Saving Money vs Making Money

Recently, I have had many discussions with colleagues about whether or not the primary purpose of Lean is to eliminate waste or to increase value.  I’m a proponent of the latter, where Lean is to increase value with respect for people.  Yes, in order to increase value, waste must be removed from the system, to which, my colleague says, “See, it comes down to eliminating waste.  Besides, that’s easier to understand.” Continue reading

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What if the Technology Just Isn’t Good Enough?

I was watching a show the other day about the making of The Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and one of the things that struck me about the show was the mention of one of the reasons why The Beatles stopped touring: “We couldn’t hear ourselves onstage.”  Ringo mentioned he was just hoping he was playing the right notes as he couldn’t hear the music and was trying to play by reading John and Paul’s lips.  The sound amplification technology of the day just wasn’t good enough to allow The Beatles to keep touring. Continue reading

Design Thinking and The Lean Start Up

Editors note: While some may consider Design Thinking and the Lean Start Up methodology competing, in my view they compliment each other quite well.  This post is my view on how they can be integrated to help organizations succeed.

The importance of design cannot be understated.  It is a premise that most readily accept, especially when it comes to product design; but when we take an honest assessment of the results of our projects (or initiatives), in retrospect, many of our designs – system designs – are poor.  Problems and opportunities are identified, and a solution is visualized, but at the end of the day, the vision rarely materializes as originally seen.

Design Thinking incorporating the Lean Start Up can help.

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An Overly Simplistic View of PI

Process Identification -> Process Improvement -> Performance Improvement -> Performance Excellence -> Operational Excellence

The journey of Continuous Improvement is long, arduous, and best of all, never-ending.  One could say that is the whole nature of the word “continuous”.  This road does, however, have several checkpoints.  With that said, here we’ll provide an overview of the entire journey, but spend more time at the beginning – because that’s where it all starts!

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