It isn’t just theory. I did it several years ago. Yes, of course
confidentiality can be an issue. Clearance, signing a NDA, and even
security restrictions may apply, depending upon the size and
sophistication of the organization.
I will admit, though, that knowing someone on the inside and having
an established connection will greatly…[Read more]
Depending upon your specific industry and area of expertise, an
alternative could be to volunteer your talents to a non-profit (or for-
profit, for that matter). For example, healthcare organizations can be
If they involve you in an improvement project, that can satisfy your
need while exposing you to potentially…[Read more]
I agree, exploring the “why” is a logical step. Assuming the Lead
belongs in that capacity, s/he must have a reason — even if it is
based on misinformation or bad assumptions. Has there been no
discussion along that line?And it would be interesting (maybe even informative) to identify how
the Lead would use results of a “should be” map.
Some questions that may help clarify things:
1. What defines “should be”? Flow chart? SOP? Personal preference?
2. What are the reasons the project lead prefers not to do a
traditional Current State (i.e., what actually happens)?
3. Once the “should be” map is created, what will be done with the
You are wise to focus on…[Read more]
Your approach is refreshingly disciplined and appropriate. Too
often, I think, projects are “selected” based upon superficial
criteria, agendas, or only a partial appreciation for what they mean
— either positive or negative. Even worse, loser projects often are
defended to the death just because of sunk resources.The process you describe…[Read more]
Some questions that may help align thinking:
1. How and why was this process selected?
2. Who is unhappy with the current process? Who will benefit if it is
3. What are the metrics of the PROCESS itself? How will you even
know if it has been improved?
4. What is the objective of this process? Minimize payroll? Maximize…[Read more]
Yet another reason why improvement efforts should be defined and
flow from strategy. It’s amazing how often something like “We want to
become Lean” gets foisted onto everyone as a strategic objective. It is
With a solid and complete strategic plan, all the various priorities are
identified and quantified — including those focused on…[Read more]
That is a very well-stated response. And “target” is a key word.
This question always brings up the image of someone at target
practice. It is fairly simple to tweak the sight on a rifle (adjusting the
mean). But variation still depends upon marksmanship.
That analogy holds true with respect to the points you made.
Any significant improvement effort should flow from the goals and
objectives of the business. Starting at the process or tactical level
generally leads to localized improvements — which may be
beneficial, but probably far from optimal.
Do you have the latitude and opportunity and support for asking,
“What is it that our business…[Read more]
You seem to be describing an ACTUAL supermarket operation. I
believe the OP (newbie) is referring to “supermarket” as a Lean
analogy. In that case, supermarkets certainly do represent inventory,
just like the milk jugs in stainless chutes that (legend has it) inspired
the term in the Lean world. In fact, that is their purpose.
The supermarket concept is a realistic compromise to attain
acceptable RESPONSE times in some instances. It seems you may be confusing Lead Time with Customer Response
time. They are not the same.DLW – BPEX
How about increased productivity, or increased capacity? A focus of
Lean ought to be getting more done with available resources, not
doing the same amount with less.
I’m guessing that the pushback and “raised eyebrows” aren’t due to
any special sensitivity to the term FTE. Is it possible that the real
motive is to reduce head count, and…[Read more]