Tales from the pyramid – the ivory tower

In some organization, top management is cut from its base, managing from remote offices and linked to operations and organization's real life through reports, dashboards and KPIs. I've met some of those managers brilliantly talking the talk but seldom, if ever, walking it. If they would - this is what they did with me - … Continue reading Tales from the pyramid – the ivory tower

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Is 3D printing the ultimate postponement? – Part one

Imagine the first habitable base on mars. Your challenge is to pack the first cargo spaceship with all the necessary for the staff to face all maintenance issues, until the next cargo spaceship can lift up, say three months later. Chances are you’ll include a 3D printer and enough of printer’s raw material, simply because … Continue reading Is 3D printing the ultimate postponement? – Part one

Benchmarking is only trouble!

It happens periodically. When managers are faced with improvement challenge, they ask for benchmarks. Not because they’re eager to take it on competition but to check if by chance they’re not already better or at least good enough, thus escape the challenge. And this is only the beginning with trouble about Benchmarking. Benchmarking It is … Continue reading Benchmarking is only trouble!

Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

In a previous post titled “How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?” my prospective thinking was all about technological disruptions and the impact on companies. The same question is valid for the future of Lean. If as I assume much of the non-added value can be taken out of actual … Continue reading Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

Lean in digital age: sensors and data

In near future, technology and especially connected objects - smart things stuffed with sensors and so-called wearable devices - will supercharge Lean improvements. One example of such already used device is given in a Mark Graban podcast about Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety. In this podcast (Episode #205), Mark’s guest Joe Schnur, VP Business Development … Continue reading Lean in digital age: sensors and data

Tales from the Pyramid – the hole in the pyramid

No senior manager ever denied his/her organization does not suffer a hole in the pyramid. I coined this expression (originally in French) after seeing it in all companies I visited as a consultant. Pyramid with a hole The hole in the pyramid is a management vacuum left by middle managers who do not (fully) take … Continue reading Tales from the Pyramid – the hole in the pyramid

Tales from the Pyramid – What versus how

Newly promoted team leaders or even managers do not always know how to behave in their new role, especially those climbing up the ladder from operations and technical backgrounds. What these new managers do not always understand is the sudden switch from orders to carry out to empowerment with more autonomy and decisions to take. … Continue reading Tales from the Pyramid – What versus how

Should robots look human to be likeable?

I wonder why so many robots projects are based on human-like androids. The human body is a great system with some mechanical complexity, but also many limitations. Thus, copying the human body for robots may end up in sub-optimized and over complex systems. I assume the idea about having robots around us as cybernetic domestic … Continue reading Should robots look human to be likeable?

VSM Pitfall: unnecessary process

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is probably the main analysis tool and the most used in the lean toolbox. Easy to understand and handle, VSM is the starting point of improvement workshops and kaizen events. It helps focusing on wastes and improvement potentials in any process. The ease of use and popularity of VSM make them … Continue reading VSM Pitfall: unnecessary process

Five good reasons to gemba walk

1. See what changed Manufacturing shop floor or administrative processes are like gardens: things develop by themselves, not always the way it was expected. If you have a garden or even a pot with a plant, you may have experienced that regardless to the effort you pay to grow something, it does not always grow … Continue reading Five good reasons to gemba walk