Achieving Lean

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There’s a great quote from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” that I was thinking of today, in relation to how we teach lean. Thecharacter Malvoliosays, “Be not afraid of greatness. Someare born great, someachieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” So, with apologies to Will… “Some are born lean, some achieve lean, and some have […]

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Lean? or Mean?

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I was privileged to speak at a conference in San Francisco last weekend, sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The topics focused on leadership in the clinical (medical) laboratory. After giving a presentation on 6S, I served asa panel member for questions submitted from the audience. One of the questions asked, “What can […]

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Is a Wait Always a Waste???

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In healthcare, we are definitely trying to speed things up for our patients. Billboards around our area (and maybe, around the country) promise 30 minute door-to-doc time in their Emergency Departments (EDs). One promises no waiting to be seen by a healthcare professional! Mini-offices are springing up in chain pharmacies, promising no waiting for minor […]

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Ron Pereira, One Piece Flow Video

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LSS Academy’s Ron Pereira goes live with his first vlog (video blog). In this video Ron walks us through a “one piece flow” versus “mass production” simulation to showdifferences between the two approaches. Today with his first vlog, Ron also relaunched Lean Six Sigma Academy with the added functionality of a web 2.0 site. Take a minute […]

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5S in Translation

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5S is one of the foundation concepts of lean. The Japanese originals were: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shetsuke. (Additional S’s such asSafety or Security are sometimes added.) I did a quick survey on-line to see what variations are out there. Sort – Straighten – Scrub – Standardize – Sustain Separate – Sort – Shine – […]

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TWOL (The Wastes of Lean)

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A common way to learn principles or tools is to associate a word as an acronym. The seven/eight wastes of Lean is a great example of acronymic variation. I’ve come across five different words invented to illustrate the wastes of Lean: The iSixSigma dictionary uses the word DOTWIMP to list the seven wastes of Lean […]

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Balancing Production and Planning in a Lean Environment

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Now we have the tools. Supervisors are watching the process, identifying muda, re-work and redundant processes. Front line staff are meeting production goals within acceptable standards. Our work-in-progress is flowing with less wait time, a focus on pull of resources and just-in-time customer service. We are sustaining production within dictated standards. What is next? A […]

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Is Lean Thinking Another Name for Prudence?

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Recently I had a call from a well known training company in Englandwho were planning a Six Sigma Lean Government workshop in February of 2007. He did not ask about successes, or best practices, he wanted to know the major difficulties with our Lean initiative in Maine. Thinking about it, I reached the conclusion that […]

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IT Looking to LEAN for Programming

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October 2, 2006 – Eweek published an interesting article by Peter Coffee titled “What it means to be Lean”.  He correlates computer programming with lean thinking and describes a new book related to lean software. “I just received a new book with a copyright date of 2007, “Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash,” by […]

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From Six Sigma to Lean

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Our health system began its Six Sigma journey about three years ago. We started up in Wave I with three Black Belts at the two largest hospitals (myself among them) who had no real idea of what would come. After a successful round of projects in Phase I, we expanded to hire an additional 12 […]

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What Is Lean Management?

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

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Lean management – often called “Lean Management,” “The Toyota Way” or simply “Lean” – is a systematic method for waste minimization and process improvement in any type of service or manufacturing

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