Lean Empowerment – Part 5: Where Are All the Orders?

Let’s revisit the company we’ve been using in our Lean Empowerment Series and catch up with them a few months after fully implementing their Lean Transformation Project. We’ve been following the workers progress as they’ve been learning all about Lean. In Part 1 and Part 2, they became empowered by successfully finding areas with impeded […]

Properties of Workpieces

Movement Requires Energy All movement requires energy. Workpieces on the plant floor or in an office environment are no exception; energy is required to move the workpiece. The same rule applies whether the workpiece is a physical piece of paper or an electronic file. When we receive a task, we initiate workflow by expending energy […]

Developing People – Part 1: The Plan is Worthless

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”[1] What exactly did Eisenhower mean by this quote? Was it because he could care less about the plan? Maybe he cared about the plan but also felt the need to convey an important aspect or characteristic about plans in general.  Perhaps he cared […]

The Remarkable Properties of Information

Serving as the foundation for all thought and communication, information is everywhere. Information creates a flowing connection between everything and everyone. Information is in constant motion with every thought we have, every word we speak, read, write and exchange. We can say information is a description, expression or explanation for literally anything and everything in […]

Is Risk Tolerance Decreasing for US Businesses and Workers?

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal [1] may lead one to believe both American small businesses and American workers are becoming more risk-averse. My question: “Is risk tolerance decreasing for US businesses and workers or are individuals and businesses simply faced with more potential hazards, possessing more severe consequences, than ever before?” Perhaps […]

A3 Sheets – Part 4: Framing Business Decisions

To recap, business storytelling has a purpose, typically to solve a problem or gain project approval. When storytellers and listeners have different expectations, misunderstanding and frustration are the outcome and nothing is accomplished. Both storytellers and listeners need help to resolve their communication issues. To improve communications at all levels, Toyota developed the A3 sheet […]

A3 Sheets – Part 3: Building a Learning Organization

We are buried in questions. To answer the myriad questions, there are so many things to learn but so little time.     Imagine if we all had to do the homework on every subject. Imagine how much information the busy manager, director, or business owner must assimilate each day.     Clearly an impossible […]

The A3 Sheet – Part 1: Business Storytelling is Born

Business storytelling has a purpose, typically to solve a recurring problem, gain project approval or introduce a new project. Both the storyteller and listener need help resolving communication issues when addressing these situations. To improve communications at all levels, Toyota developed a very effective tool, called the A3 sheet, as a concise standardized structure for […]

Design for Manufacturability and Assembly

Design for manufacturability and assembly (DFMA) is an engineering practice to reduce facility and overhead expenses. DFMA is a holistic, systems-engineered approach to product design. DFMA enables reductions in facility and overhead expenses to produce a product. Optimizing product design through DFMA is a means to lowering materials, labor and capital investment costs. Selecting the […]