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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 30 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Thinking
Anyone in the world
By Al Norval (bio)

Have you ever walked through a large design center and wondered what the heck was happening there?

If so, you wouldn’t be the first one to do so. What do we see? Lots of people working at computers in their cubicles.

What’s the current condition?

Is everything OK?

Are we meeting the needs of our customers?

Is anyone having any problems?

This is not to imply that these people aren’t working hard, it’s just difficult to tell what’s going on.

Why is it like this? Because the work is invisible! It’s not like a manufacturing process where we can see the flow of materials going through the factory. We can’t see the flow of a project. The key then becomes making the invisible work visible so we can see the flow of work, the status of the project and most importantly see any problems that are occurring. All projects have problems, all designs have problems, in fact all organizations have problems. What separates the great ones from everyone else is their understanding of this and their ability to surface problems and solve them.


How do we make the work visible?

  • Use simple visuals to track progress. Red/ green, hand drawn Gant charts or a simple timeline with 5 or 6 key milestones.
  • Keep a scorecard with a few key metrics – meeting Customer Needs, on time, on budget
  • Make work assignments visible by showing the projects assigned to each person on a card.
  • Stacking cards allows you to assess whether they are at capacity or not.
  • Unassigned projects or tasks can go into a queue which can then be made visible.
  • Do a FMEA at the start of a project and for the top 3-5 problems, put in a standard countermeasures. Both potential problems and countermeasures are made visible.
  • Do a weekly check of project status where people check for on or off track.
  • Make things Yes/ No, or binary which forces problems to the surface.
  • For problems, make them visible as well, keep an action log and make visible who, what, when and status.

People say “why do all this it’s in the computer” but that doesn’t make it visible to all. When it’s in the computer it’s only visible if people go look for it which they usually don’t do.

Key is that when we all see together, we understand together and take action together.

Sounds simple right?

Try it out and let me know how it works



In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Two Pillars of the Lean Business System
Why Do We Learn More from What Did Not Work?
Failure is a Requirement for Innovation
KAIZEN – Small Changes vs. Monster Projects

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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 30 December 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: A Lean Journey
Anyone in the world
Goal setting is one of the most important activities you can do in your business, regardless of how old your business is, where you are located, how profitable it is, or what you sell. Goals help you stay focused and they can prevent your business from becoming stagnant. Your business goals keep you moving forward and set the stage for ongoing success. 

Although we often think of goal setting as something we do at the start of every year, the truth is that it is extremely important to...

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by LSSU Admin - Saturday, 28 December 2019, 2:09 AM
Retrieved from: Michel Baudin's Blog
Anyone in the world

Among the dusty tomes Dan Markovitz accused me of hoarding in my office, I found eleven handbooks. They occupy two linear feet of shelf space, and I have a few more in electronic form. The print books have indeed been accumulating dust because they are no longer where I look for information. For theories, the first […]

The post Get Rid of Your Print Handbooks! appeared first on Michel Baudin's Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Friday, 27 December 2019, 9:05 PM
Retrieved from: Old Lean Dude
Anyone in the world
Today, whenever I visit factories and witness the stampedes of employees to time clocks and hear the complaints of time lost to waiting in line to punch in out, I wonder why no one questions the practice.
Anyone in the world

Here are the ten most-read posts of the year, according to Google Analytics (popularity doesn't imply quality, but it's interesting to see what people are reading and sharing) -- data from July 1 through December 7.

The post Year in Review: What are the 10 Most Read Posts of 2019? Of This Decade? appeared first on Lean Blog.

Anyone in the world

“I visited a company a few weeks ago that asks all of their employees to do a green belt project. It’s not mandatory, but completion of a project is part of their annual review. Not surprisingly, the management boasts that nearly everyone does a project. You know how many people do a second project? Less than […]

The post Your Lean Six Sigma Belt Program Is the Problem | Dan Markovitz | Industry Week appeared first on Michel Baudin's Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Tuesday, 24 December 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from:
Anyone in the world
On Christmas Eve 115 years ago, Joseph Moses Juran (December 24, 1904 – February 28, 2008) was born. He was a highly respected and very influential quality guru. His work not only helped the United States, but also changed Japan, possibly even more than that of his better-known colleague Edwards Deming. Time to look back … Continue reading 115 Years after the Birth of Joseph Juran
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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 23 December 2019, 11:00 AM
Retrieved from: Lean Blog
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Here's a musical holiday treat for my regular Lean Blog readers and podcast listeners, a song parody, originally released back in 2009: “Gemba Claus is Comin' to Town“ Gemba Claus is Comin' to Town Lyrics by Mark GrabanPerformance by Steve Sholtes Oh, you'd better watch outYou'd better kaizenYou'd better not pout, I'm tellin' ya thenGemba […]

The post [Song] Gemba Claus is Comin’ to Town! appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Saturday, 21 December 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Blog
Anyone in the world

Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients It's been 20 years since To Err is Human, the seminal report from the Institute of Medicine, was released, estimating, to many people's surprise, that almost 100,000 deaths per year in hospitals could be prevented.  How much has it improved since then?  The good news is that culture and attitude […]

The post Operational Excellence Mixtape: December 20, 2019 appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Friday, 20 December 2019, 4:00 PM
Retrieved from: Blog – JFlinch
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In Episode 10 of Lean Whiskey, Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh do their best to work through technology issues, as the Grinch clearly didn’t want us to record. We apologize if this affected the final product, but the show must go on. The two whiskey enthusiasts select some whiskey they

The post Lean Whiskey [Episode 10] appeared first on JFlinch.