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Waste in Process: Squeeze Before You Lean

by Andrew Quibell
July 21, 2016

Waste in Process: Squeeze Before You Lean

by Andrew Quibell
July 21, 2016 | Comments (9)

We now come to the final installment in my sketch series on areas of manufacturing waste: PROCESS. 

It seems intuitive to start applying lean to our processes, right? Maybe so, but all that says to me is that we're short-sighted when applying lean. The problem I often see is people applying lean directly to processes because they assume the waste is there - which it is. But doing this only intensifies the risk of a Band–Aid mentality. And of course, along with it, the dreaded backslide on gains. It is critically important that before you change or adjust anything in your process, you first look at your entire value stream – from goods and materials coming in, to conveyance, to storage (inventory) and dispatching your finished goods. There is always waste hidden within your value stream, so go find it and squeeze it out HARD before you apply a lot of time and effort leaning out your process. 

This, in my view, is the more effective approach to waste elimination. In my experience it boils down to educating yourself on what exactly you are looking for and looking at within your value streams; learning to see, observe, and listen; and then asking productive inquiry questions. I hope my new sketch and animated video will show you more about what I mean and need to share with you all.

 

 

So once you have reviewed the sketch and gone through the animated movie, what are you going to be doing differently tomorrow based on what you have understood from my story? Use this to make a change and an impact…

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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9 Comments | Post a Comment
Anonymous July 21, 2016
2 People AGREE with this comment

I'm totally confused by what you mean by "applying Lean?" Quick fixes isn't Lean. You need to reduce waste before you apply Lean? Again... you've lost me.



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Andrew Quibell July 23, 2016
1 Person AGREES with this reply

You are misinterpreting what is written and drawn, the article targets waste and many people assume by applying the ‘quick fixes mentality’ they are thinking this is a lean solution to their problems, when it is not. You have to take the time to observe and analysis the problem properly to arrive at a true point of cause and then apply a solution that lasts and can be sustained.



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Harry July 21, 2016

Either you don't understand Lean or you've constructed a model so you can run it down.  There's nothing wrong with what you do but the part about Lean is misleading.



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Mark Graban July 21, 2016
2 People AGREE with this reply

And an animated video is a really slow and inefficient way to try to communicate something.



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Andrew Quibell July 28, 2016
1 Person AGREES with this reply
You are entitled to your opinion and comment. Actually I find animated videos are extremely effective ways to communicate a message, especially if you work in an organization with thousands of people you need to reach but can’t physically talk to all one-on-one. I have found this approach very successful in deployment of objectives and the message on key initiatives across many colleagues in many countries - far more effective than a bland email approach to grab attention.


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Andrew Quibell July 28, 2016
I believe you too may be misinterpreting what is written and drawn. I have learned from many experienced ‘lean’ people over the years about lean, and with what I’ve learned and applied I have a solid proven track record implementing it on the shop floor. I would not publish an article as you suggest to ‘run it down” and I don’t mislead folks either. I, like you, am entitled to state my case or opinion.


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Charlie Payne July 21, 2016
5 People AGREE with this comment

I think it is ironic that a post on lean has a flow that is so "unlean".



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Andrew Quibell July 28, 2016

This is a post on waste elimination……



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Charlie Payne July 29, 2016

Then I will revise my previous post:  "It is ironic that a post on waste elimination has so much waste in it."



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