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Lean helps save lives in South Africa
leansixsigma.co.business

FEATURE – Only when we go where the action is, do we begin to truly understand the work. Rose Heathcote joins the Emergency Medical Services in Cape Town for a day. Words: Rose Heathcote, who took part in the ride along while she was CEO of Lean Institute Africa. How many of us don’t fully […]

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OEE | Overall Equipment Effectiveness Explained with example
leansixsigma.co.business

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Various Problem Solving Techniques
leansixsigma.co.business

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Three Warning Signs Your Process Improvement Effort Will Fail
leansixsigma.co.business

“Constraint: anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance versus its goal.” —Eli Goldratt, What Is This Thing Called Theory of Constraints and How Should It Be Implemented?  (1990) So many efforts toward continuous improvement begin with great intentions. The idea of attacking waste and ramping up productivity is exciting, and there’s a whole arsenal […]

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When Finger-Pointing Is a Good Thing
leansixsigma.co.business

This month’s blog post will be short and sweet. Why? My WIP is at max! (If this concept is new to you, revisit my video on work in process.) I want you to know I practice what I preach as a lean teacher, so it’s important for me to keep my WIP optimal so that I […]

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LABP’s Biggest Gift Is Time
leansixsigma.co.business

How are you coming along with your end-of-year initiatives? Are you realizing noticeable gains, or are you getting bogged down with too much work in process? Do you feel calm about where you’re headed, or are you already in crisis mode? You don’t need more people to achieve your goals; your people need more time. […]

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Where’s the Value in Your Business Processes?
leansixsigma.co.business

Teaching Lean Applied to Business Processes is never dull. But once the conversation turns to finding value in the steps of a business process, things get downright crazy in my classroom. Students argue with each other. They argue with me. Once, someone was so upset by the discussion that he stormed out. Why all the […]

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Putting 5S to Work in the Business Office
leansixsigma.co.business

If you read this blog regularly, you’re aware that the same lean tools that make manufacturing more efficient can work wonders in the business office. It usually just requires a slight shift in mindset, and a bit of imagination. One of those tools is 5S. It’s an amazingly simple tool that increases productivity by leaps […]

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Optimizing Without Balance—A Vicious Cycle
leansixsigma.co.business

It’s counterintuitive to think that maximizing your job or your department’s throughput can have a detrimental effect on your company. But that’s exactly the problem leaders face in running the modern organization. And once the problem starts, it creates a vicious cycle that quickly gets out of control. Optimizing without a balancing metric is a […]

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Variation in Your Processes—A Game of Chance (Part One of Two)
leansixsigma.co.business

As most of you know, variation is a very big deal in manufacturing, because even the smallest change in production processes can have big consequences down the line. Keeping variation low means fewer defects, less waste, higher quality, and lower costs. That’s why manufacturers use statistical process control, charting numbers to see where variation lies […]

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Cut the Noise and Tame the Common Cause (Part Two of Two)
leansixsigma.co.business

In my last post, I laid out the difference between special cause and common cause variation. Why is it important to know the difference? Because when you embark on an improvement initiative, variation must be reduced or eliminated. But it’s hard to know where to start, and what actions will make a difference. And inevitably, […]

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Are You Marching to the Beat of the Wrong Drum?
leansixsigma.co.business

  In the business office, we often tend to think of the deliverables we produce in terms of a rate. For example, we might have 10 reports, or 100 invoices, or one closing of the books, to complete in a month. And so we view the end of the month as our deadline, with x […]

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Go Faster, Produce More—but with Integrity
leansixsigma.co.business

If you’ve been following my blog regularly, you know that my Lean Applied to Business Processes course is actually the product of what I’ve learned over a long and successful career in aircraft maintenance—and, over time, figuring out that the principles that make manufacturing more efficient can work wonders in the business office. It usually […]

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The Function of Leaders is to Produce More Leaders
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) In an era of breath-taking innovation, is there anything more important? The ‘Essential Eight Technologies’ – Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Drones, 3-D Printing, Big Data Analytics, and Distributed Ledger Technology (‘Blockchain’) – make disruption almost inevitable. Prosperity, and in some industries, survival, depends on an organization’s ability to […]

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Complexity is a Crude State, Simplicity Marks the End of a Process of Refinement
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) This one’s like gravity – not just a good idea, it’s the law… It’s my privilege to help leaders develop strategies for complex organizations. A recurrent refrain is ‘our business strategy is too complicated to explain simply.’ If so, do we really understand our strategy? Don’t want to be misunderstood. I […]

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There is No Right Answer in Strategy
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Building on my last blog, the strategy is not about perfection. In fact, there is no right strategy. This is often difficult for senior leaders to accept because it runs contrary to their experience. Senior leaders are usually the smartest kids in the class, the ones who always have the right […]

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Amazon Enters Banking
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) Big news indeed, no? Amazon is a marvel, and perhaps the exception that proves a rule. Big companies are supposed to be slow, and well, slow. Yet Amazon is a colossus of intelligence, entrepreneurialism and advanced Lean thinking. Jeff Bezos is famously customer-focused and Amazon’s management systems express a deep understanding […]

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Strategy in a Time of Explosive Change
leansixsigma.co.business

By Pascal Dennis (bio) May you live in interesting times – Chinese Curse Interesting times indeed, no? The reasons are too long to recite here – changing technology, customer expectations, internationalization, rapid cultural shifts, the explosion of information… Technological change, for example, is so rapid and severe that in many industries we can no longer […]

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