4 Worst mistakes in “lean office” activities

All too often I hear about cases where the deployment of lean techniques has failed and lean is rejected by the people it was meant to help. I’m particularly disappointed when these occur in work environments that process information or deal with people, like offices, health care, transport and other service providers. So if you… Read more »

Is it Visual Management or Mistake Proofing?

It is a common misconception that Mistake Proofing includes any device that simply reduces the possibility of errors. To help us understand the difference in the principles concerned I am going to use two holiday snaps from my favourite steam railway. The first is one of the most unusual signs I think you will find… Read more »

Show you can improve your bottom line!

We know that deploying lean tools improves our performance indicators. We see employee engagement rise when improvement activities are successful. But how do you convince the managers who hold the purse strings of the financial benefits? The answer lies in talking to them in their language – money and more specifically profit. Improvement initiatives can… Read more »

2 Things You Must Do With Your Data

Big data is all the rage, but are we using our “local” data to our best advantage? Let’s call “local data” the raw data you generate in your work place; like your KPI results, breakdown and maintenance print outs and various quality logs. What do you do with it? If you use it correctly you… Read more »

2 Simple but effective management engagement exercises

We all know it’s vital to get senior management engagement if we want our improvement programmes to be successful. We also want our managers to lead them with the right attitude to change. Here are two quick exercises you can use to help you influence the approach management teams take to improvement initiatives. They require… Read more »

At the cutting edge of continuous improvement

1 million parts per month, from brackets to fully functioning coffee machines. An average batch size of just 36 parts and the introduction of 450 new parts per month. Yet the employees at this fast moving engineering firm still found time to save £435,000 last year. I went to catch up with Operations Director, Keith… Read more »

3 top tips to aid your search for the perfect KPI

There is an overwhelming, and sometimes conflicting, amount of advice about must have key performance indicators. Try these ideas to help you select the most useful for your particular business. Choose the KPI appropriate for the level you are measuring at In your organisation you have different groups of employees. They require different information in… Read more »

The tale of the team and the newt

  Do you find that no matter how hard you try you always seem to have some people who refuse to join in with your improvement initiative? How do you deal with them? Well here is a really useful analogy I learned from my training days with the Nissan, Toyota and Honda master trainers. It… Read more »