Tagged with six sigma

Lean Wizards

Lean Wizards

October was Lean conference month for me: First our own Northeast Lean Conference in Worcester (pronounced “Wustah”), then the international AME conference in Dallas and finally, the mid-Atlantic Lean Conference in Timonium, Maryland.   These annual assemblages of Lean wizards are themed to inspire, inform and reinvigorate true believers and newbie wannabees;  maybe not wizards, but … Continue reading

Doormats

Doormats

One of Shigeo Shingo’s popular status quo targets was engineers, whom he placed in three categories: Table engineers—those who just sit around a table and talk about problems Catalog engineers—those who think the solution to every problem can be found in a catalog Nyet engineers—those who say no to every request. (Nyet is Russian for … Continue reading

Traditional Lean?

Traditional Lean?

Twice in the last month I’ve heard the phrase “Traditional Lean” used in public presentations.   In neither case did the presenter explain the expression, but one displayed a slide with a Venn diagram showing the overlap between Lean and Six Sigma.  I suppose this means that he defined Traditional Lean as meaning Lean plus something … Continue reading

True North Pole

True North Pole

Many years ago a small expedition to the North Pole was funded by several American toy manufacturers, anxious to better understand how Santa’s workshop achieved such incredible productivity and just-in-time delivery. “How can Santa produce all those toys in such a short time?” one manager questioned in disbelief as the small group of managers furtively … Continue reading

Mistake-Proofing Mistakes

Mistake-Proofing Mistakes

There is a popular lore provided by Shigeo Shingo, that the original name for mistake-proofing (Poka-Yoke) was “fool-proofing” (Baka-Yoke). Shingo chided managers at Panasonic for using the latter term, as it was disrespectful to workers, essentially calling them fools. Shingo substituted the word “mistake” for “fool”, because, as he aptly noted, making mistakes is part … Continue reading

Overproduction

Overproduction

Not wishing to rub salt in the wounds of my beleaguered Red Sox, their meteoric rise from last place in 2012 to first place in 2013 and subsequent plummet to the cellar in 2014 underscores the problems with speculative production. Last week, celebrating a birthday, I was offered a dish of “Fenway Fudge” ice cream, … Continue reading