Links for 2011-07-15

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Links for for 2011-07-07 through 2011-07-08

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Can Kaizen be part of Standard Work – notes and observations

Joe Dager (@business901) has posted a video interview with Dr. Michael Balle, the Gemba Coach at the Lean Enterprise Institute about Kaizen Teams without Kaizen Events, or Can Kaizen be part of Standard Work?

[slideshare id=8394746&doc=kaizenpartofstdwork-110623020735-phpapp01-video]


Balle makes some key points:

Standard work is about routine v non-routine, prescribed v non-prescribed

Standards are not the same as saying everything the same for everyone everywhere

Standards = a scientific process

  • the few things we know “mountains of certainty” – standards are very useful here
  • “the islands of we believe so” – standards are looser and we need to understand if the standard applies – need to do kaizen to understand why situation is different
  • “the oceans” of “we just don’t know” – need to do kaizen to see if we can find a starting standard

Dager makes the point – how do we make this real for the busy middle-manager?

Balle’s view is that it is about a change of mindset, from “too many fires for Kaizen” to “the fires are in a state where I can live with them, I have to do the Kaizen first to reduce the number of fires”.

What is the first step of the 100 steps? What can you do in 1 minute every day?

Aligning the steps with the strategy, but break it down into small steps.

Typically takes five or ten  Kaizen to understand a topic.


For me this was a very timely post – in my last post on making a Kanban Review and Retrospective part of  Standard Work with the team I am coaching I describe our first steps to standardise the process of reflection – which should enable a bootstrapping to a more effective process.

It always helps to have a conceptual framework for what you do, and I sense  the differentiation between “mountains of certainty”, “islands of  we believe so” and “oceans of we just don’t know” will be most useful.


Links for 2011-06-22

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Links for 2011-05-13

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