Interesting Discussion Does Lean hold the key to success? Is Lean the ideal vehicle for moving forward?

#21
bpritts said:
I have a colleague who does this, and uses the Pareto principle to justify it.
(Why not just take the 20% of the system that gives 80% of the results.)
When I suggest that the Pareto principle does not apply to a complex system he thinks I'm being too technical.
Ow!:nope: No, no, no... Actually, when it comes to systems thinking I feel that it is the last 20% that really counts (gives 80% of the results). You need the last 20 to tie all the loose bits and pieces together. That's what makes it a system. Skimming for the juicy looking parts is likley to lead to sub optimization.

Anyway:Take 80% out of any system and the system is no more... :rolleyes:

/Claes
 
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I

Ilias

#22
I like this topic, finally one that I do not need to just browse.

Many of the posts so far seem to make a distinction between Lean from the Toyota Production System (TPS), and what we do in the West in the name of Lean. Well, we have tried to implement Lean in the UK for some years now in our manufacturing industry, in an atempt to reduce the decline in manufacturing. Alas, our productivity remains low, and manufacturing continues to decline.

I see the problems to do with implementing Lean are these:

1. We see Lean as a collection of tools, train people on these tools, and implement using project management principles.

2. As has been mentioned just before, the West interprets what we want to understand. Real Lean is one thing - a new way of approaching the management of an organisation. We have just missed the point in our arrogance in thinking we already are good at what we do.

3. We interpret Lean from the outcomes that the TPS found they achieved. Things like waste reduction, supplier reduction, flow, teamwork, use of IT. These all are outcomes and are a result of the principles and application of Lean thinking. We in the west do Lean by cutting waste, reducing supplier base - the wrong way around, and we missed the important bit.

What I understand Lean to be is firstly an alternative way of thinking that views the organisation as a system. This means that focus is placed on the organisation rather than the people who make up the organisation. If this is done from a management view then a managers role becomes to act on the system, not manage people or money. People are truly given the ability to act on the system by modifying and changing what they work with if it contributes to Lean principles. Managers do not manage by issuing targets, by budgets, or by costs, they simply fix parts of the system that the workers cannot fix.

In a Lean organisation a manager does not work like a manager in a traditional organisation. The environment, working culture, management style, and focus is totally diferent. Some would say opposite. If this is true then to adopt Lean thinking is truly a fundamental change to the way our organisations work. That, I believe, is why we find it so difficult to implement, and so difficult to sell in the West, as we instantly revert to our 'fad' mentality of selling a new product.

Any comentss on these views would be most welcome,

Ilias
 
R

Randy Stewart

#23
Just another spin on the topic.
All to often I hear someone state "Toyota does it that way, what do we need to get there?" It is the wrong approach, JIT comes to mind as a quick example.
JIT was brought about due to limited stock space in their factories, they were driven by necessity, developed a philosopy, assisted their suppliers in adopting the philosopy and worked with the suppliers to fix the bugs. It was not driven down from the top.
I believe our spin on "lean" is 1st - chop heads, 2nd - figure out how to keep pace, 3rd - pay overtime to keep up, 4th - get hit with fines for shutting down assembly plants.
I look at proficiency or how to get more out of what we currently have. Then look at leaning out the mudda.
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#24
Well stated Ilias and Randy. . . :applause:

I think that Ilias hit one of the coffin nail on the head. . . arrogance. IMHO, until a top manager realizes that they don't know everything, and that there are new tools and ways of thinking out there, decide to learn what it is really about, and DECIDE to make a change, we will be shoveling the Muda forever. Floundering in mediocrity.
 
#25
The Taz! said:
Well stated Ilias and Randy. . . :applause:
I agree. Those two posts were great additions to a thread that is getting better all the time.

Ok, soap box time:

Why on earth should we build a copy of Toyotas system (even though it is great), when they work under conditions different from ours? None of us will be the leader as long as we try to follow somebody else's footsteps. Sure, let's learn from the good ideas, but we must build something that is adapted to our conditions and needs.
In order to be Sensei we need create something of our own... :soap:

/Claes
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#26
Deja Vu all Over Again!

Claes Gefvenberg said:
I agree. Those two posts were great additions to a thread that is getting better all the time.

Ok, soap box time:

Why on earth should we build a copy of
the West's
system (even though it is great), when they work under conditions different from ours? None of us will be the leader as long as we try to follow somebody else's footsteps. Sure, let's learn from the good ideas, but we must build something that is adapted to our conditions and needs.
In order to be Sensei we need create something of our own... :soap:

/Claes
Claes,

I bet those were the exact words the Japanese said when Deming went over there. . . :lmao:
 
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WALLACE

Quite Involved in Discussions
#27
Systems thinking is creeping in again and, I wonder why? Is it becoming clearer thus far that, Systems thinking is essential for the paradim shift that is neccessary for optimization of what is termed LEAN?
Call your system what you want, the naming doesn't matter to most who use systems thinking tools and techniques. Whether you call it TPS, FPS, LEAN or just continuous improvement management thingy, make it work by commiting to the ideals and needs of your organizations and most importantly, what youe customers needs and wants.
Wallace.
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#28
WALLACE said:
Systems thinking is creeping in again and, I wonder why? Is it becoming clearer thus far that, Systems thinking is essential for the paradim shift that is neccessary for optimization of what is termed LEAN?
Call your system what you want, the naming doesn't matter to most who use systems thinking tools and techniques. Whether you call it TPS, FPS, LEAN or just continuous improvement management thingy, make it work by commiting to the ideals and needs of your organizations and most importantly, what youe customers needs and wants.
Wallace.
Agreed. . .

But let's not forget the workers who are displaced by LEAN thinkers. . . as long as LEAN is looked on, and proven, to cost people their livelihoods. . . there's no paragigm shift in the world that will allow success in this environment or economy.

People want to work. . .unfortunately the lack of new startups is only increasing the unemployment lines. . . :mad:
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#29
Change

The Taz! said:
Agreed. . .

But let's not forget the workers who are displaced by LEAN thinkers. . . as long as LEAN is looked on, and proven, to cost people their livelihoods. . . there's no paragigm shift in the world that will allow success in this environment or economy.

People want to work. . .unfortunately the lack of new startups is only increasing the unemployment lines. . . :mad:
I guess we're in the right Forum (Philosophy & Gurus)!

When assembly lines (e.g. sewing machines, small arms, and Ford automobiles) came into flower, there was a strong outcry about the "dehumanization" of workers. This was largely a factual observation.

The other side of the coin is there was an explosive growth in all kinds of businesses and jobs as organizations became more and more efficient at producing more goods per manhour worked.

It seems to me that as we enter each new generation of business cycles, we encounter the same obstacles EVERY organization faces as it tries to deploy "Change" throughout the organization:
When we seek to disrupt the "status quo" through change, almost invariably, we face resistance from individuals and political blocs. This resistance is engendered by FEAR, anxiety, vulnerability, and anger.

It is always wrong to ignore this resistance and always better to acknowledge these emotions and work to show how the change will result in something better than the status quo. If the agents of change are unable to demonstrate "something better," it simply means they (the agents of change) don't have their ducks in a row or that, in fact, the change will NOT result in something better. A simple flim flam won't pass muster when dealing with unions and educated work forces.

Sadly, in almost every change, someone or some group is sacrificed for "the better good." The mark of a GREAT change agent is the one who can ameliorate the damage to that sacrificial entity.
 
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The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#30
Wes Bucey said:
I guess we're in the right Forum (Philosophy & Gurus)!

When assembly lines (e.g. sewing machines, small arms, and Ford automobiles) came into flower, there was a strong outcry about the "dehumanization" of workers. This was largely a factual observation.


Sadly, in almost every change, someone or some group is sacrificed for "the better good." The mark of a GREAT change agent is the one who can ameliorate the damage to that sacrificial entity.
Wes,

I hear ya. . .look at my tag line. . . I am a proponent of change . . for the better. . . I agree that the ducks DO have to be in a row. . .
I also feel, that if this country were short of workers, we, as a country, might just utilize that resource in a better way.
 
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