Category Archives: Human Performance

From the Archives of a Common Sensei – Volume 6: Targeting your efforts and measuring your current condition

As a follow-up to Volume 5: From the Archives of a Common Sensei we discussed “Process Readiness Scan Guidance”. In this volume, Volume 6, we will provide more detailed guidance to enable those of you who are interested in evaluating where your organization’s processes currently stack up against a truly Lean (Value Creating) organization with supporting process efficiencies/effectiveness. The category evaluation guidance pages below will help guide you as you analyze your organization’s proficiency level for the various attributes within each category (People, Support Systems, Flexible Manpower Systems, Autonomation, Just-in-Time). Each categorization page is numbered from 1 (lowest) to 5 (Highest) regarding proficiency for each attribute within each category. Regardless of your organizations purpose, these guides will serve you well! While these refer to medical terms (e.g. patient, etc.) you can easily adapt them to your environment. These have been utilized in nearly every sector, both commercial and governmental and based on those lessons learned during my early involvement with Toyota Industrial Equipment development in the United States and subsequent work with Kaizen Institute and others. They emphasize those attributes regarding “People” and “Support Systems” and the importance of each. These guides will help you understand more clearly where you need to target your efforts and to measure your current condition.

Max Allway

For More Information or help with your transformation effort, contact us at

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Filed under Lean Six Sigma, Human Performance, Health Care, consulting, government consulting, efficiency, Lean, Management, Business, Strategic Planning, Goal Deployment, process improvement, PDCA, Toyota Production System, Kaizen

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?

As you continue to add more technologies, trying to resolve issues, streamline processes, and create efficiencies, how do you know that you will get the results that you are expecting?

For decades organizations have had varying results when trying to emulate the Toyota Production System (TPS). The consistent underlying theme in explaining the levels of variation is that the success of TPS has as much to do with the synchronization of employees and management as it does with the tools and the processes. (Marksberry, 2013)*.

The days of simply taking the next great technology innovation, inserting it into your organization, and sitting back to realize the results are gone. Just because something is innovative, imaginative or disruptive does not necessarily mean that it is evolutionary. If you want to separate yourself from your competition or redefine world-class, your next transformation must qualify as an “I.D.E.A.” (Innovative, Disruptive, Evolutionary, and Atypical), and therefore, it must move your organization to a new level in the value it provides internally, externally, and peripherally.

Prior to any new implementation, transformation, or re-organization, it is paramount that you look at your company, agency, team, etc. as a system made up of management, employees, technology, processes, customers, and community. This requires a new way of thinking to define requirements while your assessing and aligning your organizations strengths and addressing weaknesses as part of your Strategic Innovation process rather than after a decision has already been made.

Are you ready to break out of the current cycle of incremental progress and challenge the status Quo?

Let me know at

Works Cited
Marksberry, P. (2013). The Modern Theory of the Toyota Production System. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRC Press.


Filed under Business, Coaching, connected, consulting, efficiency, Goal Deployment, government consulting, Human Performance, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Management, process improvement, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Strategic Planning