Management Improvement Carnival - April 2010

Regular readers of TWI Blog will notice that I've been on a bit of a leave of absence in 2010, the consequence of taking on a new job...so, it is with great pleasure that I accept John Hunter's invitation to host a Management Improvement Blog Carnival this month! Hosting a M.I.B.C. gives me an easy excuse to break away and dig into my favorite blogs!

Bryan Zeigler at Lean is Good dredges up an old Deming experiment to illustrate a common management malpractice: Chasing Rabbits and Process Unimprovements. I like this post because the experiment helps people realize the chaos that can result in their reactive behavior as managers. I have successfully used the famous Table Top Experiments created by Lilian and Frank Gilbreth and this "new" exercise from Deming will go into my bag of tricks for improvement leadership!

Mark Rosenthal at The Lean Thinker makes a distinction between The Expert vs. The Master in his post Knowing vs. Knowing How to Learn. The big deal here is that Mark argues some experts will try to fit their circumstances to a specific tool, but masters distinguish themselves by learning how to go beyond the tool and apply the concept in circumstances with which they are unfamiliar.

My new job as Director of Quality causes me to seek out new information almost on a daily basis. Quality Inspection Blog offers advice on the difficulties of practical Quality Inspection in China...just thought I'd throw this one out there , Buying in China is Risky,  :) Just a friendly reminder for my fellow Leansters out there that we need to double and triple our efforts of educating others about continuous improvement - we have a LONG way to go! China risky? Who woulda' thunk it?!

Finally, Kathleen Fasenella talks about "How to Sew Faster" at Fashion Incubator. Kathleen really has a knack for taking basic improvement concepts and explaining them in plain English. I am not a fashion guy, but find it fascinating to see how people in so many diverse industries are adopting and adapting improvement principles and techniques to their field of expertise - and getting real results.

Leansters will appreciate the industrial engineer that resides in Kathleen's work - Part 4 of her "How to Sew Faster" series talks about the 4Ms: Man, Machine, Material and Machines. Kathleen's posts often remind me of Taichii Ohno's writings when she writes things like this: 

"relying on machine as the singular strategy to cutting faster amounts to a trade off; sacrificing results to get greater speed. It’s not necessary to make this trade off. Change your method -the machine is secondary- and you can have greater speed and better results."

I really have zero interest in fashion, but I do enjoy finding these little nuggets of dichotomy that reveal revolutionary improvement principles for the world to learn from. And all of this from a debate over scissors vs. rotary cutters!



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