The Seven A3 Problem Solving Steps in Detail

Source – Originally Published on May 17, 2010 in processexcellencenetwork.com As I introduced A3 problem solving in my last column, I will now discuss in detail the steps involved with this problem solving approach. Background of A3 Problem Solving A3 problem solving is quite similar to other problem solving approaches which mirror Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The comparison between A3…

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The A3 Problem Solving Way: An Introduction

Source – Originally Published on Apr 14, 2010 in processexcellencenetwork.com As service companies dabble with various methods for addressing their business issues, I would urge them to try A3 problem solving. Developed by Toyota, this simple yet rigorous approach not only provides a systematic structure for tackling a problem, but it also has the potential to transform a company by…

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How the Trends of 2000-2009 Will Shape Performance Improvement in This New Decade

Source – Originally Published on Jan 19, 2010 in processexcellencenetwork.com As 2010 ushers in, it’s time for us to look at the key trends that surrounded the ecosystem of all businesses. These trends provide a cue into the way the engine of performance improvement will be driven going forward. Organizations serious about customers and improvements will find it difficult to…

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360 Degree Metrics for Lean Transformation

Source – Originally Published on Oct 15, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com While embarking on a holistic Lean transformation, I have seen practitioners struggle to come up with metrics that can provide a 360 degree view of the quality of a deployment. What normally happens is that success is defined with metrics such as quality and lead time, which are right but…

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5S for a Service Business

Source – Originally Published on Sep 21, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com 5S as a tool has been leveraged by manufacturing companies for decades. Leaders driving operational excellence on the manufacturing floor would provide a list of benefits on how 5S delivers superb benefits on the production shop-floor. They would narrate how 5S adds to visual order, cleanliness, safety and standardization on…

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To Value Stream Map or Not to Value Stream Map a Service Process?

Originally Published on Aug 24, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com Value stream mapping and Lean implementation in the service business have somehow become synonymous. I have observed service organizations embarking on Lean implementation to invariably use value stream mapping. It is paradoxical that organizations using “value stream maps” often see these maps as a sign of their organizations’ Lean implementation and not…

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The Various Times of Lean

Originally Published on Jul 27, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com Before embarking on a Lean project, we should be clear with the various times that are used in Lean improvements. While Lean practitioners have various ways to define these times, I detail these as I use them successfully in my transformations. While the types of time used in Lean are large, the…

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Value Contribution of Processes

Originally Published on May 20, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com In my last column we discussed the eight wastes of Lean. We also looked at the various examples from the service sector. The eight wastes of Lean that we looked at are also called non-value-added activities. In this article we zoom out a bit to demystify the concept of not only non-value-added…

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8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing in a Services Context  

Originally Published on Apr 6, 2009 in processexcellencenetwork.com Defining “Waste” As it Applies to Service Organizations Anything that does not add value to the customer is a waste. Waste only adds to time and cost. And the definition of “waste” in a service organization is quite similar to its Lean manufacturing definition. When you look at a process, this customer…

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