2011 was a fun year for blogging. I learned a lot through professional and personal experiences in addition to blogging here and reading some great Lean Thinkers’ blogs. The Lean Leadership blog started 2011 with a review of the most popular blogs of 2010 which seemed to be an interesting way to start the year. I am planning to take the next couple weeks to recap the top ten from last year. I hope that 2011 was a great year for you and wish you the best in 2012. Here is #10:
Bruce Hamilton is President of the Greater Boston Manufacturing Project and a seasoned Lean Practitioner. He may be best known as the Toast Guy because of his popular training video Toast Kaizen. I recently came across a great article Bruce wrote for Lean Leaders. The six keys follow just to wet your whistle:
- Understand what is meant by improvement – waste often hides in plain sight. Inventory, overproduction, defects, waiting, transportation, motion and under/over processing are all forms of waste. Reducing any of these wastes improves time to market, cost, and operational availability.
- Demonstrate passionate commitment – your team will notice if you are not committed 100%.
- Learn the tools – articulate why tools are needed and use the tools. Bruce says, “If you want to learn to ride a bike, you have to get on a bike and ride.”
- Make the job easier, better, faster, then cheaper – implementing improvements in this order shows respect for the employee, one of the pillars of true Lean Manufacturing. It also gains buy-in which is critical to a sustainable continuous improvement process.
- Start small and expand from a solid core – most of the tools themselves are not that difficult to use. The challenge is to use them in a way that results in the sustained improvements you desire.
- Banish the eighth waste – the waste of human creativity. This is a challenge if you do not demonstrate respect for your team in a way that they recognize. Think about the number of ideas that have come from your operators and have been implemented. Are you tapping into your team?
I urge you and other lean thinkers to read the article, which you can find here. As a Lean Leader, you need to hit the production floor with a fresh set of eyes to observe and identify new Kaizen opportunities. What can you do today to drive waste out of your process?
The Lean Leadership Blog
Written for www.ConsumerGoodsClub.com
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