Thursday, June 01, 2006

Missing in Action

Missing in Action

Had lunch today with a friend from our local Lean community.  His first comment was “Wow, I know you’ve been busy!”  I looked at Mike quizzically, not knowing him to be clairvoyant.  “You haven’t posted to your blog in over a month!!”


Mike is no fortuneteller but he can read a calendar.  Here's a quick update on what I'm "Learning About Lean".


I’m in one of the most exciting and exhausting phases of my professional career.  Our company is in a very rapid growth phase and it’s my job to ramp up the volume in a controlled and productive way.  One is lucky to ever see this type of growth once in a career; so I’m trying to grasp the moment, enjoy it and not be overwhelmed with the tasks. 


The past six weeks has been particularly busy.  Much hiring, training, orienting, teaching, coaching and, yes, some confrontation.  Yet the key team members grasp what we are trying to do and are doing a great job of fleshing out lean principles in the midst of the stress.  What do we see?


Pull systems work.  Way better than any predictive or anticipatory systems ever could.


Jidoka (error detection and correction at the point of origin) is a phenomenal tool.  Difficult to implement, particularly if others are in an “inspect-in-quality” style of thinking. And amazingly effective. 


Simplification focuses the mind. 


Measuring and observing constraints focuses the effort.


I’d love to promise I’ll write more.  But I’m not sure I’d deliver.  So, I’ll write when I can, when I have something to say. 


Thanks for hanging around.  I'm grateful Mike did.