Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quality and Common Sense

I was talking with a friend of mine in Kansas whose company is starting their lean transformation. They are a small manufacturing company that makes livestock management equipment. After they began their research (one of their board members does lean for GM), one of the senior leaders said, "This is just common sense." My friend replied, "It does look like it...after you're done." My friend is right. On the front end a lot of continuous improvement and lean stuff (like taking 1/2 hour for the team to brainstorm better ways to do things rather than doing data entry) seems counter-intuitive. One piece flow. Don't do what your client won't pay you for. Only produce exactly what you can sell. Etc. But once you've made a few improvements and you look back, it really is just good old common sense.

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