A lot of times we wring our hands in hopes that we can make a poor process more capable. More often than not the outcome that we are concerned about is an outcome that is hard to control directly. In other words, we can’t simply turn a dial and make it better. Usually the outcome of a process is the result of a number of different inputs. Sometimes these inputs interact with each other to cause a different response on the outcome. When this is the case, our ability to improve the…Continue
Added by Mark M. Clark on January 31, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments
Added by David Hicks on January 31, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments
The phrase "Pay for Performance" has been around a long time, but the tough economic times of the last few years have encouraged a number of HR professionals to begin to re-emphasize this concept, and maybe even retool their performance management systems to do a better job at managing it.
I love the concept of pay for performance, but it does beg a couple of questions. First, what IS performance? For many, performance is synonymous with task completion at a some specified…Continue
Added by Brian Flynn on January 31, 2011 at 4:00am — No Comments
There is no roadmap or cookbook to follow in the Lean pursuit. Certain key elements are necessary, including problems to be solved, reduction in waste in all processes, executive leadership and willingness of the front line employees and managers to make improvements to their own processes. A good way to start is to pick a model process and demonstrate the potential of Lean to the rest of the organization. Focusing on the management system and sustaining improvements are essential for…Continue
Added by John David Hayes on January 28, 2011 at 11:53am — No Comments
From time to time the question arises in third-party audits as to whether training should be identified or prescribed as a corrective action. I recently heard a third-party auditor state that their technical committee is very reluctant to accept training as a corrective action. She explained that the committee, being presented with a large number of nonconformity reports each month that specify training as a corrective action, has taken the position that organizations are not looking for…Continue
Added by Chuck McPherson on January 28, 2011 at 10:57am — No Comments
Added by Wendy Carlson on January 28, 2011 at 9:46am — No Comments
Are you one of the most competitive, efficient, and innovative manufacturers in Alabama? If so, applying for the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Award is something you will want to strongly consider. The award recognizes manufacturing excellence in three categories, based on the number of…Continue
Added by David Mixson on January 26, 2011 at 12:27pm — No Comments
Added by Joseph T. Dager on January 26, 2011 at 12:00am — No Comments
Well it is the beginning of a new semester and I find myself going through the same routine as I did last semester. I teach a senior level class in Quality Management, and it is basically a six sigma green belt course condensed into 16 week program where we meet about 3 hours per week. Of course by the time the students get to this course they have already had a course in statistics, so the shock of quantitative analysis is worn off and this course becomes more of an applied stats…Continue
Added by Mark M. Clark on January 24, 2011 at 1:32pm — No Comments
I recently revisited a company that has a track record for successful lean implementation. I’m fortunate to see the plant several times each year as I escort educational tours with local industries.
One of the highlights has always been their suggestion system. They began the program by offering a small reward ($3.50) for each suggestion submitted as a way to encourage participation. The number of suggestions per department was one of their leading metrics, with about eight…
Added by David Hicks on January 24, 2011 at 8:34am — No Comments
Over a year ago I wrote a blog (http://virtual.auburnworks.org/profiles/blogs/transformers-lean-robots-in on 3 key elements to focus on when transforming an organization. The 3 key elements…Continue
Added by Rick Battye on January 22, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments
I recently ran across someone's research paper (aka a scholarly work) on the effect of kaizen on employee motivation in U.S. manufacturing. In short, the paper notes that kaizen -- what we call "rapid improvement events" among our lean pros here at the Auburn Technical Assistance Center -- is credited and is directly responsible for…Continue
Added by Mitch Emmons on January 21, 2011 at 2:20pm — No Comments
What should be the process goal for all manufacturing and service oriented organizations? The “Perfect Process”
Why do we want the “Perfect Process”? The result of a prefect process is perfect products and perfect services.
How do we achieve the “Perfect Process”? Great products and services don’t come from average processes! Before we can answer this question, we need to talk organizational foundation that must be in place before the “Perfect Process” can…Continue
Added by John David Hayes on January 21, 2011 at 11:41am — No Comments
If you're not familiar with the Eureka Ranch, they are a leading innovation and growth consulting firm located outside Cincinnati Ohio. The Ranch helps businesses, including such industry leaders such as Nike, American Express, and Disney, create new growth opportunities through a systematic innovation process.
The Eureka Ranch's latest innovation offering is called Eureka! Jump Start. It is a one-day program that…Continue
Added by David Mixson on January 20, 2011 at 2:53pm — No Comments
Added by Hank Czarnecki on January 19, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments
In our assistance to industry, ATAC specialists see different approaches to lean implementations. The most common approach is through middle managers.
A recent Financial Times article (see link below) includes a discussion by Dr. Steven Spear on the changing role of middle management. Traditional middle managers acted as a conduit between the executive levels and operational levels. Success in these positions typically became the path to promotion to the executive…
Added by David Hicks on January 18, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments
When I was growing up, I used to go stay with my grandfather and grandmother for a few days at a time. My grandfather lacked formal education, but was a skilled self-taught carpenter. Every now and again he would buy a mildly dilapidated home and spend some money and time fixing it up, then sell it, making a handsome profit in the process. I admired how he just seemed to know what to do and how to do it to make an otherwise run-down property desirable to others.
Added by Brian Flynn on January 17, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments
Added by Wendy Carlson on January 14, 2011 at 12:39pm — No Comments
Why is it that so many folks criticize lean? Workers, managers, suppliers, shareholders, and even cartoonists characterize lean as mean-spirited or ineffective.
When people complain about lean not working, we need to discover exactly what they define as “lean.”
Too often, we hear about headcount reductions, massive housekeeping efforts labeled as 5S, or how just-in-time caused parts shortages. In other words, companies are using bits and pieces of lean tools and calling…
Added by David Hicks on January 12, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments