convinced more than ever that this is true but I have recently become convinced that lean principles also create a “mindset” for creativity.  This most recent revelation, or possibly validation, occurred while reading two very different publications.  The first is “IMAGINE-How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer.  The second is an article in New Scientist, “Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus” by Sally Adee.  […]

What are " supermarkets "?

By | March 21st, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

A true supermarket is storage characterized by high use materials (A items) that turn faster than the standard material handling cycle located close to the line to facilitate retrieval by an operator or water spider/utility.

Look for The Noise

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

Part of the activities during the Lean Experience workshop is a factory simulation—we build aircraft, very complex aircraft.  During the 1st round the noise is literally almost deafening.  The noise gets louder and louder the longer the simulation goes on and more as the system fails to deliver.  During the 2nd round, after redesign, it is remarkable how quiet and almost calm it becomes.  During the debrief we discuss how a structured system takes the noise out, both literally in the simulation, but also figuratively in every process in an organization.  We further discuss how difficult it was during round one for the participants to see problems and the opportunities to improve, help their fellow team members, or take advantage of their expertise or creativity.  During round two the problems and opportunities to improve are obvious, team members work together (even at times when they don’t necessarily like or respect each other), and it’s amazing the creative solutions that surface.  It’s not magic.  You simply can’t see the problems, effectively contribute or even be creative in chaos—“in all the noise”.  We only do two rounds but we are frequently asked if we will do another round to further improve.  The excitement for CI is encouraging.  In reality you often don’t hear the noise but it’s there and it has the same effects.  Another lesson learned is that the potential for noise increases with the complexity of the system.  […]