The Downside of Six Sigma | Don Peppers | LinkedIn Pulse

"Revered for decades as one of the world’s most innovative companies, 3M lost its innovative mojo when it began using Six Sigma to try to improve its operational efficiency. James McNerney, the CEO named in 2000, was a Jack Welch protégé from GE. He introduced the Six Sigma discipline as soon as he took the helm of the firm, streamlining work processes, eliminating 10% of the workforce, and earning praise (initially) from Wall Street, as operating margins grew from 17% in 2001 to 23% by 2005.

But when McNerney tried to apply the Six Sigma discipline to 3M’s research and development processes it led to a dramatic fall-off in the number of innovative products developed by the company during those years."

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.linkedin.com

Michel Baudin's comments:

Don Peppers describes "eliminating 10% of the work force" as part of implementing the "Six Sigma discipline," but I don't recall seeing anything on that subject when learning about Six Sigma.

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Three Ways Big Data Helps Manufacturers Think Bigger | Industry Week

"Here are three ways Big Data is helping manufacturers think bigger than ever before:

  1. Monitoring Product Quality Proactively
  2. Seeing the Future—and Changing It
  3. Getting Customers into the Data-Collection Game"
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.industryweek.com

Michel Baudin's comments:

Manufacturers already collect data by the gigabyte, including metadata, plans and schedules, status, and history. It's not big data. It's tiny when compared to the daily terabytes generated by transactions on Amazon or eBay, but it is still ample fodder for analysis, that is woefully underutilized.

The current databases contain information about trends, cyclical variations, product mix, and quality issues that most manufacturers do not currently extract. In such a context, I see an effort at improving analytics on existing data as a more relevant challenge than multiplying the quantity of collected data.

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Tesla Plant Visit And Non-Disclosure Agreement

Before we entered the Tesla plant, tour guide Adam Slusser ran through the stipulations of the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) we had just signed: we couldn't take pictures, draw sketches, or even post accounts of the visit on social media. To honor this NDA, I will therefore limit myself to quoting what others have already posted elsewhere.

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Separating Human Work From Machine Work

Most of the work we do today involves interactions with machines. It is true not only in manufacturing but in many other business processes. The machinist works with machining centers, the pilot with an airplane, the surgeon with a laparoscopy robot, the engineer with a variety of computer systems,..., not to mention the automatic appliances that relieve us of household chores. In fact, I think that being good at working with machines is so essential that I wrote a book about it. For the short version, see the following A3/tabloid infographic. To enlarge it, click on the picture, and then on "View full size" in the bottom right-hand corner.

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The A3 Report - Part 3: Limitations and Common Mistakes | Christoph Roser 

Even if the A3 report is sometimes paraded around like a sacred relic, it is in my view only a minor tool. The main work is still identifying and solving the problem. If I have the choice between a sloppy root cause analysis on an A3 report and a good one on the back of an used envelope, I would go with the envelope any time. Using an A3 report will offer no advantage at all if the content is garbage!

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.allaboutlean.com

Michel Baudin's comments:

This is the 3rd post by Christoph Roser about A3. I only wrote two, What is an A3? and Beyond A3s. I agree with him that it is a minor tool, but our perspectives differ on details. Christoph sees A3 as primarily for problem-solving; I see them as a communication tool with many more applications, in particular work instructions. And Pascal Dennis likes to use them in Hoshin Planning/Strategy Deployment.

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"Smart" Part Numbers Strike Again: Wrong Part Shipped

I own two dishwashers in two homes, different models from the same brand, bought in the same store, and both on a service contract. For the first one, the model number  is SHE55R56UC; for the second one, SHE65T55UC. Today, we needed help on the first one, but customer service shipped us parts for the second one, which the repair technician discovered when unpacking them.

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Sales, Marketing, and Manufacturing Improvement

The following reader question popped up in another blog:

"Does Lean apply to sales? We’re trying to introduce Lean thinking throughout the company and have found very little on how to lean the sales department."

The response was a set of tactical recommendations on the behavior of sales reps with customers. Strategically, however, you need to think about the role of Sales within the business. It is not just to provide a flow of orders every day. Marketing is often mentioned in the same breath as Sales, with good reason, because sales are the business's best source of market intelligence. Continue reading

Giving Credit To The Precursors Of The Lean Movement

There is a famous saying that there is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit. Fittingly, we don't know who said it first, and Quote Investigator found it attributed in various forms to seven different authors. One of them, Harry Truman, had the idea of helping Europe rebuild after World War II but credited George C. Marshall with the plan, and it helped make it pass through congress. However, others who live by their wits as discoverers, inventors, or authors, cannot be so magnanimous, because their intellectual property is their livelihood.

In a blog post from yesterday, Bob Emiliani said "We owe a debt of gratitude to the MIT researchers who introduced the world to Lean, led in part by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Their work changed lives in important ways, ranging from developing a stronger, more insightful intellect, useful in all facets of life, to embarking on challenging new careers and improving processes in a wide range of industries."

It's a fact that The Machine That Changed The World introduced the word "Lean," but not the content it covered. I think we do owe a debt of gratitude to researchers like Robert E. Cole for Work, Mobility, and Participation (1979), Richard Schonberger for Japanese Manufacturing Techniques (1982), Robert Hall for Zero Inventories (1983), Kiyo Suzaki for The New Manufacturing Challenge (1987), and Norman Bodek for organizing the translation of many Japanese classics on the subject during that same period at Productivity Press, particularly from Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo.

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How is Lean Different From Taylorism? | Michael Ballé | LEI

"They are completely different indeed. They differ in their purpose, their practice and their outcomes. Lean is about self-reflection and seeking smarter, less wasteful dynamic solutions together. Taylorism is about static optimization of work imposed by 'those who know' on 'those who do.'"

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.lean.org

 

Michel Baudin's comments:

Yes, "Scientific Management" was just a marketing label for theories that weren't truly scientific but were instead based on a simplistic view of human nature. And Taylor's stopwatch time studies were just aimed at increasing production at every operation with no consideration of flow. I would, however, ask for a more accurate and complete story

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Investing In The Future|Bodo Wiegand | Wiegand's Watch

Bodo WiegandBodo Wiegand heads the Lean Management Institute, which is the German affiliate of the Lean Enterprise Institute. In his latest newsletter, on Wiegand’s Watch, he discusses the case of a company he recently visited that is rushing to invest €12.3M ($13.4M) in a new warehouse and new machines but "doesn't have the resources" to improve current operations.

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