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Give Those Tired Old Lean Tools a Rest… This is a picture of a process map where the different colors represent information and service (think product) flows as well as value-added or non-value-added steps in the process. If you were a casual observer watching me work with this multi-disciplinary team of engineers, detailers, leaders and craftsmen, you may think, “This guy is doing a Kaizen Event.” But, I’m not. In fact, this is a picture from Week 5 of a Quality Control (QC) Circle meeting. If you ask the team what they are doing, they’d simply reply, “Problem... 

Do These Six Things to Improve Your Judgement S0, exercising some poor judgment, I missed last month’s installment in my resolution to write about the 14 leadership traits each month. Last month – February – was Trait Number Two: Judgment. In hopes of catching up, I am offering six practices that – if honed to a skill – will absolutely improve your judgment. One: Go and See for Judgment OK, so I’m not fooling anyone into thinking that these six practices are original.  They are right out of the KCOE Operational Excellence System playbook.  Now that I’ve... 

About the Solution System The Suggestion (Solution) System is an employee engagement and improvement component of the Operational Excellence system.  This isn’t the “drop your idea in a box” and wait for approval from management program.  It’s a self-implemented solution system where employees generate ideas, implement them, and are rewarded for their efforts. Solution System Winner at Phoenix | February 2011 Below is a picture of the steering committee at Phoenix Sintered Metals with February’s Solution System winner.  Congratulations! Phoenix Sintered Metals... 

Broken pdCa Cycles Abound! I’ve been ruminating on this article for a few days now. I am seeing broken pdCA cycles as the root causes for so many problems. I see it here in the Center and in the hospitals and factories where we coach. I thought I’d give my two cents or, rather, two tips, for strengthening your PDCA cycles. PDCA Weaknesses First, be aware of your personal weak areas. Many process problems stem from what I call shunted PDCA cycles. These weak cycles are usually the weakest at the “check” step. The check is either shallow or completely missing. If... 

After just a few days of the safety system implementation, Phoenix Sintered Metals emailed me a few pictures.  Below you will see improvement made after the kick-off meeting of the safety system.  If you’re interested in the OE Safety System you can read more here or contact us.  

We had a chance to do a quick assessment of a manufacturing facility near the Center earlier this week.  Our own Dr. Rick Kunkle (the famous cow poke and emergency physician…oh, and frequent-ish commentator on CNN) talks to Production Manager Matt Miller.  What do you see – positive and negative – in the photo?  Give us your semi-direct observations in the comment field below!  

Tags: Dr. Kunkle,

This week we traveled to Brockway, PA to check-in and coach Phoenix Sintered Metals.  They implemented the KCOE Solution System almost a year ago.  Phoenix is paying out per solution rewards as well as monthly, quarterly, and yearly rewards.  An added benefit is the Solution System winner can chose any parking spot that he or she wishes.  Below is the picture of the moveable “Solution System Winner” parking sign.  If you’re interested in KCOE’s Suggestion/Solution System implementation please contact us today. Solution System Winner  

Safety System Implementation I’m in between meetings at a plant in central Pennsylvania and we are kicking off the OE Safety System. One of the first questions we asked was -”What does an ideal situation for “Safety” look like?” We then went through the results of an audit we performed last month and identified gaps and possible solutions. The day has just started, but here’s what we’ve come up with so far for the “ideal”: Beyond compliance – meeting or exceeding Federal, State, Local, OSHA, etc. All employees act and behave safely, as... 

Day 1: Cultural Change Workshop 7:45AM: Doors Open for Breakfast and Attendee Check In 8:00AM: KCOE Welcome Cultural Change Workshop Morning Topics | Day 1 Why Operational Excellence? Foundations of Continuous Improvement Mission, Values, and Vision + An Activity Afternoon Topics Balanced Scorecard Annual Planning Daily Meeting + Monthly Reviews + An Activity Day 2: Cultural Change Workshop 7:45AM: Doors Open for Breakfast and Attendee Check In 8:00AM: KCOE Welcome Morning Topics | Day 2 Problem Solving I 5S+1 Safety System Afternoon Topics Suggestion (Solution) System + Continuous Improvement... 

Cultural Change Phase Recap Recently, we conducted a Cultural Change Phase Training including, but not limited to, balanced scorecard, daily meeting, problem solving, suggestion (solution) system, safety system, and 5S workplace organization.  At the end of the 3 day training, here’s what some of the attendees had to say: Cultural Change Feedback from the Cultural Change Phase Kick-Off Training: “Problem Solving Sheets are not as difficult as I thought.” “Up front detailed planning shared with all leads to less problems.” “Defined visible goals and objectives makes life easier... 


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