Introduction to Lean Healthcare Video

In our last post, we released our Introduction to Lean Manufacturing Video.  Today, we are releasing another basic series of videos entitled Introduction to Lean Healthcare.  The intent  is to provide the viewer with the basic concepts of Lean Healthcare including terminology and basic methods.  Please share the video below with those who need to understand the basics of lean healthcare.  For more in depth training, check our schedule for off-site Lean Healthcare training or our very popular online Lean Healthcare Certification program.

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Interactive Lean Training Plus Kanban Video

We want to make our readers aware of a unique lean learning opportunity, our 3-day blended-learning lean manufacturing certification program.  This Lean Manufacturing certification program will equip participants with targeted technical and facilitation/team leadership competencies in lean manufacturing and kaizen.  The program includes 3 days of interactive, instructor-led training plus self-paced online training as well.  Participants will learn how to apply each of the principles and tools of lean including Value Stream Mapping, Continuous Flow Manufacturing Cells, Lean Production Control, Level Pull Production, kanban and pull systems, 5S, quick changeover, TPM, problem solving methods, and kaizen events. Certification requires the completion of a lean manufacturing project to reinforce the learning and achieve real results.  This program will take place at the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island in San Diego, CA on July 17-19, 2012.  For more information on this program, please visit: Lean Certification Training.  For those of you that prefer a fully instructor-led Lean Manufacturing Certification program, we continue to offer this option as well in Southern California.

If you are a follower of this blog or a subscriber to our lean newsletter, you know that we like to use animated videos (cartoons) in addition to articles to help explain lean and continuous improvement concepts.   Since pull systems is one of the topics we cover in detail in our certification programs, we thought it might be useful (for those that are unfamiliar with these concepts) to view one of our most popular animated videos on the subject.  Enjoy!

Lean Leadership

There has been a lot of buzz about lean leadership in the past year or so.  People are beginning to realize that, as author John Maxwell has said, “everything rises and falls on leadership.”  It takes good leadership to create an environment for kaizen to flourish.  We want everyone in the organization to be working toward improvement toward the next goal or target condition.  This is done by identifying problems that get in the way of achieving the target condition and then identifying and implementing countermeasures.

While the tools of lean are great (I am not one of those that say that the tools are unimportant- they are important!), leadership is critically important.   Following is a 3 minute cartoon that talks about the various aspects of lean leadership, including creating a lean culture, strategy deployment, and coaching and development.

Lean Manufacturing Implementation

Because of increasing pressure from customers and competition to reduce costs , many companies want to begin lean implementations next year. Like other major initiatives, effective lean implementations begin with good planning. In this article, I will cover 5 key steps to planning for lean implementation.

1. Perform an initial lean assessment.The purpose of a lean assessment is to identify organizational strengths and weaknesses and determine how “lean” the organization is initially in different areas. It should include financial and operational analysis. It is important to select an employee or consultant with significant lean experience to conduct the assessment. While someone internally might have the necessary experience, an outsider might help to provide a new perspective that can prove to be very beneficial in the planning stage. It can also help in convincing members of the management team that might not initially be on board with the change.

2. Begin tracking metrics.The lean assessment will provide the baseline and answer the question “Where are we?” Tracking and posting metrics will show you where you are going during the lean transformation and will gauge how successful your program is. Develop a set of metrics that you will use to track your implementation efforts. It is important to select a reasonably small number of metrics and post them in the plant- metrics should not be reserved for management’s eyes only.

3. Develop a one year detailed implementation plan and three to five year plan.Based on the lean assessment and metrics selected, develop a timeline for implementing lean. It should include goals and milestones. The plan needs to be tailored to the unique circumstances of the organization- not all plans will look alike!

4. Develop a training plan.Companies commonly make two mistakes with regards to lean training- either they train too much too early or they fail to train. Both of these mistakes can prove to be costly. It is important to develop a training plan that coincides with the implementation plan. You should identify who should be trained, when they should be trained, and in what disciplines they should be trained.

5. Develop a communication and performance/reward plan.Communicating the plan to go lean to everyone in the organization and letting them know how this will effect them is critical to success. Part of the communication plan should include a plan to reward both teams and individuals for their successful participation.

As you plan your lean implementation in the future, keep these five keys in mind. They will help you to move more quickly toward successful implementation.

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