Lean Six Sigma

Are Your Executives Using Machine Thinking? 0

The co-author of The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance. James Franz,  answered a question of mine around how executives are trained in their thinking.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Toyota’s Continuous Improvement

Joe: Is this what you mean by machine thinking that’s attractive to a lot of executives?

Jim Franz: Yes. It’s one of our biggest challenges we’re going up against the entire “B-school” world out there. Steve Spear, I thought, talked about it very well in Chasing the Rabbit where he talks about all of our leadership now tends to come out of business schools. Who are taught to think in terms of transactions. “Where do I put the factory? Is this a make or is this a buy?” You do some accumulation of data and then bang! You make a decision!

That’s what makes a really good strong leader, is you can make quick, decisive decisions, et cetera. We support that kind of firefighter, chainsaw, Al Dunlap kind of thing, but the company and business isn’t a machine. It’s not something you walk up with a big honking wrench and crank on the bolt two times clockwise and suddenly your productivity goes up six percent. We don’t all show up in the morning, plug our brains in, and get our updated downloaded software telling us how to do our work.

When you think about the business as a machine, you think that there are some types of solutions. You’ll bring in technicians ?? how about consultants from the outside, to tweak the machine, to play with the source code. Ignoring the fact that your business is populated with people, and those people need to be developed into problem solvers to help the business achieve its goals. You totally miss that way of thinking when you get caught in this machine?head type scenario.

It is attractive, because you can think of things ?? well, like Lean ?? in terms of, “This is a project, how about a war on waste?” That’s attractive ?? that’ll look good on a banner when you come in the front door. “We’re engaged in a war on waste!”

Well, what do you do in a war? You gather all your troops, the generals plot the strategy. You unleash your strategy; you have this big huge war. Then the war is over, you declare victory, you send all the troops home and you demobilize. This is really the exact opposite of what we’re talking about, when you start talking about continuous improvement by developing your team’s problem solvers.

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

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Training 201: Training other People? 0

When I think about Training within Industry (TWI), I think of a method of incremental training. You don’t go out and try to train everyone at once, you actually get a few to master it and become your advocate and train more. That may not be a perfect description but I have used this method often in introducing products and services to others. I asked Bob Petruska, the author of Gemba Walks for Service Excellence: The Step-by-Step Guide for Identifying Service Delighters, that question.

Bob Petruska of Sustain Lean Consulting will be working his magic in his upcoming workshop at the 2014 Jacksonville AME Conference where you can participate and witness the Pizza Game.

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Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

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Lean Service Design Program Offer 0

Lean Service Design changes the way you think about business. No longer can companies focus their efforts on process improvements. Instead, they must engage the customer in use of their product/service rather than analyzing tasks for improvement. We no longer build and hope that there is a demand. We must create demand through the services that we offer and Lean Service Design is the enabler of this process. It changes our mindset of thinking about design at the end of the supply chain to make it look good and add a few appealing features.Lean Service Design Instead, it moves Design and the user themselves to co-create or co-produce the desired experience to the beginning of the supply chain.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

The umbrella of Lean offers Service Design a method of entry into a well-established market. Lean has been very successful in Services and Design through traditional practices. However, we must move away from these traditions and institute a wider scope of Design to Services. This download contains a 130-page PDF book, workbook with forms, PDFs and training videos.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 – Lean (SDCA)
  • Chapter 2 – Service (PDCA)
  • Chapter 3 – Design (EDCA)
  • Chapter 4 – Trilogy

In addition, for a limited time, I have included 2 popular eBooks from the Marketing with Lean Series:

  1. Lean Engagement Team (More Info): The ability to share and create knowledge with your customer is the strongest marketing tool possible.
  2. CAP-Do (More Info): What makes CAP-Do so attractive is that it assumes we do not have the answers. It allows us to create a systematic way to address the problems (pain) or opportunities (gain) from the use of our products and services.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

Connect with Me on LinkedIn and Mention the Date of the Blog Post

I will send you a Free PDF of The Lean Marketing House

A few reasons to consider the Lean Marketing House book:

  1. Is there a reason to use Lean in Sales and Marketing?
  2. Do you have to be practicing Lean in the rest of the company?
  3. Is Lean Marketing the same as Agile Marketing?
  4. How does A3 problem solving relate to Marketing?
  5. Why is Social Media so Lean?
  6. Can your company ever complete a Lean Transformation without Sales on board?
  7. What does Knowledge Creation have to do with Lean?
  8. Develop stronger partnerships with your customers?
  9. Provide a methodology to become more precise in your sales and marketing?
  10. Begin a continuous improvement program in your sales and marketing?

Book Description: When you first hear the terms Lean and Value Stream most of our minds think about manufacturing processes and waste. Putting the words marketing behind both of them is hardly creative. Whether Marketing meets Lean under this name or another it will be very close to the Lean methodologies develop in software primarily under the Agile connotation. This book is about bridging that gap. It may not bring all the pieces in place, but it is a starting point for creating true iterative marketing cycles based on not only Lean principles but more importantly Customer Value.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

A Few Hints When Starting with Lean 0

Natalie J. Sayer is the owner of I-Emerge, an Arizona-based global consultancy, and co-author of  Lean For Dummies. She has traveled the world extensively, working with leaders in English and Spanish, to improve their daily lives, businesses and results.  Natalie began studying and applying Lean in the automotive industry, in the US and Mexico before it was formally known as Lean. She has trained, coached, mentored and rolled up her sleeves to implement Lean in organizations ranging from Fortune 130 companies to micro-businesses.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Applying the Principles of Lean

An excerpt from a past podcast with Natalie:

Joe:   What would you then warn someone about before they would attempt Lean?

Natalie:    I wouldn’t say maybe warn. I would say advise them. That is to find a project that will have an impact on your customer if you improve. Two, get the leadership on board and get their support. Have your idea of the first place you’d want to start, have an idea. If you’ve read the whole book, then you might have an idea of what tools might be appropriate for that project and the scope of the project, and get your leadership onboard. If you just want to start in your own work area, start small. Maybe it’s something that will help you to be able to do your work more effectively. Workplace organization is a good place to start.

I have a home office, and it’s kind of funny because if I start abusing the systems that I have in place of not following them, it’s amazing how much time you waste looking for things. It’s not where in you expect it. We’re all human. There is no Lean robot perfection, so there will be times that you put something in place and then you, yourself, don’t have the discipline to follow-up. Then when you don’t follow it and you waste a lot of time looking for something. Let’s talk about your keys. How many times do people lay their keys down somewhere and then can’t find them? As a matter of fact, there’s a kind of a funny little spaghetti diagram in the book around, where the heck did I put my keys? There’s tracing the path looking for them.

I would say, to succinctly say that, start small. Start with a place that can affect your abilities to deliver to your customer. Get your leadership onboard. Get the ear of someone in leadership, and try a pilot.

The other thing I think that is kind of a warning for companies try to avoid the big launch event. It’s almost like that sets a company up for failure, because people expected then, “When are we going to get there?” like kids going on a destination, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Then you lose momentum because you’ve put this big, ‘Yahoo. We’re going Lean’ banner or cry out there. I kind of am a supporter of stealth.

Start talking about in your strategy, where can it fit; a leadership decision to move the direction. What does it mean on building capability, serving the customer, and understanding value streams? Then just start with projects and start with behaviors. Train as you go don’t just send a bunch of people to Lean classes to get Lean certified as we’ve already talked about, when, in fact, they don’t have a project that they’re going to immediately implement on.

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

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Revisiting the 7 Steps to Improve Your Marketing 0

Last week I wrote a blog post, 7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Marketing  and promised to update this past thinking into a more updated version. However, I fell short of my promise, Wednesday already and I am not ready to jump all the way to current state. This blog post forced me to reflect on the path my sales and marketing efforts have taken over the years. In fact, I came across a few more versions of mine.

One of the most popular outlines that I used was a takeoff on what I have called The 7 step Lean Process of Marketing to Toyota. It was derived from the original Toyota Supplier hierarchy depicted by Liker and Meier in The Toyota Way Fieldbook. This process encouraged me to first look at the customer’s decision path and understanding the role my product or service would play.  So, instead of me creating a funnel to push my marketing process onto my customer, I would understand and support my customer’s needs.

At first glance this may seem a little more than some grandiose plan that is only derived from a consultant’s pen. However, when viewing the Toyota Supplier hierarchy, it starts making a great deal of sense. 

An excerpt from the Blog, The Value Problem with Lean in Sales and Marketing:

This 7 step hierarchy is where I first saw the opportunity to apply Lean to sales and marketing. If I was marketing to Toyota (The 7 step Lean Process of Marketing to Toyota), I would be seeking to climb the supply chain as a vendor. I have written a great deal on this but what it comes down to is improving my value proposition with my customer and the marketplace. At a micro-level the value proposition is nothing more than a promise that I make in every sales conversation.

The conversation may start with check (CAP-Do) described in my post, Looking and Listening first is not all that Bad of an Idea, Eventually it just turns into PDCA or Kaizen with the customer. It is this knowledge building exercise, this learning cycle that sales people need to be trained in. This PDCA cycle is what creates the pull. Our customer becomes our Sensei.

It continues on…

The pull in Lean at the macro-level is knowledge and understanding of the markets our customers participate in. It is not enough to listen to the voice of the customer or even voice of market. It is the ability to co-create value through PDCA or continuous improvement with the customer. At the micro level it is the conversation. It is building that understanding on what the customer needs (Sales and Service Planning with PDCA). At the Macro or Micro levels, you are not looking to deliver latent knowledge, what you’re doing is looking to develop knowledge, and that new developed knowledge, that new learned knowledge, from the act of PDCA is really the pull. This is the highest level a vendor can achieve with Toyota according to Dr. Liker.

Picture derived from The Toyota Way Fieldbook.

My work derived to understand customer’s or markets and the value proposition that I must offer in relation to how the customer used my product/service. My 7 steps if I was Marketing to Toyota then was very simple and depicted in the picture above.

It’s Not the Way You Do Work, It’s the Way You Think About Work 0

Get a glimpse into Menlo Innovations joyful and disciplined “agile” methodologies that are the foundation on how they have built our business culture. This Business901 podcast with Menlo founder and chief Agilist, Rich Sheridan discusses the Menlo WayTM.  At this date I am sure there is only limited seating left for this action packed day at Lean Frontiers outstanding training facility in Indianapolis, IN.  Rich Sheridan

In the August 26th session you will learn…

  • how Menlo’s iterative design processes uncover root problems and provide a framework for adapting project requirements as needed
  • the tactile methods Menlo uses to plan project tasks, ensuring transparency with project sponsors around project cost and timeline
  • about the importance of estimation and actual in project planning
  • about what it means to remove fear from your company culture and the impact on team communication around project deadlines and more

Listen to podcast and get a small glimpse of what you might be able to enjoy on August 26th at Lean Frontiers:

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Please Join Us in Evolving The Next Seven Tools 0

Comment, Post, or leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Community purpose: to explore, create, and perfect the next generation of continuous improvement tools that will lift the quality and effectiveness of organizations beyond 2020.

The first seven tools were published by JUSE over 40 years ago, and the new management tools are already 20 years old. Therefore, we think it is high time for us to take another look to see what new tools there are that can propel our organizations effectiveness and our careers. With your help we can do just that! Next7Tools

We want each person here to have the rare opportunity to share your ideas in a safe environment where respect for people is paramount, and where unique pragmatic ideas drawn from deep wells of tacit knowledge and experience are valued most. Our goal is to share best practices and things that really work with each other in this select community.

I have always encouraged manufacturing organizations that if they could learn the Seven Basic Quality they could go a long way in their improvement efforts. These tools were first emphasized by Kaoru Ishikawa, a professor of engineering at Tokyo University and the father of “quality circles.” The seven tools are:

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.
  2. Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
  3. Control charts: Graphs used to study how a process changes over time.
  4. Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.
  5. Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.
  6. Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.
  7. Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace “stratification” with “flowchart” or “run chart”).

Excerpted from Seven Basic Quality Tools by ASQ Quality Press

In 1976, the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) saw the need for tools to promote innovation, communicate information and successfully plan major projects. A team researched and developed the seven new quality control tools, often called the seven management and planning (MP) tools, or simply the seven management tools. Not all the tools were new, but their collection and promotion were. The seven New (MP) tools, listed in an order that moves from abstract analysis to detailed planning, are:

  1. Affinity diagram: organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships.
  2. Relations diagram: shows cause-and-effect relationships and helps you analyze the natural links between different aspects of a complex situation.
  3. Tree diagram: breaks down broad categories into finer and finer levels of detail, helping you move your thinking step by step from generalities to specifics.
  4. Matrix diagram: shows the relationship between two, three or four groups of information and can give information about the relationship, such as its strength, the roles played by various individuals, or measurements.
  5. Matrix data analysis: a complex mathematical technique for analyzing matrices, often replaced in this list by the similar prioritization matrix. One of the most rigorous, careful and time-consuming of decision-making tools, a prioritization matrix is an L-shaped matrix that uses pairwise comparisons of a list of options to a set of criteria in order to choose the best option(s).
  6. Arrow diagram: shows the required order of tasks in a project or process, the best schedule for the entire project, and potential scheduling and resource problems and their solutions.
  7. Process decision program chart (PDPC): systematically identifies what might go wrong in a plan under development.

Excerpted from Nancy R. Tague’s Quality Toolbox ; Second Edition, ASQ Quality Press, 2004.

Today’s world has introduced more and more uncertainty. As a result it has forced us to get closer and closer to our customers. This reduces are reaction time and allows us to make better informed decisions. To do this, once again a new set of tools need to be utilized. This methodology has been introduced to us through the concepts of Design Thinking. I think this serves as a great starting point for the Next 7 Tools:

  1. Visualization: using imagery to envision possible future conditions
  2. Journey Mapping: assessing the existing experience through the customer’s eyes
  3. Value Chain Analysis: assessing the current value chain that supports the customer’s journey
  4. Mind Mapping: generating insights from exploration activities and using those to create design criteria
  5. Brainstorming: generating new alternatives to the existing business model
  6. Concept Development: assembling innovative elements into a coherent alternative solution that can be explored and evaluated
  7. Assumption Testing: isolating and testing the key assumptions that will drive success or failure of a concept
  8. Rapid Prototyping: expressing a new concept in a tangible form for exploration, testing, and refinement
  9. Customer Co-Creation: enrolling customers to participate in creating the solution that best meets their needs
  10. Learning Launch: creating an affordable experiment that lets customers experience the new solution over an extended period of time, so you can test key assumptions with market data

Excerpted from Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Columbia Business School Publishing).

We appreciate all those members who choose to contribute to rich and meaningful conversations, and especially those who refer great prospective contributors to us as we co-create the Next Seven Tools. Please join us in evolving the Next Seven Tools. Now let’s open a discussion. Please start by introducing yourself and why you like this topic.

Comment, Post, or leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)