2009 Carnival of Lean Blogs

It’s time for a quick look back on the year before we slam, lock and bar the door on 2009 and welcome 2010 and the opportunity to demonstrate our learning by not repeating our mistakes. I can’t wait.

Carnival master John Hunter has invited lean bloggers to review the past year’s posts on lean blogs of our choice. Follow this link for a full list of 2009 lean blog carnivals. I have selected three: an old favorite called Daily Kaizen, a new blogging effort by one of my favorite consultants and author / blogger Jamie Flinchbaugh, and a new one called Lean is Good by a trio of bloggers Bruce Baker, Bryan Zeigler and Scott Maruna.
Lean is Good

Reflections on Deming, lean and learning can be found on the Lean is Good blog. The article Hurry Up and Wait! – Muri uses one of the simplest and most effective visuals for conveying that idea that I have seen.
The thoughtful four part series on hoshin kanri a.k.a. policy deployment questions whether SMART goals are really smart, looks at the down-up-down catch ball process and contrasts it to command and control, takes a look at how breakthrough objectives are in fact a build-up of smaller plans, and reflects on the challenges of developing consensus on the plan through catch ball. In an article titled It’s All About the Why, the Other Why we are reminded that “why?” is not only a fried of root cause analysis as in “5 why” but also used in the declarative “this is why” to help people understand purpose.

As importantly we shouldn’t forget to teach the why’s that we do know.

The “lean haiku” is a budding series with two entries. Taken all together with the articles on policy deployment and others on this blog we can start to get a sense of the style and topics of interest of these bloggers. I look forward to more to come from Lean is Good in 2010.
Jamie Flinchbaugh

Jamie Flinchbaugh launched his blog in August 2009 but you wouldn’t guess that from reading his excellent articles. In fact he has been writing articles for other blogs, Lean Assembly magazine and co-authored The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean. I’ve been a fan of Jamie’s writing so it’s great to get a steady dose of it now through is blog. As a recognized industry expert he receives and replies to reader questions on his blog, many of which are among his best posts. Jamie has also been gracious in introducing other lean bloggers on his Follow Friday feature. Rather than link select articles I encourage you to subscribe to Jamie’s blog and then quickly read through the past four months of excellent articles on leadership, developing lean thinking and habits. You will be better off for it.
Daily Kaizen

The Daily Kaizen chronicles not only the development of lean culture at Group Health Cooperative but also the personal journey of learning of the bloggers whoa re also the sensei for GHC. An example of this is Lee Fried’s article Three Ways to Root Cause in which he reveals how his learning of the relationship between problems and standards has grown. Often the posts are very useful and in-depth tips such as Helping Teams Advance One Gemba at a Time. It’s been personally very inspiring for me to visit Group Health several times over the past few years, and I can attest to what Lee writes in Building PDCA into Routine Process:

Overall, as we begin to integrate the PDCA into our daily processes we will greatly increase the number of people that are scientist within the organization. Each team member is really testing a hypothesis with each task they complete and they will constantly be asking “why” something did or did not happen. This is really the foundation for how you create a culture of continuous improvement.

It’s also exciting to see the new sensei at GHC join Lee in blogging, including Erika Fox who puts some deep thought on reward and recognition into good advice in Put Your Money Where Your Improvement Is. Also, the award for longest title of a lean blog post goes to Connor Shea with Considering your clients personality and leadership style to increase engagement & ultimately the improvement that occurs and the title says it all. The “client” is the leader to whom Connor is the sensei, and the key question is

“What lean concept/tool/method would align with this leader’s style and help them gain confidence and interest in becoming a lean leader long after I leave?”

to which he concludes

In some cases they me be itching to jump right into a transformational change. In others, they won’t. If so, your consulting plan will certainly feel like a slower route, but your client and the improvement may go further as a result.

I’m looking forward to more pioneering work and writing about lean management on Daily Kaizen from the growing team at Group Health team.
LSSA

Ron Pereira at the Lean Six Sigma Academy blog wasn’t going to wait for anyone to list the top 10 LSS Academy articles of 2009 so he did it himself. Quite a few of my favorites were in the list. Whether it’s a how-to on creating FMEAs, value stream maps or demonstrating respect for people, Ron tackles it aptly and this is a list I will bookmark for when I need to throw down a Pugh Matrix in 2010.

1 Comment

  1. Jamie Flinchbaugh

    December 30, 2009 - 2:57 am

    Thanks Jon for including me and for your kind words. I’m looking forward to your content in 2010 and beyond.
    Jamie