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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

June 2011 Blog Posts (18)

Grab Your Gemba Shoes!

Get ready to walk! As a Lean healthcare leader, one of the most important activities you can do is a gemba walk. “Gemba”…


Added by Terri Lawrence on June 23, 2011 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Lean Accounting - The Invisible Truth?

The past 3 days, ATAC has been hosting a Lean Accounting Workshop at Pensacola Beach.  This fit in perfect for a question that I am asked often--- why are my organization’s lean improvements not affecting our Standard Unit Cost? This is a common occurrence, especially for organization’s that utilize Standard Costing as their primary accounting metric for improvement.  Unfortunately, Standard Cost Accounting system has some critical flaws that allow improvements to fly under the radar…


Added by Rick Battye on June 23, 2011 at 11:48am — No Comments

Lean accounting methods make sense

I'm no accountant. I did well to pass accounting in college. I hated it -- and perhaps I have figured out why. In an environment based on continuous improvement, traditional accounting does not work.

Now before I get all the accountants mad at me --…


Added by Mitch Emmons on June 22, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments

Case Studies of Emergency Department Operational Improvement

I recently reviewed the book:”The Definitive Guide to Emergency Department Operational Improvement” by Jody Crane and Chuck Noon.  I want to pass on to you actual case studies that reduced ED LOS, reduced LWOBS and improved patient satisfaction scores.  The changes in process made in these hospitals involved using a “Fast Track” process system aimed at acuity levels 4 and 5.


Hospital:  University of Tennessee Medical Center          After Fast Track…


Added by John David Hayes on June 21, 2011 at 4:17pm — No Comments

U.S., Alabama to Experience Manufacturing Gains in the Next Five Years

According to a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the United States should experience a manufacturing renaissance as the wage gap with China shrinks and certain U.S. states become some of the cheapest locations for manufacturing in the developed world.

The reason?  Chinese wages are rising at about 17 percent per year and the value of the yuan continuing to increase, the gap between U.S. and Chinese wages is narrowing rapidly.  Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina are…


Added by David Mixson on June 21, 2011 at 10:13am — No Comments

Beyond Manufacturing

An article by Bob Lutz in The Wall Street Journal (June 11, 2011) provides valuable insights beyond manufacturing. Lutz is a 47-year career automotive industry veteran with stints at GM, BMW, Ford and Chrysler.…


Added by Tom Chandler on June 20, 2011 at 9:24pm — No Comments

Reduce the LOS in your ED

                June 8, 2011




Subject:  Review of the book:  “The Definitive Guide to Emergency Department Operational Improvement

From:  John Hayes

The book above has just been published and I have read the book with special interest in the approach taken in the ED to improve the operational Efficiency.  All of us at ATAC are sold on the merits of “Lean”; therefore my review doesn’t concern Lean.

There are two goals that are extremely…


Added by John David Hayes on June 20, 2011 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Consensus- Practical Leadership Tips


a : general agreement : unanimity   
b: group solidarity in sentiment and…

Added by David Hicks on June 20, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Research Brief: Practical Intelligence as a predictor of Performance

Traditionally, general intelligence has been considered a strong predictor of performance in a diverse range of settings. Unfortunately, measures of general intelligence (i.e., IQ tests) generally don't predict more than about 20% of performance variance and are frowned upon because they tend to create adverse impact. Because general intelligence is not as strong a predictor of performance as we would like, researchers have looked at other forms of "intelligence" to help fill the gaps, such…


Added by Brian Flynn on June 20, 2011 at 5:30am — No Comments

Are You Ready To Facilitate Rapid Improvement Events?

Learning to become a facilitator for a Lean healthcare rapid improvement event (RIE) can seem daunting. If you are wondering if you’re ready, take a look at a typical training ramp-up for a new facilitator. Assuming a basic understanding of Lean and its principles, additional training looks something like…


Added by Terri Lawrence on June 17, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Research Brief: Dynamic Relationships between changes in job satisfaction and turnover intentions

Current models of turnover suggest that job satisfaction is negatively correlated with turnover intentions, and turnover intentions are positively correlated with actual turnover. That is to say, when job satisfaction goes up, turnover intentions go down which consequently drives actual turnover down. And when job satisfaction decreases, turnover intentions increase and actual turnover tends to increase. These relationships are well established in both the academic and practitioner…


Added by Brian Flynn on June 13, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

Leaders Standard Work For All To See


I received the above photo in an email from the following link  I thought it was a fantastic example of using Visual and…


Added by Rick Battye on June 11, 2011 at 8:27am — 1 Comment

Alabama's Innovation Status and Future

The number of patents is often used as a metric to gauge the level of innovation within a company or regional economy.  Using this criteria, Alabama is performing well compared to its surrounding states and the nation.  According to data from the US Patent and Trademark Office and from the State Science and Technology Institute, Alabama’s patent growth was 42.5% from 2005 to 2010.  This was slightly better than the…


Added by David Mixson on June 10, 2011 at 9:56am — No Comments

ATAC-Auburn University 2011 member of MIT Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI) EdNet

Auburn University (ATAC) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have finalized a Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI) Educational Network (EdNet) collaborative agreement. The EdNet is an international group of universities and colleges working together and with LAI's members to…


Added by Henry Burdg on June 9, 2011 at 1:55pm — No Comments

Training Within Industry (TWI) and Healthcare

The TWI Institute presented a white paper on the relevancy of Training Within Industry in the healthcare field - Here is the summary and the article is attached. We at the Auburn Technical Assistance Center have been certified as by the TWI Institute as TWI instructors in Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations

Executive Summary - There is a renaissance occurring in a tried and true method for training supervisors to relate to and instruct employees. Training Within Industry…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on June 7, 2011 at 12:03pm — No Comments

Are Your Lean Initiatives Working? Purge the bad habits

IW discussed 5 bad habits of a Lean Initiative:


Bad Habit #1: Not Focusing Lean Efforts

Bad Habit # 2: Not Looking Beyond the Shop Floor

Bad Habit #3: Not Using Lean Insights to Avoid Capital Outlays

Bad Habit #4: Focusing Just on WIP Inventory

Bad Habit #5: Forgetting the Basics


To read the complete article…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on June 7, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Surfacing Problems Daily - Practical Leadership Tips


Surfacing problems daily…. You want me to surface problems daily? But I’ve already got too many problems!!!!


Are so many things coming at you there’s no time to duck before the next problem hits you in the face?  Why should I ask to see more problems every day?


Do you…


Added by David Hicks on June 7, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Surfacing Problems Daily- Part 2 - Practical Leadership Tips

In our last post, we discussed categorizing your issues into three fundamental groups to help you determine urgent versus important. We said if it doesn’t serve Purpose, Process, or People, then you need to find a way to eliminate or postpone it. By focusing on the issues at the core of your business and… Continue

Added by David Hicks on June 3, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

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