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Five Benefits of Visual Management

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Keeping Score

We have all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That is the best way to sum up visual management. The purpose is to make it easy to access and understand performance. In Creating a Lean Culture, David Mann compares visual management to the transmission of an automobile. The transmission is vital to making the car run, just as visual management is a principle element in a lean management system.

There is no one way to do visual management. In fact, there are many different types or varieties of visual management and each organization or team should choose what works best for their needs. No matter what design visual management takes, there are some common benefits visual management provides:  Continue reading →

Four Reasons to Build Coaching Capability in Your PI Team

Posted on by Karen Flom

Basketball with coach's clipboard and whistle on wooden floor

Coaching capability is an important asset for an organization on a lean transformation journey. At the heart of lean transformation is the focus of improving processes and developing people. If your organization is not developing coaching capability to support team members during transformation, then you are missing part of the equation.

As an organization matures on the lean journey it is imperative that the improvement team moves away from a focus of teaching tools to developing problem solving skills at all levels within the organization. Here are some reasons why it is important to build coaching capabilities: Continue reading →

How to Build the Foundation of a Continuous Improvement Culture

Posted on by CATALYSIS

business persons plan a project

In Management on the Mend, John Toussaint, MD explains that “principles are how a person, or a team organizes and externalizes values. In the way that values drive the culture, principles drive behaviors.” Toussaint goes on to say that principles can also help find points or common ground with others. Consequently, the Shingo Principles are at the foundation of a culture of continuous improvement and the pursuit of operational excellence.

Over the past several weeks, Catalysis team members have been sharing our thoughts about the Shingo Principles in hopes of helping you reflect on how these principles are demonstrated in your organization.  Continue reading →

The Gift of Responsibility

New modern living room with kitchen. New home. Interior photography. Wooden floor.

Often when we talk of making someone responsible, it seems like we are placing a burden on that individual.  From one lens, the responsibility can be a burden from both the giver and receiver’s point of view.  When I asked my son to be responsible for taking out the trash, I am sure that he perceived this as a burden. As the giver of this responsibility, I knew that there was going to be a burden on my part to ensure the task was completed in a timely manner.

If we believe that it’s a parent’s role to develop our children into accountable adults, then giving responsibilities to our children is part of that development. It would be far easier and take less time initially to do the task ourselves instead of spending the time reminding and prodding them.  While our initial lens may be the burden of the task, the individual will not develop accountability without being given responsibility.

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How to Create Value for the Customer

Open treasure chest on the beach

At the peak of the Shingo Model pyramid is the principle “create value for the customer.” If an organization fails to deliver value to the customer, they will ultimately wind up out of business. Value is defined by the customer by what they are willing to pay for.

Here are some behaviors that can help create value for the customer:

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The Difference Between “Reduce” and “Prevent” When it Comes to Process Thinking

Posted on by Brian Veara

Chain Reaction In Business Concept, Businessman Intervening Dominoes Toppling

In many healthcare organizations, you often see lofty strategic initiatives that are listed as reducing harm. For example, these objectives are listed as “Reduce CLABSI by 50%” or “Reduce Unplanned Readmissions by 25%.”

The words used in these statements can often represent an immature process and analytics mindset. In organizations that are more mature in their process thinking, these statements use a different verb than “reduce,” instead they use a verb like “prevent.”  Continue reading →

Why Create Flow & Pull Value?

traffic jams in the city, road, rush hour

The other morning as I was stuck in the crazy weekday morning ritual that is the elementary school drop off line, I started thinking about the Shingo Principle flow and pull value.  I am not fond of this part of my morning routine; it seems like it takes much longer than it should, and I find it frustrating to be in the middle of the pure chaos of it all. Why is morning drop off such a disaster? Simple, because there is no flow.

Flow and pull value is a principle under the continuous improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. This principle is centered around the notion that “value for customers is maximized when it is created in response to real demand and a continuous and uninterrupted flow.”  Continue reading →

Four Questions to Consider When Creating Leader Standard Work

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Person using calendar on computer to improve time management, plan appointments, events, tasks and meetings efficiently, improve productivity, organize week day and work hours, business woman, office

Leader standard work is one of the elements in a lean management system. In his book Creating a Lean Culture, David Mann compares leader standard work to the engine of a car. While many of us might not know a whole lot about cars, we do know that the engine is a vital part. Likewise, leader standard work is critical for an effective lean management system because it supports and demonstrates successful leadership behaviors in a continuous improvement environment.  Continue reading →

The Top Four Ways to Assure Quality at the Source

Cherries on orchard tree

Each time I prepare to send out an electronic newsletter I follow a standard process that has been designed to ensure that a defect-free email goes out. The process includes proofreading copy before it goes into the newsletter format, testing links, and even testing the email format. Over the years we have refined this process multiple times to help us assure quality at the source.

The principle assure quality at the source is part of the continuous Improvement dimension on the Shingo Model. The way to assure quality at the source is through processes that are designed to make it easy to do things the right way and creating standards that produce the desired outcome. Assuring quality at the source is the opposite of a quality control department that is aimed at catching errors after they occur; it focuses on how to ensure that errors don’t happen in the first place; but if errors occur they are not passed down the line.  If the end goal is to create value for the customer, it is important to focus on quality in all stages and areas of the business. Continue reading →

Five Behaviors That Embrace Scientific Thinking

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Interior of Chemistry Classroom

The principle “embrace scientific thinking” falls within the continuous improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. Each principle within this dimension is essential to improvement, innovation, and continuous learning. If an organization is truly embracing scientific thinking everyone in the organization works to generate repeated cycles of experimentation and improvement when faced with a problem.

Here are some behaviors that embrace scientific thinking: Continue reading →