Most recent articles
Training Within Industry (TWI) is often referred to as the forerunner of contemporary lean thinking, being developed in the US over 70 years ago to support the war effort. It is still practised by Toyota and in recent years there has been a renewed interest and a resurgence in the application of TWI methods, led notably by the TWI Institute. TWI originally aimed to rapidly train and develop new staff in order to increase in productivity, quality and occupational safety. It included the development of three managerial skills, considered necessary for leaders and workers. This article focuses on the Job Instruction element of TWI, which helps connect the written work standard with the actual practice on the shop floor and teaches the technique of delivering effective on-the-job training that ensures people reliably perform a task exactly the way it should be done to get consistently good results.
It can be argued that THE core concept of lean thinking is flow and that all the various continuing improvement approaches and methodologies do, at some point, focus on the need to make processes, information, material, people, decisions, projects etc, flow in order to speed things up, get rid of bottlenecks and waste, shorten lead times, and so on. Yet our business decisions are often driven by a traditional ‘economies of scale’ mentality that can be counter-productive to achieving lean goals. In this article Sarah Lethbridge considers how we should consider Economies of Scale against Economies of Flow when taking a lean perspective.
This article discusses the case of the application of lean thinking in Clinical Pathology – specifically in histocompatibility and Immunogenetics in the UK’s NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) organisation. It’s not only an excellent example of the application of lean in a broad healthcare environment, but it also demonstrates how lean can be used in highly technical and ‘non-traditional’ contexts, where core principles are used to guide improvements using a variety of tools, to deliver greater value. It demonstrates the importance of adapting the implementation approach to the fit the needs of the service under consideration and the need to ensure a human dimension is built in to the programme.
Implementing Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is all about change and resistance to change. It requires a lot of planning and usually introduces heavy workflow changes for every person in your organisation. For that reason, the implementation process is much smoother when you have capable employees that understand the quality of life improvements that TPM brings to both them personally, as well as their organisation as a whole. TPM a complex process that can take years to fully implement, so you cannot expect to see immediate results. Nonetheless, it greatly pays off in the long run if you are able to overcome all of the challenges discussed in this article.
When it comes to education, everyone learns exactly the same way, right? Not quite. While the terms “auditory” and “visual” learners have become commonly understood, there are many other types of learning styles and while most people cross the lines of learning styles and can benefit from different types of learning, most have a dominant learning style that helps them grasp and remember concepts more easily. Understanding and adapting to the different learning styles is crucial for anyone involved in any form of instruction, whether that’s teaching in a classroom, in the workplace or even in the virtual world. In this article, Brianna Hansen of Cornerstone University considers the implications.
Gamification is about making something considered tedious into a game, tapping into people’s natural inclination for competition, achievement, status and self-expression. It is now well established and is expected to become even more popular in coming years. Examples include points, badges and leaderboards to encourage competitions with other “players” and even the use of “likes” in social media. The idea is that by integrating game mechanics into something that already exists, you can motivate participation, improve productivity, engagement and loyalty, whether its related to your website, social media presence, day-to-day operations, customer engagement and so on. This article from Tenfold discusses Gamification trends and its reported benefits and suggests it could have a significant impact not only in areas like staff engagement, motivation and collaboration, but also critically in improvement and business transformation.