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Online Webcast: A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance

A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance
4-Module Webcast

As lean moves out of the "tool age," leaders—managers, directors, executives — must invest more time in the critical work of lean leadership: going to the gemba to support value creators in their improvement work and coaching and mentoring teams to develop their problem solving capabilities. This ensures that all organizational processes continuously add value to customers.

Source: Basex, 2010

Nevertheless, if you look around, you'll see legions of entrepreneurs, managers, executives and others who confuse activity with value creation. Their days are consumed with activities that customers don't care about and certainly won't want to pay for: HR training, pointless meetings, shuffling papers that litter their offices, scouring their hard drives and e-mail folder trees for important messages, writing and re-writing to-do lists — while procrastinating on the difficult or unpleasant tasks, correcting errors that they or their colleagues made. All of these are a manner of firefighting and crisis management.

If on top of this you add the demands of our increasingly complex communication world (i.e. instant messaging, phone calls, social media), it explains why most leaders struggle to find the time to effectively perform their new roles and responsibilities. Communicating on all of these channels is a full-time job, often distracting and exhausting. Many leaders feel overburdened and overwhelmed, constantly asking themselves how they can free up time to do their REAL work.
What can leaders do to reduce their frustration as they juggle numerous responsibilities? How can they become more effective at leading their organizations and/or business units on the path of continuous improvement?

Current Condition:
We all like to believe that most of the work we do creates value for the customer.
To understand whether it's true or not, let's refresh our definition of value.
For an activity to be considered value-adding, it must meet three criteria:

  • The customer must be willing to pay for it.
  • The activity must transform a product or service in some way
  • The activity must be done correctly the first time.

Leaper jugglingThis definition of value is a pretty high bar to jump over. If you were to track your daily activities, you would probably be shocked at how little time you spend on value-adding work. The truth is that the vast majority of your work-related activities don't meet these three criteria.

While e-mail, instant messaging and social media make communication easier, they also reduce productivity. There's no standard work around the use of these tools; they impede the "flow" of a person's work, creating "recovery time" waste; and they make it difficult to see information, making it hard to manage processes. All of these problems increase errors, create longer lead times for processes, and consume time that could otherwise be spent at the gemba.

Most books and classes that address personal productivity focus on helping you get work – any work – done without considering whether that work is value-added. They fail to challenge you on the most important question of all: Is the work that you are getting better at doing something that you should be doing in the first place? The key in improving your personal effectiveness is to differentiate between your value-adding work and the activities that don't create value, and focus on the former, while constantly working on reducing the amount of time you spend on the latter.

This workshop will help leaders understand how three lean concepts – standard work, flow and visual management - can be applied to the gemba of an individual knowledge worker to make communication more effective and less burdensome.

It will enable leaders at all levels to focus on value creation rather than becoming more efficient at Management of non-value-creating activities.

The workshop will show leaders how they can do their work quicker and with better quality so that they can spend more time at the gemba coaching and mentoring those who work in value—creating roles.





Module 1 (45 min):


What work is value-adding and what is waste in administrative/office processes? How do we define value? Introduce value vs. deliverables (i.e., outcome vs. output)
  • Daily time tracking
  • Assessment of daily/weekly output; consideration of other ways to deliver the same outcomes

Module 2 (45 min):


Standard work in a non-standard environment:

  • Communication protocols
  • Checklists
  • Information management
  • Create 1-2 checklists for recurring work
  • Organize paper and electronic information
  • Establish communication protocols

Module 3 (45 min):


Flow in context of knowledge work

  • Obstacles to flow and possible countermeasures
  • Simulation: Demonstrate the power personal flow and the cost of multi-tasking (interruptions)
  • Implement countermeasures and evaluate

Module 4 (45 min):


  • Visual management in office context
  • Personal kanban and variations
  • Develop a visual management board for one project/team/process
  • Create individual work plan to increase personal effectiveness


Who Should Attend
Executives, managers, change agents and all those who manage their own work and want to:

  • Increase their personal effectiveness
  • Have more time for developing problem solvers at the gemba
  • Make a greater impact by modeling behaviors they expect others to demonstrate.

Recommended Reading:
BookDan Markovitz
A Factory of One: Applying Lean
Principlesto Banish Waste and Improve
Your Personal Performance


Dates for Online Webcast: A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

Price: $250.00

Access to this online workshop can be purchased individually or in blocks. Individual student access and blocks of up to 50 students are $250.00 per student.

Larger access blocks are available at discounted prices.

21 - 49 students: $200.00/student

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