I recently discovered an article by Beau Groover that outlines his less-than-ideal experience in a government office process. He notes that at one point he was “almost three hours into this process and had accomplished absolutely nothing.” While Groover is clearly experienced in process improvement and has a trained eye for seeing that his experience wasn’t favorable, the general populous would also find this experience distasteful. It doesn’t take an expert to know that you are unhappily accomplishing nothing and wasting time. At the end of the article, he correctly concludes that the customer should be kept in mind when process development and improvement. It’s true, the customer is the most important part of business. The customer is the driving force behind why your business exists and the goal of your business should be to please the customer and improve ways of doing so.
“No Problem” is a Problem
Most people don’t like problems and will make an effort to avoid them. More importantly, if there is a problem, nobody really enjoys admitting it, especially if that person is directly responsible for it. Managers may feel this way about the processes that they supervise. Managers shouldn’t shun problems. Shunning problems leads problems to be hidden and remain unsolved. It is a false conception that they are better off if there aren’t any problems. In this case, the only problems that are solved are the ones that can’t be hidden, such as
Building Lean Muscle
While I was in school I remember hearing a story from a fellow student who had an internship with a company overseas. She helped them start to implement a variety of lean processes, but wasn’t able to stay long enough to see it through. A few months later, she checked in with the company to see how things went. They told her that everything went great and all of the time they were saving in their improved processes allowed them to save a bunch of money in wages. Well, that is just a way of saying that they
The “Lean Pill” Side Effects
I stumbled across an article called Lean and Sick by Praveen Gupta. Gupta points out his gripes with lean systems, “Lean has become more of displaying numbers, reorganizing the floor and such, but still most businesses shrink as there is little focus on customers and not much impact on growth.” He has a good point. Lean does in fact help display
Failure to Explore Failure
Did you hear about the forest fire in South Washington caused by a diesel particulate filter (DPF) in late 2011, but was still under investigation? Well, it turns out that the DPF was indeed the culprit and actually adds danger to already hazardous situations.
An article by DieselNet on October 7, 2011 outlines the situation and its massive damage: “The fire started on September 7, 2011, and burned southeast through forested canyons and flat areas with dry grasses. The fire—mapped to cover an area of 3,600 acres (1,460 ha)—destroyed more than 100 structures, including
My name is Jake, this is my first blog post ever. Unless you count old MySpace rantings from early teenage years. You may not care who I am yet, but I hope that after I add some content to this blog, that I warm up to you. I would just like to start off this blog with an introduction of myself. I graduated from Oregon State University with a double degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. The two topics are so closely related that it would have been irresponsible to not elect the double degree option. After all, the difference was about 12 credits if I remember correctly. School had pretty much been my life up until now. I had always excelled in school; in high school I was a 3.92 GPA student in International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework. Basically, IB is just a glorified AP; it has the same essential effect. I received a perfect score in IB Calculus on my way to earning