How to hunt down waste

Eliminating waste is a fundamental part of Thinking Lean.
But the longer we have worked somewhere, the harder it can be to see the waste around us.
It can be hard to see the (Tim) Woods for the trees.
(See what I did there 😊)
A Waste Walk, a structured group activity where you go with the specific intent of looking for waste, is a great way to uncover and identify things that do not add value for your customer.
This article includes 4 powerful tips and a free download to help you facilitate a successful Waste Walk.

How to SUPERCHARGE your Problem Solving – Part 3

Problem solving can be tricky, painful, and frankly a waste of time if you are trying to solve the wrong issue.

Properly defining your problem upfront is the key to success.

This article, the third in the series, takes you through the next key step to help you quickly and accurately clarify the problem – using data and facts to eliminate the problem of opinions.

On not being perfect

I haven’t written an article in a while, and this one explains why and what I have learnt from the experience.

Striving for perfection may well be one of the key principles of Lean, but sometimes, in some contexts, I think it can hold us back.

Thank you Karyn Ross, you got me started again.

Brilliant Books for CI Managers – Book 2

If you are a CI Manager, CI Practitioner or a Lean Leader, I’d guess you might have a few books on your desk.

Of course, there are the lean classics – Lean Thinking, The Toyota Way, The Goal – but I think there are also a number of other, less obvious, brilliant books which can be hugely valuable to you.

Next up is the brilliant Black Box Thinking by @MatthewSyed – a book about marginal gains and high performance.

How Drawing Toast can help you solve problems

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Journey to Excellence conference held in Manchester in the UK.
This is an annual conference, organized by True North Excellence, created to inspire through sharing best practice, building new networks, and experiencing best in class learning.
I delivered a workshop to around 75 delegates, titled ‘Solving the Biggest Problem with Problem Solving’ and I used Tom Wujec’s Draw Toast activity during the workshop.

How to SUPERCHARGE your problem solving – Part 2

In the first article in this series, I said that the primary thing that needs to be done to get you on the right track to solving a problem is to clearly define the problem.

I went on to suggest that the first stage in doing this should be to Go-Look-See-Ask – go where the problem is happening, look at the process, see what is happening, and ask questions to fully understand.

So, you’ve done that. And what should you do next?

3 Ways to Brainstorm Better

Brainstorming is a very useful and valuable tool when you need to generate ideas. I’d be willing to bet that all CI practitioners (and probably the majority of managers generally) have been in a brainstorming session at some point.

But are they always effective?

Do the creative, innovative ideas flow easily?

Not always.