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    Don Hutchcraft

    I have just started this trek down the road to learning about SS and Lean. I wanted to get a better understanding of what my company was attempting to accomplish and why. It has been a very eye opening experience and, as someone whom the processes directly affect, I thought that I could be an excellent input as to how well the processes work.



    Welcome to the forum @Hutch44!

    A word of advice – if you have a question about how to do something, we expect that you have already tried to reason it out yourself. Post what you are trying to do, and what you have tried and what you seem to be having a problem with. If you come here with “homework problems” and expect us to give you the answer, you won’t find this a very hospitable forum. If, however, you show the motivation and capability to try to find the solution, but are just having some difficulties, then you’ll get appropriate help.

    One last word of caution – you will need to be the judge of the value of the responses that you receive here. We don’t get paid, and have no guarantees on the info provided. So Caveat Emptor. That said, some of the best and brightest SS practitioners frequent this forum. You’ll just have to figure out who to trust.


    Shelby Jarvis


    You have received some great advice.

    You are in an interesting spot. You are attempting to learn about your company’s LSS deployment through the knowledge of the collective group in this community.

    I always suggest that you seek to understand before being understood. What do you hope to learn from this forum? How to you plan to use your knowledge? Do you want to influence the deployment in your company, or simply understand what and why certain approaches are used?


    @MMMinWI thanks for the advice. My biggest problem is that I tend not to reach out enough. I like to run every rabbit down to it’s warren and spin my tires in the mud until I have to get help!

    my goal is actually 2 fold. 1: understand the whys and 2 be able to provide positive feedback as to the stability or instability of the processes.

    The BIGGEST a problem I have personally is record keeping. I have already seen how this is an issue when it comes to LSS. Especially the 5s. I am going to start by arranging my vehicle in labeled bins for each piece of equipment, both test and stock.

    Thanks to everyone for the excellent input.


    Shelby Jarvis

    I’m not certain I understand your 2 goals fully. I am sharing a couple of quick thoughts. Please continue to share your questions and guide me as long as you find value in the feedback.

    LSS can be described in many ways. To some degree, it depends upon the level of involvement. Simplistically, LSS is a toolbox with specific steps of use and a community to help gets the largest value. Most people believe it is much more. The next level is that LSS creates a process for process design, process improvement, and problem solving. Then you find many who speak about the culture. It is all three.

    The key to feedback is engaging within the process. Regardless of positive or negative feedback, it is best welcomed and respected when it comes from the people who are within the problem resolution. A good read on this topic is called the “Man in the Arena” speech by Theodore Roosevelt. While it is always possible to work on techniques to present your feedback, there is no substitute for being engaged.

    It is also important to remember that being engaged is not micromanaging. Everyone must engage at the correct level based upon their role.

    I find it interesting how LSS works. It is a union between the LSS culture, process, and tool kit with the organizational culture and capabilities of the team utilizing LSS.

    The most successful deployments utilize the process to drive their approach to process design and improvement. Then use the tool at the appropriate time for which can identify the problem in a way which the company culture can learn from. I see the “why” being related to the organizations ability to learn as well as desire to make decisions based upon what they have learned. The tools within the toolbox only point the way and provide sound evidence that the analysis is valid. It is still a matter for the organization to learn and make the proper decisions.


    I actually have no input as to what changes are made as I am not actually a manager and our positions are bargained. That said, we are told what processes are being implemented, but not he why’s. I am one to ask why to find out the ideal behind the changes. In this way, I can adjust the method of what I am told to do as well as include the things that need to be done.

    This will lead to identifying the positive feedback as to roadblocks that hinder the flow of the work, high cycle times and waste. This will improve the processes that are being used and improve over all quality of system performance


    Shelby Jarvis

    You are definitely in an interesting situation. When others are implementing process changes, asking why is a great approach to learn what you hope to learn. However, the approach may vary depending upon the culture.

    If the organizations culture is direct, you may be able to go straight at the situation by asking why. However, sometimes this approach leaves those who made the change feel as if they are attacked.

    The following approaches are not guaranteed. Instead, I encourage to you think about these and even research the topics to see if any are worth attempting. Additionally, I am not there to hear the conversations, so you may be attempting some of these currently.

    To the point:
    If your end goal is to proactively identify any roadblocks so you can help remove them; I suggest sharing that with the process change team. Be direct by stating your end goal and then asking how you can assist with the solution. It is always key to be part of the solution rather than the identifier of the issues.

    Socratic Method:
    If you see an issue that is not seen by others, you can learn to ask clarification questions which encourage the process change team to respond with open ended answers. The goal is to ask enough thought provoking questions to create a paradigm shift from the implementation team. If they conclude roadblocks exist, then they will help fix them.

    Waste Reduction as a Focus:
    As you listen to the changes, you may recognize part of the solution will create waste. Approach your questions in a manner to eliminate further waste from the process.

    At no time should you create questions nor an environment which make people feel as if they are under attack or scrutiny. Regardless of your intentions, this will only lead to roadblocks.

    At all times, you must look for ways to be involved in the solution. You may even approach leaders for the process change organization and share your desire to learn more about their methods and that you would like to be on a team.

    These soft change approaches are very difficult and only a stab in the dark as a bystander in a blog sight. I hope you review the potential approaches, compare them to your situation, research and learn more detailed thoughts, then apply the one you feel has the best chance for success.

    Good Luck

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