Jon Miller

Total 1431 Posts

Better Business Processes through ECRSA

I came across my old friend Ecrsa while working on some teaching videos for our Business Process Mapping.  She’s actually an industrial engineering acronym, ECRS. It stands for Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange, Simplify, with the addition of Automate. ECRSA helps us think through ways to improve our business processes after we

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What’s in the Continuous Improvement Attic?

Whether we’re talking about houses, management systems, or vacation plans, it’s almost always a good idea to build from the foundation up. Even when we think we already have a firm foundation, it’s worth checking before we attempt to build upwards and set additional burden onto it. Many organizational transformations

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How to Think about Zero

For the past few months, businesses have grappled with the question of how to operate without its employees, customers and suppliers breathing the same air. As we enter the summer, professional sports leagues must figure out how it will safely operate. Looking ahead to the fall, many of us ask

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5S and Five More Working from Home Hacks

For many knowledge workers it looks like working from home may be here to stay for a while. Some have found that working from home has improved productivity, due to time saved not commuting or other reasons. For others, the home environment hasn’t been as productive. One of the biggest

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Six-Month Reflection Questions, Adjusted

I’m in the habit of looking back every six months, asking myself a few questions, and setting intentions for the future. In Lean terminology this is known as reflection, or hansei. January through June 2020 will go down in history as a period of disrupted routines, adjusted relationships and resources,

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Better Problem Solving with Empathy Maps

Maybe things have always been this way. But it seems like we are increasingly shouting at each other rather than working things out. How should we respond to a pandemic? How can we revive the economy? What to do about police brutality? What about climate change? For any large and

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Towards Non-scale Management

People think Taiichi Ohno’s book Toyota Production is about TPS. It’s not. It’s even arguable whether he ever envisioned the Toyota method as a system or set out to build one. There is no native word in Japanese for “system”. He was even reluctant to label what started as the

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Lean Thinking for Solving Systemic Problems

People are marching worldwide in protest of police violence. They are demanding wide-ranging changes to law enforcement and criminal justice. This is bringing the systemic problem of institutional racism into mainstream consciousness. Systemic problems persist not due to a lack of effort or concern but often due to misdirected efforts.

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Containment at the Source

The past few months have required us to rethink some long-held norms. What jobs are essential? How can we learn, work and play without meeting face to face? What’s the true cost of global supply chains? How tightly do we need to adhere to the genchi genbutsu principle? Why bother

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