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Reblog: Metrics in Lean – Alternatives to Rank-and-Yank in Evaluating People | Michel Baudin’s Blog

August 16th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s a nice article from Michel Baudin about evaluating employees.

Metrics in Lean – Alternatives to Rank-and-Yank in Evaluating People | Michel Baudin’s Blog.

I like most of what’s written there, though I’m still wary of just evaluating. Couldn’t we yank (pun intended) the evaluation process altogether?

My arguments in support of this are that, like Deming said, most problems are process related (being into Systems Thinking, I’d also say that most are system related as well). So, how could you evaluate someone when their individual performance only accounts for 5% in their result?!

I’ve come to know that some companies try to evaluate teams rather than individuals. I see clear benefits from that, though the main drawback being that people can hardly stand out when they would like to. But it might be a matter of adapting to that kind of evaluation and seeking peer recognition rather than management’s. Some of the benefits are:

  • better intra-team collaboration and exchanges
  • fewer competition among team members (which is often detrimental to overall performance)
  • better sense of purpose since people share something and can feel contributing to something bigger than themselves (the team) – a highly motivating factor
  • (gentle?) peer pressure so as not to be caught sky glazing, though I’m not sure this really is a benefit (surely in the eyes of traditional management, but not necessarily in employees’ mind…)

All in all, I have it that a poor performing individual is mainly a management problem:

  • has the employee been hired for the wrong reasons?
  • has the employee been hired on wrong criteria for the job?
  • did management provided adequat support for making that person thrive in his job?
  • did management do his duty so as to keep that person in the job she was hired for?
  • is the person still adapted/willing to do the job she was hired for in the first place? Maybe this is time for her to move elsewhere in the organization… to a place she’s willing to go!
  • etc.

Of course, there are new challenges with taking care of people that way, namely that you can’t just put people where they would like to be if they don’t have the required skills. But you can surely devise a cleaver way of slowly prepare the persons for their new activities. Of the cost involved to do so, you’ll also gain a highly motivated workforce that will fight for their own benefit, which, incidentally, will coincide with that of the organization. Priceless, isn’t it?

Isn’t that a win-win approach to be sought for?

 

Using iPads, QR scans, Sharepoint and Infopath to implement #TWI | Michel Baudin’s Blog #Lean

July 6th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

I’m just sharing this regarding a modern implementation of TWI: Using iPads, QR scans, Sharepoint and Infopath to implement TWI | Michel Baudin’s Blog.

I guess we’re mid-course between playing and working…

Lego knew that already with their Lego Serious Play stuff.

#ENST – Projet #Lean Entreprise – L’importance du respect dans une démarche Lean

June 15th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

(french article)

Voici un excellent editorial du Projet Lean Entrprise de l’ENST mettant l’accent sur cet aspect trop souvent néglifé du Lean, le Respect. C’est toute l’essence de ce blog (appreciatingsystems.com) que de remettre sur le devant de la scène ce pilier du Lean (il y en a deux: Respect et Kaizen).

Toutefois, si les deux vont effectivement bien de pair comme énoncé dans le billet, il me semble important de commencer par le Respect. Commencer par le kaizen, c’est courir le risque d’utiliser les outils du Lean à la mode du taylorisme. C’est le meilleur moyen pour provoquera une résistance des collaborateurs et du management et un désengagement dommageable pour la suite.

Au contraire, commencer par s’intéresser au Respect et permettre aux employés de retrouver de l’intérêt dans leur travail, c’est initier une démarche qui ne peut qu’être profitable, à terme, à l’entreprise.

J’en réfère le lecture au point #12 de Deming qui résumé bien tout cela:

Supprimer les obstacles qui privent les ouvriers, agents de maîtrise, ingénieurs et cadres de leur droit à la fierté du travail.

Bonne lecture!

ENST – Projet Lean Entreprise – RespectProjetLeanEntreprise.

Reblog: Art Smalley: Standardized Confusion » The #Lean Edge

Here’s a great piece of work from Art Smalley regarding the notion of “standards” at Toyota. Well, anything Art writes is good anyway, but this one unveils some confusion that might exist between the different concepts of “standards” and how and when each of them change.

Art Smalley: Standardized Confusion » The Lean Edge.

 

#Lean #coaching without resistance: the paper! (#solutionfocus and #motivationalinterviewing)

I finally assembled my blog posts regarding my applying of Solution Focus and Motivational Interviewing to the process of coaching an CEO to some Lean management behaviors, while trying to avoid any change resistance that might occur.

The result is the attached PDF document that I release below. Enjoy and leave me comments!

Also available from here: Lean Coaching without Resistance EN v1.0

How #Toyota evaluates physical burden of work positions using TVAL (#Lean)

April 11th, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , ,

I just came across the following paper describing how Toyota analyzes each and every job for physical hard and dangerous work condition. I wish more plants would use such a work condition measurement tool.

Strategy for Health and Safety Management at an Automobile Company
– From the Prevention of Low Back Pain to Toyota’s Verification of Assembly Line (TVAL)

Now, I’m in the Service Industry. How could that be done similarly? Burden would have to be seen from the point of view of a worker’s mind perspective.

Just taking into consideration the formula Weight burden index (B)=sum(WxNxL)xT/1000 could yield something like:

  • Weight = difficulty of work: from simple mental calculus to highly mental computation & decision making…
  • Number = number of times per job the “heavy” work has to be done
  • L = Movement coefficient = an index of where that work occurs, of the conditions: under time constraints (eg. harder at the end of the process with a deadline than at the beginning)? Is it well defined (existing standard)? Is it always changing? Does it requires deep thinking before working? Risks of errors? Does it fit into a bigger picture (part of a bigger process)?
  • Time coefficient = duration of difficult task

Of course, evaluation the TVAL of a work has no point if it’s not for its improvement…

How to address Maintenance & Relapse stages of Lean change – #6 (and last) in SFMI #Lean series

Fair hosted for special needs military children - FMWRC - US Army - 100813
Photo Credit: U.S. Army via Compfight

This article is #6 and last in a Series about using Solution Focus and Motivational Interviewing to coach CEOs into starting their own Lean journey.

#1 in series gave a broad-brush view of what I intended to write about. Please read it first.

#2 in series addressed the precontemplation stage of change.

#3 in series helped reinforce the contemplation stage.

#4 in series was about supporting the preparation stage.

#5 in series dealt with the action stage.

This article deals with the two last stages of change: that of Maintenance and Relapse!

Background on Maintenance and Relapse

During the last episode, we’ve seen how to help the CEO sustain his Action stage mainly by making him reflect on the results he got and on how he planned to continue to improve.

Or course, Lean is a journey, not an end in itself. So there’s no final learning on the part of the CEO. Yet, when it comes to his behavior, there are some new ones that must be put in place and maintained once he found that they worked (meaning they induced continuous improvement initiatives and thriving from the employees). Occasionally, the manager could fall back into relapse. The coach must then know how to help him get back on track to what worked well. Here’s how.

During this stage, the role of the coach is to support the CEO in maintaining his own successful behaviors by:

  • supporting and encouraging the behavior changes already done
  • talking about possible trouble spots and developing plans to manage relapse triggers

Of course, in case of relapse (falling back in command & control mode, telling what to do (giving solutions), forgetting to following-through with improvements, etc.), the coach has a clear role to play as well:

  • addressing the relapse, but without adding to the feeling of shame that could exist
  • assessing and discussing what went wrong and remembering what worked well instead, to reuse that

Maintenance

By now, the CEO should have clearly identified what works for him in modelling Lean behaviors that foster employee thriving and continuous improvement. So, what’s important is that the coach supports him and help him put in place triggers to detect relapse and take action should this occur. I propose some questions below in the Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focus way used in the preceding posts of the series.

  • Things seem to be running almost by themselves now. What are you doing that allows that? What else?
  • How did you manage to get there (show the current successful behaviors) despite the rest of the organization not initially being supportive? [develop his sense of autonomy]
  • What have you learn about yourself? What else? [develop his sense of competence]
  • What do your current behaviors bring to management and to the employees? What pleases them? What else?
  • What are the results from the customers points of view? From the stakeholders?
  • How did you manage to achieve all of these? What else? What else?
  • How do you feel?

Preparing for relapse:

  • Old habits die hard: have you witnessed yourself falling back already? How did you noticed? How did you felt about it? How did you manage to get back on the train? How did you felt then? 
  • What else?
  • What positive effect had your getting back on track with Lean behaviors on the employees? How did they helped/supported you? What else?
  • On a scale from 0 (no confidence) to 10 (totally confident), how do you rate your confidence in maintaining your effective Lean behaviors in the future? How come such a number? Why not a lower number? What strengths do you have that support your maintaining your Lean behaviors? What small step do you see yourself doing tomorrow to start moving to the next level on the scale? What else?

As usual with Motivational Interviewing, practice OARSOpen-ended questionsAffirm positive talk & behaviors (these are already embedded in the proposed questions above), Reflect what’s said (emphasizing success) and Summarize often.

Relapse

First of all, it’s important to stress that relapse is unavoidable. It happens, this is normal, and things can be done. During the maintenance dialogues above, some tokens were identified that support the CEO into his Lean behaviors and to get back on track should he had fallen off the train. Still, the CEO may wish to see the coach because some things aren’t going as expected, or the coach may witness some regress during one of the visit.

Motivational Interviewing addresses these situations by digging into the problem and trying to understand it. Since we’re trying to make use of Solution Focus at the same time, we’re introducing a twist here by building again a platform and helping the CEO re-imagine his Future Perfect, then help him identify what works that he can re-use to get back on the Lean train.

Here are some proposal questions:

  • I noticed that some things weren’t as your showed them to me last time. What happened? how do you link the situation to your own behavior?
  • What would you want the situation to be instead? What would that mean for your corresponding behaviors?
  • How did you managed to demonstrate these behaviors in the past? What worked in the past to sustain the behaviors despite the environment?
  • Aide from the current problem, what’s working? What’s giving you hope for the future? How do you manage to sustain these other aspects? How could that help you get back to your preferred future as far as the problem is concerned?
  • On a scale from 0 (inappropriate Lean behavior) to 10 (ideal Lean behavior you’d like to demonstrate with respect to the current relapse), where are you now? What helped you not fall down a lower number?  What else? What small step will you make tomorrow to start moving to N+1? What else?
  • How will you see you’re back on train?

Conclusion

Here we are. In this series of articles I tried to address the necessary change of behavior a CEO should demonstrate to move from his current behaviors (at the source of the current situation of his organization) to Lean behaviors more appropriate for an organization embodying Lean:

  • thriving management and employees,
  • exhilarating service to customers,
  • and delighted stakeholders.

I proposed to introduce the necessary changes by making use of:

  • Motivational Interviewing: a way to dialogue with someone to as to make him or her move through some stages of change without any raising of habitual “change resistance”. This is done by raising awareness in the coachee that he is autonomous in his decision to change or not, he is indeed competent in doing the change and by installing a sense of relatedness between the coach and the coachee where the coach models prosocial behaviors and embodies a posture (behaviors) that can be replicated by the CEO toward his employees. Five strategies are used for that purpose: 1) expressing empathy, 2) developing discrepancy between what the CEO wants and where he is, 3) avoiding any argumentation and 4) rolling with resistance and finally 5) supporting self-efficacy of the CEO.
  • Solution Focus: a change approach that builds a platform out of a problematic situation, based on what works nonetheless. Then the coachees is encouraged to envision a Preferred Future. Then, the coach helps the coachee identify tokens that support his already working behaviors and the smallest possible steps that could be taken immediately to improve the situation toward the vision.

I hope I have been clear enough in my description of this endeavor. Any experiment you might make with this proposed approach, I’d be delighted to know what happened and what worked. Feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below or through any of my social entry points at my Google Profile.

Art Smalley doesn’t fear the hard questions #lean

March 23rd, 2012 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , , ,

The Lean Edge asks very interesting questions. For this one (“what makes a good Lean leader?”), Art Smalley shows that he doesn’t fear the hard questions. At all.

Read more there: Art Smalley: Sorry, no buzz word » The Lean Edge.

When have you heard these kind of questions in your organzation?

How do you relate the current question with the current situation (efficiency, finances, etc.) of your organization?

What’s your conclusion?

What’s your Next Actions?

 

The Power of #Positive: Improve productivity by accentuating the human dimension of #lean Six Sigma

February 29th, 2012 Posted in Change, Lean Tags: , , , , , ,

Please read this excellent article on Quality Progress of the ASQ: The Power of Positive (free registration required) about how putting positive psychology into Lean Six Sigma may improve results of these methods.

 

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