Blog Archive


From the Archives of a Common Sensei Volume 27: EARLY LOCAL PARTS ORDERING FLOW

Traditionally, many companies have ordered parts based on forecasted projected need, which was most often determined by the forecast handed down from the Sales Department.  This in turn may have also been based on the projections of the Marketing Department, who in turn may have founded their numbers on the profit projections.  There is no need for me to try to reason why the profit projections were on target with reality or not!

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From the Archives of a Common Sensei Volume 26: STRATEGIC AND NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION CHECKLIST

The intent of the questions included in the checklist is to help you be sure that all design considerations are included as you develop a new service or product.  As we began our new product development efforts, we thoroughly evaluated competitors’ products, including piece by piece teardown and doing comparison evaluation against our like (similar) products/components.

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From the Archives of a Common Sensei Volume 15: Nemawashi

This guidance uses many of what we now call “Lean Management” thinking and is heavily dependent on utilization of consensus building (nemawashi), which means using one-on-one discussion with each member of a decision-making group.  This consensus building of those directly or indirectly affected is usually conducted prior to a formal meeting where the indication of support is officially made. In English, the term nemawashi is most often interpreted as “the rooting process”; properly preparing the soil prior to planting so the roots will grow deep and spread.

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From the Archives of a Common Sensei – Volume 13: Management that Practices What they Preach – Standard Procedures

In the early developmental days of the creation of Toyota Industrial Equipment, we realized that when hiring associates, who had previously been employed in a manufacturing environment, it was going to be difficult to retrain and to get such associates to follow established TPS team-based standards.  To ease the situation, we hired new associates based on making sure the new people had the right personality and an aptitude to work in a team-based environment.  We also wanted to be sure that new hires could express themselves in a positive manner so that we were able to improve upon the standards.  As we progressed in our growth, we quickly discovered that it was difficult to hire enough new Associates with the above team-based attributes.  By working with the local school district, we were able to encourage an educational programming that focused more on “team” building in exchange for guarantees of employment of high school graduates who progressed through the team learning model.

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Utilizing Strategic Innovation to Redefine your Normal

A global health crisis and increasing levels of civil unrest are changing the way that we approach our daily lives, from how and where we work, to our social interactions and how we consume information and entertainment.

Organizations who continue doing business in the same way they always have are going to be left behind in a world where innovation is now being measured in days to market as opposed to years. Chances are that your organization has the people it needs to solve problems but, do you have the tools to pull those solutions out of them?

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A Legacy of Lean Thinking

It is awesome to see how implementing a culture of Lean Thinking into training not only helped our athletes on the field but, it is shaping them for success off of the field.

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The RPA Myth

As I watch client after client move toward the promise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a solution to their problems, I am amazed at their disregard for the small print.

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A Holistic Approach to Reducing Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Overview Under the current administration, there is a renewed emphasis on reducing fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) within the Federal Government.  While this is nothing new, historical initiatives have focused primarily on external threats and only moderately succeeded at reducing operational waste and have made little to no impact in…

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Ethics and Insanity in Consulting

If we are continually hired to resolve the same issue that was previously addressed, is that insanity, misinformed decision making, misguided, or something else? What roll should we play?

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Low Cost Technically Incapable – Revisited

As we are facing a transition of power with the hope of “Making America Great Again”, we have an opportunity, once again, to fix our broken system which continues, regardless of the party in power, to be a self-licking ice cream cone.

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Talent Identification for Peak Human Performance

Corporations, Military Organizations, and Sports Teams are constantly looking to find and attract “Peak Performers”.  As technology continues to advance, it is becoming clear that the human component is most often the limiting factor in any endeavor.  Utilizing proven Lean and Six Sigma approaches in concert with expertise in Anatomy & Physiology, Kinesiology, and…

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Effective Government Coalition

August 2016 Effective Government Coalition – Exploratory Phase The Effective Government Coalition (EGC) announces its non-partisan mission to create an efficient and streamlined government that lives up to the same operations standards, efficiency, and integrity that the American people have come to expect and require from public companies and businesses…

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Agile Process Improvement — betterbusinessforall

One of my favorite sayings is “if you want to learn somethig new, read an old book.” For years now, we have been hearing about this thing called Agile Development. It seems there are numerous definitions of what that is and even more variations of Agile in practical execution. I…

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Rapid Crisis Intervention/Facilitation Method

Organizations around the globe face critical instances that need a clear and consistent approach to resolving issues in a way that not only fixes a problem in the short term but also helps to ensure that the issue does not happen again.

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Your next goal: becoming a Social Business

Becoming a Social Business means growing into a social and connected entity, centered in the digital field and that has socialized its internal and external processes, achieving, this way, great flexibility and a dynamic in line with its sector that allow it to innovate and lead the business models of the XXI century.

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Management by Emoticon

I am a people person.  I know that my strength is in motivating people not only through my words but through my actions.  That is why I find it difficult to manage in the digital era,  So many people working remotely, so many IM’s, texts, emails, conference calls, etc.  I am certain…

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5S Your Room Please

For those of us in the Process Improvement realm, we are very familiar with 5S (yes I know many people often add the 6th S for safety).  My first encounter with 5S occurred as a kid getting paid to work weekends (i.e. allowance) cleaning up the shop while my dad…

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Low Cost Technically Incapable – Revisited

In a world where every penny should count, where we are told continuously how bad the economy is, do we really know what we are getting when we bring in outside help?  I can identify numerous types of consultancies that exist in the market.  However, there are two major types…

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PowerPoint Saves Lives

I am not certain where this began.  However, it is too good to share.  If anyone knows who should get credit, please let me know.  Of course, much of the Credit goes to Jack Nicholson for his command performance and to Rob Reiner and the good people at Columbia Pictures…

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GAO Report Identifies Billions in Waste

Lean Six Sigma Experts Pounce On New GAO Report Atlanta, GA – According to the Government Accounting Agency’s 2012 annual report, released this week, tens of billions of dollars are wasted every year due to unnecessary duplication, overlaps, and just plain waste in the Federal Government.   Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK estimates…

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Ethics, Lean Six Sigma, and Insanity

If we are continually hired to resolve the same issue that was previously addressed, is that insanity, misinformed decision making, misguided, or something else?  What roll should we play? There is no doubt in my mind that some of the greatest companies in the world have made their name by re-purposing…

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Follow up: Is the truth worth telling?

In a previous post I asked the question “Is the truth worth telling?”  I even added a poll to see where people stood on the issue.  After becoming my most commented on post, I decided I should follow up with some of the more interesting nuggets.  Needless to say, I…

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