Blog Archives

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2013 – Personal Kanban

At the end of the year, John Hunter does a great job of facilitating an annual roundup of business and lean blogs at Curious Cat Management.  The roundup is a review of blogs by other bloggers.  This year I have the honor of participating in the Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.

Personal_Kanban_Logo

A couple of years ago, I read the book Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry.  It is a great book that helped me along my personal kanban journey.  From the book, Jim and Tonianne create a blog called Personal Kanban.

There is a great series of posts to help with managing your kanban boards.  The topics include how to categorize your backlog to make it easier to understand what work there is left to do, but before you categorize your backlog you should clean it out.  Clean out what is needed and what isn’t needed any longer.  And how to clean up the done column on the board.  The series has some great advice and hints to improve the use of your kanban board.

There are pointers on how to focus the work on a more important project.  This post discusses using a larger post-it note for the focus project and the team members being instructed to pull work from here first.

No matter if your a novice or been using kanban boards for a very long time, Jim and Tonianne have great pointers and examples to help everyone improve upon their usage of kanban boards.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2013 – Lean Blitz

At the end of the year, John Hunter does a great job of facilitating an annual roundup of business and lean blogs at Curious Cat Management.  The roundup is a review of blogs by other bloggers.  This year I have the honor of participating in the Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.

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A blog that I discovered a couple of years ago was Lean Blitz written by Chad Walters.  I like Chad’s unique way of relating lean and continuous improvement to the sports world, because there are plenty of examples throughout sports to do this.

Take the respect for people as an example.  The NFL was ripe with instances of disrespect this year, from the Miami Dolphins’ handling of the bullying in their locker room to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ unclean locker room leading to three players getting MSRA infections.  Not only in the NFL but in college also.  This post talks about Coach Kelly at Notre Dame not listening to his players when something was wrong with the gauntlet machine.  Chad tackles the issue head on in his posts.

Another topic on the blog is error proofing.  Chad talks about how Clemson and Notre Dame handled a color out night at their school for a football game.  Clemson was a huge success while Notre Dame not so much.  He shows some of the differences.  Another favorite is how sprinklers popped up in the middle of an NFL game at the end of last year.

Chad has created a unique blog at Lean Blitz.  It is a fun and different way to demonstrate lean principles in action in any environment.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2012 – My Flexible Pencil

At the end of the year, John Hunter does a great job of facilitating an annual roundup of business and lean blogs at Curious Cat Management.  The roundup is a review of blogs by other bloggers.  This year I have the honor of participating in the Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.

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A couple of years ago, I met David Kasprzak through blogging.  David is a professional that has worked in large companies throughout his career and recently finished his MBA.  During this time he started his blog, My Flexible Pencil.

David covers a wide range of topics.  He discusses observations of business he has from being with his family, like how helping his son pick something out for show-n-tell was a lesson in teaching people how to develop answers not directing them towards an answer.

David also blogs around business issues like continuous improvement, project management and behavior & culture.  At the beginning of 2012 David had a long series of blogs about ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment).  The topic spurred great conversation from many in lean and ROWE alike.  David wrote a few blogs on the similarities and differences of ROWE and Lean.  Then wrote his own thoughts after hearing both perspectives.  I think it is worth reading and developing your own opinion on the subject.

I read a lot of blogs and respond when I have time to as many as I can, but My Flexible Pencil has caused me to sit back, think and respond more than any other blog.  My Flexible Pencil is a great read.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2012 – Lean Blitz

At the end of the year, John Hunter does a great job of facilitating an annual roundup of business and lean blogs at Curious Cat Management.  The roundup is a review of blogs by other bloggers.  This year I have the honor of participating in the Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.

Lean_Blitz_logo

A blog that I discovered this year was Lean Blitz written by Chad Walters.  Chad is a student of the Toyota Principles and he does a great job of explaining each principle in a separate blog post.  Each post has an example of the principle that can be seen in everyday life.  If you are not familiar with the Toyota Principles I would suggest checking out Chad’s posts on the all 14 Toyota Principles.

Chad uses his business background to write about lean in business like the overproduction Domino’s Pizza has in their stores with all the pre-built pizza boxes.  He also points out how Domino’s can use standardized work toe fold the boxes in the most efficient way like the worker in the TV advertisement.

Chad also shows how the Toyota Principles can help small businesses in a practical way.

A unique perspective that Chad brings is his experience in working with professional sports teams and organizations.  He does a great job of relating the Toyota Principles to happenings in the sporting world.  The Miami Marlins inability to think long-term in order to achieve their goals is a fantastic post about Toyota Principle #1.

Being a very large St. Louis Cardinals fan, I really enjoyed the post about the filth at Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs).  Chad uses data sited from studies and then relates it to having a good 5S program in place and using visual management.  The morale increases everyone is happier.  Is this the reason the Cubs can’t win?

Chad talks about other lean concepts such as long lead times and how sporting organizations are losing revenue due to long lead times.  Texas A&M got off to a great start in football this past season and their quarterback, Johnny Manziel played well enough to be in the discussion as a Heisman finalist as the best college football player.  The university had long lead times on the jerseys for Manziel and ended up leaving a lot of cash on the table and fans unhappy when they couldn’t get one.

Chad has created a unique blog at Lean Blitz.  It is a fun and different way to demonstrate lean principles in action in any environment.

Thanks to A Lean Journey

I wanted to say thanks to Tim McMahon, who runs A Lean Journey blog.

Tim has been a great supporter of Beyond Lean over the last year and has helped to expose us to new and different groups of people.  Yesterday, Tim reviewed Beyond Lean  for the 2011 Curious Cat Annual Management Blog Carnival.

I encourage you to take a look at Tim’s blog.  He is reviewing other great blog sites over the next few days.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2011 – Lean Reflections

This is my final review for this years Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.  I have enjoyed reviewing blogs for John Hunter at Curious Cat Management blog.  The previous blogs I reviewed were:

Final review is the blog Lean ReflectionsKaren Wilhelm is the author of the blog.  Karen and I met last year during the Blog Carnival roundup.  It was her roundup post last year that encouraged me to try new blogs this year.  That led to me discovering Squawk Point and All Things Workplace.  Thanks, Karen!

Karen’s post are thought provoking.  Here Karen raises the question of understanding the brain more might help lead us to understand why people resist change and lean.

This post talks about Temple Grandin and her ability to use visual thinking to see the improvements that are needed in the process flow of the livestock industry.  It stresses the point that we need to pretend we are the product moving through a process.  Be the thing in order to better understand what is happening to the thing.

Karen’s blog is a great read.

Don’t forget to look for more reviews from other bloggers during the Blog Carnival Annual Roundup.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2011 – All Things Workplace

This is my second review for the 2011 Annual Blog Carnival Roundup as part of the Curious Cat Management Blog.  So far I have reviewed:

Today’s focus is on All Things Workplace.  The blog is written by Steve Roesler.  Steve is a leadership coach and has worked with many organizations.

The blog isn’t necessarily about lean, but Steve talks about many things lean thinkers struggle with.  One of Steve’s most recent post talks about ways to be coachable.  He talks about the characteristics of someone who is coachable.  It is a great insight to understand the roadblocks you may have in coaching someone or shine a light on why you may not be receiving coaching very well.

Lean implementers are leaders of change.  We struggle with change management and the human factor involved in wanting to change to new way to do something.  Here Steve talks about how to prepare people for change.

A characteristic of a good lean leader is the ability to keep learning.  In this post, Steve suggests that smart people are people that keep learning that is why they can do so many things.

I encourage you to read Steve’s blog.  There are a lot of subjects related to lean and leadership there.

Blog Carnival Annual Roundup 2011 – Squawk Point

I have the honor of participating in this year’s Blog Carnival Annual Blog Roundup.  The roundup is hosted by John Hunter at the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog.

Today’s blog, Squawk Point, is the first of three blogs I will review.  The blog is hosted by James Lawther.  James is a middle manager that has held many roles within operations.

James approached me earlier this year about his blog.  I am glad he did because I hadn’t seen it before.  James does a very nice job of making his points clearly and with some humor and great analogies.

The blog is split into three categories: Operations Analysis, Process Improvement and Employee Engagement.

Operations Analysis touches on subjects such as Statistical Process Control.  One example is knowing when things have changed.

In Process Improvement, James takes on topics like Man vs. Machine.  When is it alright to ask a machine to do something in place of a man or to ask a man to co something instead of a machine.

James tackles Employee Engagement issues.  A great post was about how to measure employee performance.

If you haven’t read Squawk Point, I encourage you to give it a try.

Article Roundup

In the spirit of other blog sites, especially the Management Carnival, I thought I would share some links to a few blogs that found very interesting over the last month or so.  I hope you enjoy them.

A Tough Obituary to Write by Bill Waddell – This is a different perspective on the passing of Steve Jobs.  This is a point of view I had thought about writing but Bill beat me to the punch and I didn’t want to redo something he had written so well.

Building Your Personal Value Proposition by Bill Barnett – A great post about understanding yourself and what you are interested in.  Use that knowledge to know where you fit in a company and build your personal value.

Encourage Talent If You Want It To Grow by Steve Roesler – Steve hits on some great points to help grow talent through encouragement.  Even when you feel an employee is doing what they should be doing it is good to encourage them.

Building Manager Standard Work by Jamie Flinchbaugh – This blog will link to his full article at Industry Week.  Don’t but a process in place for something that already has a process like check email every day at lunch.

Planning On Not Knowing by David Kasprzak – We won’t always know what do to next but that shouldn’t stop us from planning.  Plan in spots to review and determine what to do next.

Manufacturing Skills Gap or Management Skills Gap by John Hunter – If the people don’t have the manufacturing skills they need is that their fault?  Or do we have a gap in our management skills?

Assembly Mag Thinks Whirlpool is Lean. Really. by Kevin Meyer – This is about Whirlpool and the fake lean.  It hit home because I grew up in Evansville and watch the decline of Whirpool.

My Continuous Improvement: Outside the Lean Circle

In January, Karen Wilhelm did a blog post for John Hunter’s Management Improvement Blog CarnivalIn the post, Karen talked about setting time aside to learn by reading other blogs.

At the end of the post, Karen pointed out, with a fantastic graphic, how much the lean community is circling back around and reviewing itself over and over again.

I was part of Jamie Flinchbaugh’s Blog Carnival for John’s site and I am very appreciative.  I had been blogging for less then a year and it gave Beyond Lean some more exposure.  But, Karen’s post got me thinking about the blogs I read (and still do) and learning.  If I wanted to expand my learning circle I needed to read some blogs that weren’t lean related.

I found some about business and leadership and decided to give them a try.  A few blogs I didn’t find all that interesting so I moved on to others.  I thought I would share some of the blogs with my readers.  If you want to give them a try…great.  If not, no problem.

All Things Workplace by Steve Roesler – A great blog from an executive management consultant.  There are a lot of posts that relate to the respect for people part of lean.  Practical advice for different situations.

My Flexible Pencil by David Kasprzak – His blog tag line is “Observations of workplace behavior with an eye for waste and value….and anything else that comes to mind.”  David mentions waste and value which lean readers are all over but the blog isn’t about lean.  It is great observations of people and behaviors.  David does a great job of giving examples for his personal life to bring the ideas to life and make them hit home.

SmartBlog on Leadership – The posts are from various people on different aspects of leadership and culture.  The site also posts survey results to some interesting questions like “Does your organization have good alignment?”.  There are some interviews with leaders from companies from time to time also.

Seth’s Blog by Seth Godin – Seth has written a few books about marketing and is well known.  I just finally got around to trying his blog.  His blogs are short and interesting.

Some of these may strike a cord with you or they might not.  It can’t hurt to try new blogs and see what learnings we can get from someone else.

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