“This poster is a representation of the best lean company I know…Walters & Wolf in the Bay Area. It is hanging in my conference room out of deep respect for the amazing work that they’re doing.” Paul Akers
Artwork by Paula Hansen of Chart Magic.
Have you read The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker? The Liker Leadership Institute asked me to do a webinar on June 5th and now they have asked me to do a monthly webinar. Wow! ~Paul Akers
Event: Liker Leadership Institute: Paul Akers Live “Lean in the Real World
Date: First Monday of each month @ 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Duration: 1 hour
Description: Paul will speak on a lean topic for 20 minutes, then there will be 10-15 minutes for questions.
Visit 2 Second Lean (https://paulakers.net)
Yesterday we had the greatest lean moment. We needed to modify a component, and that modification required a special small tool. This modification is rarely needed and the guy that usually did the modification left the company three months ago. This is how it went…
The guy that needed the tool came to me and said, “Don’t we have a special tool to do this modification?”
I told him we did and then went to help him look for it, not really remembering myself what it looked like. I checked all the places it should have been, hoping I would remember it when I saw it, but not really knowing what I was looking for. I finally went to the CAD files and pulled up a drawing of the tool and printed it out.
We showed the drawing to several people asking them if they had seen it. No one remembered seeing it but everyone joined in the hunt. We checked and rechecked everywhere in the production area. At some point I looked up and realized that there were now eight of us looking for this tool.
I had everyone stop. I asked them to look around the room to see all the resources that were being committed to finding something that we shouldn’t have had to look for in the first place. I asked them, “How lean do we look right now?” In the end we stopped looking, printed another one on our 3D Printer, and then of course immediately found the original one. Waste, waste, waste.
I am certain that this scenario has played out exactly as I have described it in countless companies for ages, and for no reason at all. Everything in its place and a place for everything.
Everyone in our company has read your book. We are preparing to move into our new lean facility in two months’ time. We look forward to improving our new lean lifestyle.
I just wanted to share this story with you. Thank you for your teachings and motivation.
No response to this email is necessary.
Paul received this encouraging email from Darrell Damron (reprinted with permission):
Thank you for helping Washington state government on our journey to deliver better value to more Washingtonians. We’re so grateful for all of you (our Lean Expert Partners) who have been so generous in giving us advice, training, coaching, and/or letting us tour many of your organizations.
To give you just a glimpse of what’s happening on our Lean journey, I’m including this article we posted internally this week. While these are just a few of the results from the 500+ improvement projects we have done in more than 50 state agencies, we are also making some important leadership/management system changes – like organizing and aligning 53 state agency directors, policy, and budget folks into 5 goal councils – each goal council is focused on delivering specific results to Washingtonians (see www.results.wa.gov). We have a long way to go, and we’re enormously grateful for you advice and help.
Lean Improvements Making a Difference By Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Director of Results Washington
With Public Service Recognition Week around the corner, it’s a good time to recognize some of the great Lean work that employees are doing throughout state government.
There’s a lot going on. Hundreds of Lean improvement efforts — big and small — are under way. Employees are generating ideas to streamline their work, keeping a strong focus on the customer. In no particular order, here’s a small sampling of improvement efforts:
· The Washington State Patrol and the Department of Enterprise Services worked together to overhaul an archaic paper application system for trooper candidates. The Patrol has also used Lean to dramatically speed up background checks and the outfitting work mechanics do on patrol cars. DES has been a leader using Lean, with many improvements in progress.
· The Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Services division, which faces a flood of calls from tax filers every January, made a number of employee-suggested improvements. It created a much simpler form for businesses that owe little in taxes. It made returns available to customers earlier. And it launched an online chat service to respond to questions. Wait times for customers have shrunk and the work is more manageable.
· The Department of Social and Health Services has used Lean to save nearly $21 million for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and to speed up Child Protective Services investigations. It has worked closely with stakeholders to make client notices shorter and easier to understand. DSHS has also used Lean to sharply cut costs of client X-rays. And it’s worked with the Employment Security Department to improve assistance for clients searching for work.
· The Liquor Control Board, which received a flurry of public record requests related to marijuana legalization, has nearly cut in half the time it takes to respond.
· The Department of Transportation, which receives more than 100,000 vehicle collision reports each year, has cut by nearly 90 percent the time it takes to analyze reports and make data available to customers and the public. WSDOT’s sign shop in Yakima has also used Lean improvements to more than double the number of signs it makes.
These are just a few examples of continual improvement efforts that state agencies are tackling. Keep up the great work!
Thanks again for your help, and we look forward to continuing to learn from you on this journey.
Enterprise Lean Consultant
Office of the Governor
Follow me on Twitter: @LeanWAGOV
Follow Results WA on Twitter: @ResultsWA