Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency
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#Lean & Nonviolent Communication #nvc

I just read a bunch of pages on Nonviolent Communication (The Wikipedia page’s good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication) and it occurred to me that practising it as a coach to help people communicate at the frontiers of teams, inside a process, or maybe better teach it to team leaders, would help a lot with efficiency during pass over (moments where the product passes from one team to the next).

Indeed, isn’t A3 and nemawashi supposed to achieve something like what NVC does?

NVC has four components that should all be expressed in any form of communication. And I think it goes well with maintaining continuous improvement:

  • Observations (well, this one is obvious: Lean Six Sigma is mostly about facts, facts & facts!)
  • Needs: how to express a need or listen to a need – should these be clarified, we’d go really further than just complaining about others. Have you expressed your needs clearly recently? Further, isn’t genchi gembutsu (with clients AND suppliers/internal teams) a way to get closer to the real needs?
  • Feelings: what unmet needs provoke in people, and how to express it.
  • Requests: when they’re clear and made after feelings, needs and observations have been done properly, it’s all the more probable that requests will be fulfilled, or if not, that other solutions will be found.

I think it would go a long way toward improving the chances of Lean sticking where it’s been presented if (1) teams where taught and experienced a bit in NVC and (2) coaches (and management) were practicing NVC during exchanges with other parties. Here are two examples:

For an executive talking to the whole organization, it would help if s/he clarified the observations related to how the balanced scorecard is going (finance, processes, people and learning), expressed the feelings raised because of that (fear, sadness or maybe joy or hope), what the corresponding needs are to further improve the situation and then the request would flow more naturally to employees who would then have the rationale to move on into continuous improvement (including middle management that would be much more informed in order to balance the work between “doing the job” and “improving the job”).

For a team leader, factual observations of errors coming from the previous team and what needs are unfulfilled because of the team’s purpose, would help explain they current feelings about what’s going on and consequently express a clear and justified request to their partner team, in order to raise efficiency of the process at border crossing .

What’s more, I feel a clear nonviolent communication would definitely allow each participant to answer in the best way that would work for themselves, making the resulting exchange all the more solution-focused!

Workshop by @DReinertsen in october in Paris, France – rebate code here

July 7th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , ,

Don Reinertsen will facilitate a workshop in Paris, France on October 1st and 2nd on The Principles of Product Development Flow (see his corresponding book on Amazon).

When one wants to apply Lean principles outside manufacturing (Lean Office, Lean IT or Lean Product Development), the work of Don is of great value. He’s explaining the science behind waiting queues, variability, feedbacks and centralized control.  This allows to go beyond traditional R&D or classical Six Sigma oriented toward reducing variability or even beyond some of Lean tools not well adapted to knowledge work.

Here’s a summary of his book:

The Principles of Product Development Flow will forever change the way you think about product development. Reinertsen starts with the ideas of lean manufacturing but goes far beyond them, drawing upon ideas from telecommunications networks, transportation systems, computer operating systems and military doctrine. He combines a lucid explanation of the science behind flow with a rich set of practical approaches. This is another landmark book by one of the foremost experts on product development.

On October 1st and 2nd, right before the Lean IT Summit 2013 (where I’ll be speaking too), Don Reinertsen will for the first time propose a workshop of two days, in english, to investigate the principles of product development flow.
To seize this opportunity, we’re offering you a 13% rebate on the standard workshop price bought before August, 31th. In order to benefit from this rebate, use coupon code “yisy-stampf-13%-discount-ghqmpzue” where buying your ticket from here: http://www.weezevent.com/formation-appliquez-les-principes-du-flux

Reblog: Most Workers ?Hate Their Job? (Are Disengaged); #Lean & #Kaizen Can Help

June 25th, 2013 Posted in Lean, Strengths Tags: , , , , ,

Mark Graban wrote an excellent blog post about Gallup’s recent survey of strength usage at work… or lack thereof. Only 30% of people really are engaged at work, which means 70% of them are not engaged or actively disengaged! I’ve seen past reports for other countries (UK and Australia namely) and the results are similar. I haven’t seen results for France, but I guess they would be similar.

Mark’s point is that Lean can help with increasing engagement at work. I would even dare to say that it can make employees thrive and flourish provided it’s done for good reasons (improve work conditions and serve clients better, in this order, then money will follow).

I couldn’t agree more. Read his post here:
http://www.leanblog.org/2013/06/most-workers-hate-their-job-are-disengaged-lean-can-help/

Thinking about #Lean long term successes (or lack thereof)

May 23rd, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: ,

Here’s an excerpt of a conversation I had through email, and some thoughts of mine on the 2% success rate of long term Lean turnovers (source of these statistics is http://www.maskell.com/lean_accounting/industry/fat_cash_flow.html, an interview of Cliff Ransom – thanks to Bryan Lund for giving me the reference!)

 

[…]It’s only when [consultants] leave that [Lean] results aren’t sustained 98% of the time. And since the company is on its own to sustain them, the consultant can safely blame the company for not continuying what they did with his/her support. I guess the companies blame themselves without the help of the consultant anyway.

Yet, I’m with the ones that think that when you sell yourself on the basis of changing the culture for one of *continuous* improvements (what Lean is about), and if the improvements are not continued once you leave, then I think it’s a failure.

I think that was Einstein that said that insanity is expecting different results by doing still the same things.

It’s true that some Lean consultants/senseïs get recurrent, exceptional and sustained results over time. Yet, when others replicate what they do, they fail nonetheless. I guess that the consultant’s work is not enough, something must be part of the environment.

When, as an organization, you approach a consultant with a long track of sustained results, you expect to succeed as well. Indeed, you *want* to succeed. Since these kind of consultants have a long waiting list, they choose who they work with, thereby increasing their success rate (they choose the most motivated clients!).

Whereas since you don’t attract the same kind of clients, you can’t expect to achieve the same rate of successes [because they aren’t as motivated as the ones going to the other consultant with a longer trail of successes].

Stop Using Story Points | Industrial Logic (#agile, #Lean@

April 16th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

Joshua Kerievsky has written a really nice and comprehensive article on Agile and the usage (abuse) of story points: Stop Using Story Points | Industrial Logic.

I always felt like Agile (or Kanban) felt in love with their tools and didn’t use them for continuous improvement past the obvious. I mean, you have those that just use the tool to manage work and don’t improve (they usually don’t do review at the end of the sprint). Then there are those that, while doing the review, would work at removing the blocks of the sprint and ensure next sprint won’t suffer the same problems. And it usually stops here.

The real point of Agile (or Lean for that purpose) should always IMHO have been to constantly work at reducing the delay between the moment a client requests a feature and the moment it is used successfully. So the review should have been used for more than just removing obvious roadblocks.

So I’m pleased the story points are gone for the most advanced agile practitioners (they would probably continue to be useful for beginners, I just hope people will feel less sticky with them).

But now my concern is whether the story point less teams will continue doing reviews and:

  • seeing their process together
  • solving problems /improving together
  • learning together

I look forward to what new will happen in the Agile world. Great job so far anyway!

 

Le “#lean #management”, un danger pour les salariés?

April 8th, 2013 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

Excellent article bien documenté sur le Lean dans Les Echos: Le “lean management”, un danger pour les salariés?.

En ce qui me concerne, le Lean doit être tri-gagnant simultanément:

  • bénéfique pour les employés (en premier car c’est eux qui doivent maintenir l’amélioration continue et qui font tourner les processus de l’entreprise)
  • bénéfique pour les clients (sinon l’entreprise coulera)
  • bénéfique pour l’entreprise (sinon aucun intérêt à dépenser de l’argent dedans).

Toute initiative qui ne viserait pas à établir un gain sur les trois axes simultanément ne pourrait qu’avoir des bénéfices à court terme et négatifs sur le long terme. Et n’est-ce pas le long terme que visent toutes les entreprises?

 

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