General

The Hidden Costs of Batching [Lessons from the Road]

08.08.2017

Have you ever been on the end of a batched process?  Chances are you have, either in your workplace or in your everyday life.  If you have ever been discharged from a hospital or experienced a yearly performance review, you were likely “batched”.  In the Lessons from Road the Column I recently wrote for IndustryWeek, […]

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The Founder and Experimentation

06.27.2017

Learning what works and what doesn’t work is driven by experimentation, real-world trials that inform us about cause and effect. How do we improve the ability to experiment? By reducing the cost, the effort, the friction required to test what works. As we continue my effort to de-jargonize (ok, that’s not a real word) lean […]

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The simplest way to get started with process improvement

06.16.2017

I have had many conversations lately where people are asking about the simplest way to get started with process improvement.  The simplest way is to start with one simple question – why.  

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Managing Strategic Efforts

05.26.2017

How do you measure your strategic imperatives? It depends on the type of strategy. Here is a 2×2 grid to help you evaluate alternative types of strategies, and what is important to pay attention to in order to ensure success. Once you have your strategies, you have to manage them. You must pay attention to […]

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How your thinking filters are affecting your process improvment

05.12.2017

There are two thinking “filters” that affect how we problem solve during the continuous improvement process.  They are both necessary but should not be used simultaneously.    

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Practicing Lean

04.28.2017

The idea that just as doctors practice medicine we must practice lean is the premise of a book I contributed to called Practicing Lean which was edited by Mark Graban. We must be wiling to evolve our practices and learn as we move forward.   Order a copy of the book today on Kindle or paperback.  You […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 4: Clearly articulate the lean behaviors that matter to you.

04.26.2017

Part 3 examined where are behaviors come from, and in this 4th and final part, we explore applying PDSA to culture change. Most cultures are accidental. They are created through the somewhat random walk of experiences that we encounter. Those who grew up during the Great Depression developed a sense of thriftiness and conservation. Those […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 3: Experiences, beliefs, behaviors, and lean

04.24.2017

In Part 2, we explored the importance of behaviors. In this part, we examine how to create those behaviors. Experiences create our beliefs which drive our behaviors. So, if behaviors are so important, what do we do about it. We can certainly dig much deeper into this topic than in this blog post, but the […]

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Chief Executive Magazine picks up on theme that lean is not just about process

04.20.2017

My IndustryWeek column on the idea that talent matters has gotten more attention than I anticipated, with many notes and comments in personal conversations. Chief Executive Magazine picked up on the theme in their article “Lean Manufacturing is about people, not just process.” Here is some of their reference to me: Jamie Flinchbaugh, lean advisor, […]

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Define Lean by Behaviors, Part 2: Behaviors are greater than tools  

04.19.2017

In Part 1: The evolution of lean, we explored how our insight into lean has evolved. In this part, we explore why behaviors are so important to lean. The most important aspect of lean evolution has been the acknowledgement of the role of behaviors as central to a lean organization. I don’t just say this […]

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