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by LSSU Admin - Thursday, 27 February 2020, 7:41 PM
Retrieved from: The Lean Thinker
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Tyson Ortiz Tyson zeroed right in on one of the biggest problems with “training” – getting people to adopt the new process or method after we have taught it to them. Compounding this was that, in his example, the training was TWI Job Instruction – how to train. Tyson took a quick show-of-hands poll and …
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by LSSU Admin - Thursday, 27 February 2020, 6:07 PM
Retrieved from: The Lean Insider
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There has long been a debate in the Lean community about creativity. Clearly, a Lean organization thrives on standard work, and it is easy to assume that following standard work means that creativity must be curtailed. In her new book, Creatively Lean: How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Drive Innovation throughout Your Organization, Bella Englebach argues that creative thinking is fundamental to Lean thinking, and that using tools and approaches from the adjacent field of Creative Problem Solving makes for better Lean thinking, and better Lean thinkers. Recently, I asked her: "What is Creative Problem Solving and how it can be applied to Lean thinking?"Here is what she explained:

Deeper Thinking
In my book, I tell a story that many of us in Lean have heard, or even experienced. A Lean learner proudly presents their countermeasure to their coach or sensei, only to be told, “Go back.Think deeper.” That can be very frustrating.What does it mean to think deeper?

Creativity Has a Natural Rhythm
I believe “thinking deeper” means to take advantage of the natural rhythm of creativity, which requires developing skills in both thinking broadly (divergent thinking) as well as thinking convergently, which is to select and strengthen ideas.

Creative Problem Solving
Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is a proven method for approaching a problem or challenge in an imaginative and innovative way, and it explicitly teaches convergent and divergent thinking. Like Lean, the CPS approach has distinct steps for solving a problem. Each CPS step deliberately uses divergent and convergent thinking. In my work I have found that paying attention to the divergent thinking/convergent thinking creative rhythm and using CPS tools with Lean approaches like the A3 and the improvement kata drives deeper thinking, and more innovative countermeasures.  And who doesn’t need more innovation?

What have been your experiences with creativity and Lean? When you need an innovative improvement, what approaches, and tools have you used?
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by LSSU Admin - Thursday, 27 February 2020, 5:44 PM
Retrieved from: The Lean Thinker
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Last week (February 17-20) I attended (and presented at) the TWI and Toyota Kata summits put on by my friends at Lean Frontiers. As always, I took a few notes and I would like to share some of those notes and thoughts with you here. To be clear, what follows are my impressions and thoughts …
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I can't believe that I'm once again writing about this. But, I saw in the news that ANOTHER house was mistakenly demolished in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this month. Where a carpenter says, “Measure twice, cut once,” you'd like to think that level of caution would apply to something as un-undoable as knocking down a […]

The post A Throwback to Another #ThrowbackThursday: Yet Again, the Wrong House Was Demolished appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 8:33 PM
Retrieved from: Minitab Blog
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Where in the World Is Someone Most Likely to Be a Leap Day Baby?

This Saturday is Leap Day, so some lucky 39-year-olds on the verge of 40 get to say they're only 10! What's the easiest way to determine the probability of being born on a certain day, like February 29? It's to assume every day of the year has an equal probability of being a birthday. But ... no surprise here ... the numbers actually disagree! 

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by LSSU Admin - Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Blog
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Today, I'd like to preview the next webinar that I'll be hosting in our KaiNexus Webinar series. It's going to be presented by my friend, Dr. Mark Jaben and it's titled “A Great Idea Isn't Enough for Successful Change.” You can register to attend live on March 3rd or we'll send you a link to […]

The post Webinar Preview: A Great Idea Isn’t Enough for Successful Change appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 12:00 PM
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In my last post I looked at different ways to store material. This post is a continuation, looking at where to put materials. I want to give an overview of the different options to help you choose one that is suitable for your situation. This first post looks at storage with fixed locations, and why … Continue reading Storage Strategies – Fixed Location
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As a follow up to his number one best selling book The Coaching Habit – one of the top books that I recommend to clients – Michael Bungay Stanier is releasing a new book on February 29th titled The Advice Trap! I first learned about Michael a few years ago when I was creating materials […]

The post Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier: “The Advice Trap” appeared first on Katie Anderson.

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Thanks to ASQ for asking me to write this article for their “Statistics Digest” newsletter in October of 2019 – click here to access the whole issue if you're a member. I'm posting the article here with their permission. Readers of this newsletter most likely understand Statistical Process Control. When I teach workshops on the […]

The post Learning Process Behavior Charts and the More Difficult Challenge of Unlearning Old Lessons or Habits appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 24 February 2020, 4:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Thinking
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By Al Norval (bio)

Last week I came across an organization with a value stream map hanging on their conference room wall. What’s the big surprise with this? In fact it’s no big surprise at all as I often see this happen. Teams do a wonderful job of mapping their Current State and identifying different sources of waste and various kaizen they are planning on doing to eliminate it. This team had even added a timeline and calculated a leadtime for their value stream which is something I don’t usually see.

What was my concern?

I could see their Current State map but I couldn’t see their Future State map nor what business gap they were trying to close. A Future State is driven by a business need and that need comes from the organization’s strategy. The strategy says what objectives we need to achieve as a business and outlines at a high level how we are going to achieve it. Often the strategy goes on to say what we’re not going to do to meet the business needs or targets and quite frankly this is another often overlooked step but that’s the subject of another blog.


The Value Stream takes this strategy and develops the tactics describing what the value stream needs to improve to meet the business objectives of the organization. There is a direct link between the kaizen and the improvements the value stream is making and the business objectives it needs to deliver to the organization. This link means a testable hypothesis is formed “If we do this, then we will get that”. It’s a simple binary test that can be checked at every review session.

This is a very different approach from the one that says – map the current state, identify waste, drive improvement and remove waste and see what results we achieve. This approach doesn’t set up a hypothesis, doesn’t use the scientific method and although it can lead to some improved business results, doesn’t stretch us to experiment, try new things and learn rapidly, all of which are required parts of a lean system.

What I’d wish I’d seen in the organization I visited last week, was a Current State map, a clear business target with gap identified, a Future State map and a plan on how to close the gap.

Now there are several testable hypothesis:
  • Does the Future State close the gap to the business objective?
  • Does the plan close the gap to the Future State?

By following the PDCA cyle and doing a Check/ Adjust against these questions, organizations can learn a great deal and accelerate their improvement efforts. More importantly, the improvements are driven by a business need rather than being random acts of improvement.



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

What is a Key Thinker?
Macro Value Stream Kaizen – Zoology
Poka-Yoke – Preventing Inadvertent Errors
Making the Invisible Visible in Design Projects