Lean manufacturing

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Toyota Kata : the “how” of “engaged leadership”
Do not buy Primal Force, your joints, cholesterol and weight will actually worsen, mine did after taking it for 4 months. The espoused goals of lean manufacturing systems differ between various authors. Get as good at this as you can. What's on your mind? Can we run this way? The identification of non-value-adding work, as distinct from wasted work, is critical to identifying the assumptions behind the current work process and to challenging them in due course.

GNC Lean Shakes Flavors and Taste

Lean on Pete

Once those foundations are embedded into subconscious memory, it is no longer necessary to focus on them. Though they are not called kata , the basic drills that any athlete learns are foundational in the same way.

This does bring up my first quibble about the book. I wish it had a different title. So what is new here? In my opinion, Rother does the best job so far of setting the context — describing the improvement culture and environment if you will — of any popular press publication so far. In addition, there is an overarching theme which compares this style of management with what is traditional taught and practiced in most business.

But nobody ever really defines what that means. I suppose there might be cases where this approach has worked and sustained. In The High Velocity Edge formerly titled Chasing the Rabbit , Steven Spear points out several examples, including Toyota, where there is a strong explicit, or implicit, sense of an uncompromising direction. So, again, while this is not a new concept, Rother turns up the contrast and elevates it to a prominent position in decision making and direction setting.

We know that lean means eliminate waste, so reducing the lot size is not a good idea. Thank you for pointing that out. However the fact that we want to reduce lot sizes is not optional nor open for discussion because it moves us closer to our vision of a one-by-one flow.

Rather than losing time discussing whether or not we should reduce the lot size, please turn your attention to those two obstacles standing in the way of our progress. This, in my view, is one of the most important policy decisions a management team can make. It gives people a foundation of consistency.

Rother goes on to point out how this sense of direction re-shapes cost-benefit analysis. The question being answered is now not whether we will make this decision, but rather whether the solution is adequate, or we must keep looking for a better one.

In reality, though, no one has any idea what the clear path is. If you think about it a comprehensive project plan assumes that we have such a clear grasp of the current condition and already know what must be done to get us to the desired end state.

In reality, we are driving on a winding road in the dark. We can only see as far as our headlights. Because there is a strong sense of direction, it makes sense to set an immediate target just beyond what we can achieve today. While there is no clear path to the notional end state, the target condition is much closer, so the immediate issues that must be overcome are plainly visible. While this is somewhat understood in general principle, Rother takes it down a couple of layers. Only by setting an objective, and then trying to hit it can we learn why we cannot.

That, in turn, becomes the focus for kaizen. The example that will most challenge a lot of practitioners out there is takt time as a t arget condition. This is one of the few mainstream books that gets beyond the overly-simplistic notion of takt time only as the rate of customer demand.

Rother acknowledges that, internally, there is an intentional overspeed built into the system as a target. And here is the key point: You rarely hit the target. At least not at first. It is established as something to strive for, step by step, each day. The common excuses and obstacles we are used to hearing are turned around into those challenges. The work cycle is too unbalanced to achieve one-by-one flow?

OK — then that is the focus or our kaizen activity until we break down that problem. The kanban discipline broke down? Can we run this way? Rather than using the problem as a barrier, it become the next challenge. Rother goes into quite a bit of detail for each of the common tools, and resets the commonly held idea that they are something to implement. I am glad for this chapter because it clarifies or contradicts? We are finally starting to move beyond that anchor and understand that these tools are not the fundamentals of lean.

The entire concept of a target condition, that describes not simply the performance but the operating characteristics of the system, is a critical one. The vision of ideal sets the general direction for forward progress, the target condition issues a clear done-or-not-done challenge for the next step. Perhaps that was the intention all along. But Learning to See and its publishers are vague about that, and many companies have tried to reach too far into the ideal with their future state with the idea that it describes an end game rather than the next challenge.

Of course if the target could be achieved today, it is a poorly set target. There are likely problems to solve. Where we commonly fall short in problem solving is trying to take on too much at once. We try to take on complex problems, create elaborate dependencies, and work on multiple things at the same time. Rother, on the other hand, points out that rapid, linear solution of small problems, focusing on single issues and single countermeasures, lets us gain that process understanding — and increase our profound knowledge in the process.

A really telling chart on the crucial difference between a problem solving culture and a problem avoiding culture is in the section titled What Toyota Emphasizes in Problem Solving. Apply several countermeasures at once. This little chart covers a lot of ground.

So while solving the problem is the goal, it is only acceptable to solve it in a way that improves understanding. A blind solution is no solution. Logically, of course, this makes sense. But in real life it is extraordinarily difficult in the heat of the moment, with people demanding a quick fix, to exercise this kind of discipline.

And as each countermeasure is applied, the next problem becomes apparent — and that problem is the next barrier to better performance. Progress can be made very quickly in this way because there is a much reduced risk of leaving problems behind us as we move forward.

First, they spend an inordinate amount of time deciding which problem to work on. While that may feel like working on solving problems, no actual progress is being made.

Maybe this is because if feels like a waste of time to work on the simple issues. We learn about designed experiments, statistical analysis, stratification techniques.

Some problems require this kind of work, but not very many. Worse, learning to solve those problems well requires a thorough grounding in the fundamental logic which is best learned by solving lots of problems. The only way to solve lots of problems is to start with the simple ones, but apply rigorous methods in doing so.

We are trying to teach multivariate calculus before we learn algebra. Toyota avoids this issue because they develop these skills from the basics, at the very start of their employment. Teaching the fundamentals — the entry level stuff — to senior people with advanced career positions can be problematic. More about that later. Even in the rare organizations that have fantastic problem solving and kaizen skills, the development of people often a very weak process.

There is no systematic approach to doing it. Then, at the end of the rating period, the team member is evaluated on his performance against those goals. And both of these functions are usually delegated to Human Resources rather than being clearly owned and adminstered by line leaders. Rother, on the other hand, describes a process of mentoring.

The boss has skin in the game because he is accountable to his boss for the results. Yet he does not direct solutions. He guides the subordinate through the process of solving the problem in the correct way. In the end, it is the team member, not the boss, who comes up with the solution, and the boss has to live with whatever it is as long as it works.

What is critical to understand here is a difference in who carries out improvements. In most of our companies, improvements are the domain of skilled staff specialists. These are the people who plan and lead kaizen events, or carry out black belt projects, or whatever improvement process is used. Those people are probably quite good at what they do, but they are the only ones who do it.

The attention is always on solving the problem. Yes, they go through the motions of developing people — they teach them the principles, they guide them to the correct solution, but in the end, the process of how to improve is the domain of the specialists. This is, in reality, a very traditional approach — a slight evolution from the practices outlined by Fredrick Taylor in The other key point is that in the Toyota-type environment, the entire operation is built around flagging problems immediately.

Spear describes how work, information flows, material flows, and indeed the flow of problem solving itself is deliberately structured to always be testing against an explicit intent.

In this environment, the vast majority of problems are discovered and handled while they are relatively small and manageable. Where Toyota deliberately stops the process at the first hint of trouble, other organizations run it until it is so overwhelmed that it is brought to its knees. Following that, in the Toyota-environment, someone other than the production operator responds to the problem.

This, again, is a huge contrast. But if you think about it, the only thing the production worker can do is work around the problem enough to keep moving. Trying to do so is leaving people on their own, without support from the rest of the organization. In the end, not only is the problem fixed, but the profound knowledge of the entire organization has improved. True, but what happens next is critical. The leader is responsible for the issue until the system is not only restored, but improved.

With one mindset, things get a little worse. With the other, they get better. Rother describes this process with a few stories and examples that make the point very well. So does John Shook in Managing to Learn. One thing I like about this book over many others is that Rother goes beyond just describing an ideal environment. In Chapter 9 Developing Improvement Kata Behavior in Your Organization he openly discusses the very real barriers that an organization must surmount to get this thinking and practice into place.

He is, of course, talking about a fundamental change in culture. This is true of a national or ethnic culture as much as a corporate culture. The coaching kata describes a specific way that people interact with one another when solving a problem. Therefore, this is not something that can be taught to individuals.

Rother is clear about a couple of things. First is that nobody has succeeded in doing this as well as Toyota yet. We are cutting new ground here. There is no clear path to the end state.

There is a clear vision for what the end state looks like, and each of us should know or be able to assess the current state in our individual organizations. If this sounds familiar, it is. Rother is describing a process of using the very principles discussed in the book to put these patterns into place.

Because when the practices are applied correctly, they work. Continuous and conscious practice with the oversight of a coach. Every world-class athlete in the world has a coach.

Only the coach can observe her performance objectively and see what must be adjusted to improve it. I always wonder why it is that, in business or operations, we believe that once some level is reached there is no need for this. This is, of course, silly. Rother proposes to start at the top with the basics — not because they end up as the primary coaches.

No, that is primarily the domain of the middle managers and below. But because someone has to coach those middle managers , and it has to come from above. I would add that starting in the middle puts those people in an untenable position because they are being taught to behave in ways that their bosses do not understand.

Getting the top level team not only involved, but embedded, in the process is a countermeasure. I am not going to go into a lot of detail and spoil the book. Get it and read it. Form your own view on this. Just understand that getting this thinking into place is a big deal. Like every book before it, Toyota Kata is targeted primarily at senior leaders. Like most books of these books, its primary readers are going to be technical practitioners.

Those technical practitioners are the ones leading the classroom training, leading the kaizen workshops or black belt projects. They are the ones who are doing most of the things that do not work. Odds are you are one of those people if you are reading this blog, and odds are you are the only one who will be reading this book. First, practice this stuff on your own. It will feel awkward. Get as good at this as you can. Then start altering how you run your events. Shift them to changing the behavior of team leaders and supervisors.

Teach them to see, clear, and solve problems quickly. Set more clear target objectives. Hold yourself to a higher bar. At the end of an event, where you have traditionally focused on clearing newspaper action items, focus instead on ensuring that this behavior is embedded. Coach and support those front line leaders until they are habitually employing the kata every single day.

That is the only way your results will sustain. The leadership above is going to say and do things that introduce problems. You have to intervene, but use it as a coaching opportunity. Apply the kata, just like you would for any other issue. Now, though, you are coaching those leaders — gently — through the process of understanding what is really happening, what they truly want to achieve, and understanding what is truly in their way. Maybe, just maybe a few of them will listen.

And maybe you can lead them through a study of this book so they can begin to understand what you are doing. Just to be clear, Rother says that everything I have just said is the wrong way to go about this.

It has to start from the top. Perhaps he is right. But sometimes you do what you can, where you can. In the end , these concepts have to overcome huge momentum. It's hard to imagine anyone watching Lean on Pete and not rooting hard for Charley's wish to come true. From Steve Buscemi to Steve Zahn who appears in the last minutes of the film , the secondary characters of Lean on Pete stand out for their three-dimensionality.

It is one that requires thought and some patience. And that patience is rewarded with an ending sequence that feels like the peace that comes at the end of a very long day. Unfortunately this time the script is the one that ends up not being up to par as Haigh's previous projects. It's the messiness of his quest and all its missteps that make him feel real.

Rather than rebellion or ego, Charley is driven purely by hope. Newcomer Charlie Plummer's performance carries the film appealingly, and it benefits greatly from well-crafted performances from Buscemi and Sevigny.

Andrew Haigh's film about a young man and his horse shatters the expectations of his own genre and becomes one of the best proposals of the year. Haigh takes what could easily have been a saccharine and emotionally manipulative story and makes something more honest.

This allows the movie to earn it's most powerful moments. More Top Movies Trailers Forums. Season 4 Castle Rock: Season 1 Fear the Walking Dead: Season 3 Sharp Objects: Miniseries The Walking Dead: View All Videos 1. View All Photos Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson Charlie Plummer arrives in Portland, Oregon with his single father Ray Travis Fimmel , both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks.

While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse's gruff owner Del Montgomery Steve Buscemi and his seasoned jockey Bonnie Chloë Sevigny help Charley fill the void of his father's absence-until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend's life.

Charley and Pete head out into the great unknown, embarking on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a loving aunt Charley hasn't seen in years. They experience adventure and heartbreak in equal measure, but never lose their irrepressible hope and resiliency as they pursue their dream of finding a place they can call home.

Steve Buscemi as Del. Chloë Sevigny as Bonnie. Charlie Plummer as Charley Thompson. Travis Fimmel as Ray. Steve Zahn as Silver. Rachael Perrell-Fosket as Martha. Alison Elliott as Margy. Lewis Pullman as Dallas. Ayanna Berkshire as Officer. Frank Gallegos as Santiago. Justin Rain as Mike.

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