Arthur Ashe

Standardized Work Builds a Flexible Work Force

World class organizations understand the value in having flexibility. Not only in the ability to meeting changes in customer demand or introduce new products with great speed, but also in continuing operations.  Flexible organizations can keep the presses running even when some of people who fill key roles are missing.  Standardized work is the key […]

Fuel for an Effective Operating Model

Driving the real improvement your organization needs is best served with a proven operating model based on the principles of Plan, Do, Check, Act.  It requires a sold Strategy supported by a rigorous Daily Management process designed to identify problems that need to be solved with a pre-specified method for practical problem solving all sustained […]

Learning to see…again

  Mike Rother and John Shook taught us how to create a highly visual roadmap using a value stream mapping process in their popular book, Learning to See.  Their website,, describes value-stream map as a paper-and-pencil representation of every process in the material and information flow, along with key data.  World Class organizations use […]

Lessons from the NFL: Calling Plays in Your Operation

Unlocking the value in your operation requires a specific work design that maximizes the utilization of resources. One of the key resources is labor. Much like the positions on a football field, each person in the operation needs a special role and their efforts coordinated to produce the best outcome.   There are two reasons […]

An Ounce of Stability is Worth a Pound of Ideal

  World class organizations value stability. Reliable equipment, processes, and people comprise the foundation which allows them to reach for the ideal. The Toyota Production System “House” visualizes the ideal state as the lowest cost, highest quality, and short lead-time, but at the foundation is stability. Reliable Equipment, Processes, People, and Material Reliability allows an […]

Hope is Not a Strategy

  “Some” is not a number and “soon” is not a deadline.  The best operations understand that the value in creating a strategy, setting a target, and committing to a deadline comes from the work put into the prediction. The value is the hypothesis.  The beautiful thing about the scientific method is that it always […]

Do You Believe in Zero Injuries?

  Lean operating systems recognize the value of people and believe everyone should leave work the same way they arrived – injury free.  Two powerful benefits arise from truly believing in zero injuries-the awareness to see hazards and a clear message about the value of people. The Awareness to See Hazards It is all too […]

A Well-Thought Out Plan

Successful operations unlock value through a continuous cycle of plan – do – check – act. That critical cycle starts with a plan. The learning for the organization comes from executing the plan and checking the results. The value is unlocked through actions and adjustments learned from the problems identified with executing the plan. A […]

Follow-up is Fuel for Accountability

World class organizations hold themselves accountable as part of a daily process.  Each member of the team makes commitments and then delivers on those commitments as a responsibility to the whole team and the overall strategy, BUT it probably wasn’t always like that. A leader had to teach the team how to be accountable and […]