Tom Pyzdek’s picture

By Tom Pyzdek

The following personal stories concern vehicles produced by the automaker that invented lean and is world-famous for its efficient manufacturing operations:

My old SUV’s bright headlights don’t work. When I hit the switch for the brights, the headlights turn off completely. This will cost me $400 to fix because it requires replacing an entire steering wheel subassembly.

Scott Paton’s picture

By Scott Paton

It’s that time of year when we look back at what we have accomplished, at what we’re thankful for, and what lies ahead in the year to come. What a year 2008 has been: skyrocketing (and plummeting) fuel prices, an election that seemed like it would never end, a flood of foreclosures, a bunch of bank failures, and a sinking stock market.

Scott Paton’s picture

By Scott Paton

I am a creature of habit. I have favorites (authors, foods, directors, friends, family members, books—not necessarily in that order) that I like to revisit every so often. This is particularly true when I’m stressed out. I reread The Hobbit and Siddhartha every few years, and, of course, I have my annual So I Married an Axe Murderer movie festival.

H. James Harrington’s picture

By H. James Harrington

One of the major causes of TQM and Six Sigma failures is selecting the wrong project. This selection is probably one of the most important decisions that management can make to support the improvement process.

There are many approaches that can be used to select projects. They range from management intuition to complex analyses of how the processes affect business opportunities. I will show you a weighted selection approach that is effective, using a health care example.

Jack E. West’s picture

By Jack E. West

Does ISO 9001 require controlled processes for improvement? By now, I think most users would agree that it does. The requirements for that controlled process are simple to describe. They start with planning.

H. James Harrington’s picture

By H. James Harrington

I’m often asked, “Of all the stakeholders, which one is the most important? Which one is the most valuable resource that the organization must be sure is satisfied?” Let’s look at who the stakeholders are.

Investors

Management

Employees

Customers

Suppliers

Employees’ families

Community

Jack E. West’s picture

By Jack E. West

Mike Richman’s picture

By Mike Richman

Well, well, well… 2009 is upon us. That sure happened fast. What happened to 2008? For that matter, what happened to 2007, or 1995, or 1978? It’s true what those Nationwide Insurance ads say: “Life comes at you fast.” (See how well advertising works?)

H. James Harrington’s picture

By H. James Harrington

The most important requirement for actuating the improvement process of your management system is to have your full management team participating before the nonmanagement employees become involved in the process. Management must be totally dedicated and actively participating in the improvement process before and after it is presented to the employees. If the process is to work, management must set the standards.

Heero Hacquebord’s default image

By Heero Hacquebord

 

Decision-making with respect to improving performance is a matter of prediction. So is leadership. For example, was the energy crisis a rational, predictive event 30 years ago? Or was it random, unpredictable, and unpreventable? If it’s the latter, then we must believe that we are morons with no theory, knowledge, or predictive capability, and are powerless to influence our environment or future. No reasonable person accepts that.