Paul Akers, the founder of Fastcap is a huge proponent of Lean. He published a book last year called, "2-Second Lean". In it, he shares his journey and passion for Lean. One of the things that has made him successful is building the culture for continuous improvement.
The book tells what he did to create the culture, including asking people for improvements daily. To keep it simple, he asked for improvements that would save just 2 seconds per day. Of course, many times they came up with much larger savings than that.
As a result of his learning, he has some items for sale worth looking at that help support Lean efforts in a shop. In particular, I like his 'kaizen korners' which are used to easily shadow out locations for pallets and other items. He also has a lot of videos on the site and also on Youtube that show his 2-Second Lean improvements in action. Just search for '2-Second Lean'.
The article below, "Effective Meetings", addresses some common issues for us all. Some people I talk to spend more than half their time in meetings! The article talks about alternatives to meetings and a way to structure a meeting if it is truly necessary. Talk about saving more than 2 seconds by having an efficient and effective meeting!
If you want to learn more about a structured CI process, I have a Six Sigma Green Belt class starting in the spring and a Lean Practitioner Certification class starting in March. Check the website for more information under 'Training Events'. You can access the page by clicking here.
How many times have you ever walked out of a meeting unsatisfied with the result?
You go to the meeting on time only to find out that Fred is late again, as usual. Maybe you go into a meeting thinking we’re going to discuss operations issues. The meeting starts that way but then the conversation drifts to topics you can’t control, like traffic, the weather, or school calendars.
"A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted."
James T. Kirk, Captain
We are going to continue having these meetings, everyday, until I find out why no work is getting done.
CI Terms Defined
PDCA was popularized by W. Edwards Deming and attributed to Walter Shewhart for developing it. Regardless of its origins it is still a good model to use today for continuous improvement. It stands for:
P - Plan
D - Do
C - Check
A - Act
Plan: Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
Do: Test the change. Try it in a smaller test area if uncertain.
Check: Did the change achieve the desired result?
Act: Take action based on what you learned.
If the desired result was achieved then move on to another opportunity. If not, then incorporate what you learned into another cycle of improvement.
Some industries, like medical, prefer 'Study' and 'Adjust' as the last 2 parts of the acronym. While they do capture the intent of the phases better, PDSA still sounds funny to me compared to the traditional PDCA.
Video Links from Youtube:
The Napkin Project - A really good example of a defined process with less than optimal results. At less than 3 minutes well worth playing at the next meeting you attend. Some people watch it twice because they're not sure of what they saw the first time.
Turn the Ship Around -At less than 10 minutes long, this talk from a nuclear submarine captain on leadership and developing people is inspirational. Worth watching and emulating his approach.