standard work

White space for important work [Lessons from the Road]

02.29.2016

In 2016 I am trying, with my column Lessons from the Road, to stretch people’s thinking and not just refine it. I hope that most of my columns will generate some disagreement or at least some questions. This month in White space for important work I am addressing Leader Standard Work and whether it is […]

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The beauty and effectiveness of simple communication structures

05.12.2014

This post originally appeared on the Lean Learning Center blog. How do I get engaged communication going with my team? How do I reach them? How do we get people talking without it dragging into an endless venting session? These are questions many leaders struggle with. In an effort to engage people, they open up […]

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Ambiguity of expected outcomes generates unneeded waste

01.22.2014

“Clean your room” “I did” “It doesn’t look like it” Did they or did they not accomplish the task? It depends on who you ask because there are differences in the expected outcome. One person’s version of “clean” and another’s version are different. Ambiguity in outcome expectations, whether for a small task or an entire […]

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Standardization, or high agreement (on The Lean Edge)

06.18.2012

This post originally appeared on The Lean Edge: The question asked is “Are work standards individual or collective?” Standardization is a very difficult topic for most people in lean. The difficulty starts with a past practice and perception that standards are something we give people to force them to do work in a way that […]

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Standard work is not a replacement for skill and knowledge

05.29.2012

This post originally appeared on the blog at Lean Learning Center. Standard work takes many different forms once it is applied. In an assembly environment with 90 second cycle times, it may lay out step-by-step precise activities down to the second and whether you use your left hand or your right hand. When people see […]

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Building Manager Standard Work

11.18.2011

My latest column for Industry Week, Lessons from the Road, titled “Building Manager Standard Work” has been posted. Here is an excerpt: …People resist building standards in knowledge work because of natural variation. Yet if you already have variation, why would you want to add more by having no structure or routine? No, you can’t […]

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Slow and Steady, and Routine

01.24.2011

You haven’t gotten any sleep all week, so you try to get one night of 12 hours to make up for it all. It doesn’t work very well, does it? You haven’t worked out in a month, so you spend all day in the gym to make up for it. It doesn’t work, does it? […]

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Matt Wrye’s Reflections from the Lean Experience

12.16.2010

At the moment, I am teaching a Lean Experience at our Center for a group of mixed companies that include retail, transportation, micro-brews, and more. Recently, we delivered a private session at the company where lean blogger Matt Wrye works. Matt converted several of his lessons from the class into blog posts. He decided to […]

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Control Point Standardization as a form of “leader standard work”

11.18.2010

I recently recorded a podcast with Joe Dager of Business901. I’ve done a previous show with him on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean. In this episode we cover Control Point Standardization after Joe read my recent Leading Lean column on the subject. Check out Joe’s website and my podcast with him here.  

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First Steps Video: More Questions as Standard Work

10.04.2010

As promised each Monday morning I am posting a video that explores how someone can start the lean journey even if they are only willing to invest 15 minutes. This is the First Steps Video Series. Last week I talked about using standard questions as a form of standard work in your one-on-one meetings. I […]

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