Friday, October 11, 2002

Thoughts from Orlando

Just finished up earlier this afternoon with the Lean Conference sponsored by Productivity, Inc. Many, many observations...this is an index of them, in no particular order.

  • Don't be too happy with too little The gains to be had with a fullblown Lean implementation are order of magnitude jumps. Expect it. Question myself if the gains are not that big.

  • Don't say "I've got it" too soon Too many people, myself included, will declare themselves "Lean", long before it is really true.

  • High hanging fruit tastes better The gains get bigger, not smaller, as you continue. Consider the flywheel.

  • Change can happen quickly if the soil is prepared Leadership means everything, from the top down.

  • "What you are speaks so loudly I can't even hear what you are saying." Gotta walk the talk or it's all a sham.

  • The Big Price Squeeze Like it or not, we are in a global net of inexorable downward pressure on prices. Much more to write about this one.

  • "What does the grasshopper do when he reaches the edge of the sea?" I leave it to the reader to ponder this one.

  • G2G and Lean Jim Collins' work, Good To Great, is almost point for point consistent with Lean. Collins speaks at the most senior executive level...Lean builds from the shop floor. They align. I think the two are a powerful combination.

  • How you count affects what you do. Standard costs, full absorption accounting can lead to some very wrong decisions. A two hour session with Brian Maskell was most enlightening. Much to ponder on this one.

  • What you count affects what you do A few simple and unfuzzable metrics are critical. The fewer the better.

  • It is much simpler than we think

  • It is much harder than we think

My session? It went well. I owe Vickie Messersmith a Pepsi...over 30 people were there for my talk in the very last breakout session of the event. She said there would be 25. Good energy, surprisingly so given the position of the talk. Very few folks are working on Lean apps in a non manufacturing setting. We're plowing some new ground...we can't give up on it. See points one and two, I say to myself.

Gotta head for the airport. More on this later. Let me know what you'd like to hear more about.

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