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Credit: IBM Curiosity Shop

Douglas C. Fair
Plant-floor quality issues tend to focus on a company’s technical resources. When products fall out of spec, alarms sound and all hands are immediately on deck to fix things. Despite large...
    To meet the 2018 deadline for becoming certified to ISO 9001:2015, organizations are scrambling to overhaul their quality management systems. One major revision to ISO 9001 is the requirement to identify, evaluate, and address risks. Unfortunately, a tool most appropriate for these actions has...
    Many of us are familiar with the concept of the Ohno Circle, innovated by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota during the 1940s. While familiarity with the technique and the goals it sets to accomplish is one thing, how many of us have actually participated? The surprising answer is… probably all of us, in a...
    Lean thinking has taken its rightful place in the effort to improve efficiency in manufacturing. However, it isn’t fulfilling its potential in many areas, most notably with knowledge workers. This is due to a fundamental flaw in how lean is presented and utilized. With a better constructed...
    In part one of “New Spin on the ‘Stand in a Circle’ Exercise,” I described how Taiichi Ohno, the creator of the Toyota Production System, used the “Stand in a Circle” exercise to help managers identify waste in their operations.  During this exercise Ohno would take a manager or...

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