Lean Empowerment – Part 4: Sharing Work Aids

Settling into a New Culture As we continue our Lean Empowerment series, we check back with the same company to review their progress and see how their new Lean Culture is evolving. In Lean Empowerment Part 1 and Part 2, the workers chose shadow boards from their Lean Toolbox to resolve a number of ongoing issues. […]

Filing Systems – Part 2: Filing for Retrievability

As we discussed in Part 1 of this Filing series, individuals with the most modest means can now afford to buy and maintain the storage to hold an overwhelming amount of information. This is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is we are able to store enormous amounts of information. However, storing huge […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 3: Rejecting Bad Material

This week, we continue to follow one of my client’s, who we also featured in Lean Empowerment Part 1 and Part 2. You will learn how Lean Systems enabled workers to reject bad material. This Lean Empowerment action resolved several negative issues. Workers were able to transform an impeded process into a smoothly operating workflow, […]

Filing Systems – Part 1: The History of Filing Systems

The History of Filing Systems A filing system is one of the first and most fundamental systems a company should establish. Filing systems are not new; they have been around for millennia. Throughout the history of filing systems, the scribes and librarians always faced two decisions: (1) on which medium to collect or record the information; […]

Effective Communication at Work – Part 1: Choosing the Right Tool

Why do we communicate? There are many reasons. We may be seeking an answer to a question. We may want to give advice, share information or change someone’s mind about something. We may want to understand someone or we may want others to understand us. No matter what the reasons are and with so many […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 1: Sharpening the Saw

Empowering an organization with Lean methods is like sharpening the saw throughout the entire company. Once a company embraces Lean methods and is equipped with the tools in the Lean Toolbox, a new culture is born. Everyone within the organization begins to view their surroundings from a new perspective, embracing and encouraging continuous learning and continuous […]

How to Delegate Effectively – Part 1

How do we delegate effectively?  Many of us are stuck, believing the old adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” We end up opting to do everything ourselves because past experience dictates we are more than likely going to have to redo it anyway. Performing our own tasks gives us a sense of security […]

Book Review – Learning to See

by Mike Rother and John Shook Forward by Jim Womack and Dan Jones Learning to See is perhaps the best instruction manual for implementing a Lean transformation on the manufacturing plant floor. The authors take you step-by-step through a process, paving the way to improvement. Value Stream Mapping (VSM) comes first. By creating the Current […]


All of us, in both our personal lives and business lives, are overwhelmed with a tsunami of information. Somehow, we must deal with this information overload. We have a tendency to do this by hiding and ignoring information. While this statement seems negative, it is a necessary coping mechanism for handling massive quantities of information. […]

Managing Virtual Workflow

What do we mean by virtual workflow and how does it differ from physical workflow? Virtual workflow tends to be invisible which makes it difficult to manage.  Making the virtual workflow visible becomes our difficult challenge. Physical workflow, such as parts in an assembly process or old fashioned paperwork, tends to be somewhat visible just […]