3.01.2008

Norman Bodek in Vermont - Sustaining a Lean Culture

Norman Bodek came to visit us in the great state of Vermont on Friday, 2/29. About 100 of the finest people representing Vermont manufacturing gathered at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Waterbury to hear what Norman had to say about sustaining a lean culture.

Norman worked the morning crowd in typical fashion - he had them laughing, wondering where he was going with all of this. Just when you were trying to put it all together in your head, Norman brings you back on topic, and the pieces fall together.

The first message I took home: ask people to make two improvements every month, and support them in doing just that. Sustainment isn't saying that we are doing lean, dabbling in the tools - sustaining is to "learn by doing".

The second message: keep it simple. I was reminded of my first "lean" project as Norman spoke about measuring the eight wastes themselves...people were complaining about taking time from production to go see engineering about changes to the job. I set up a "toll booth" to the door of engineering - every person through those doors ticked off their toll, an average $7 per visit in lost production time, to correct information errors found on the shop floor. People were EAGER to highlight this waste. Problems in engineering package design were fixed as a result of highlighting these wastes: direct measure of the waste of motion, waiting and over-processing.

Often we get caught up in making simple concepts complex. Ask people to come up with two ideas per month and suppor them in it. Directly measure the eight wastes, NOT indirectly through innocuous financial or cost accounting measures.

Thanks Norman, for the reminder!

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1 Comments:

At August 22, 2016 at 1:43 AM , Blogger Naviya Nair said...

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