It’s time to learn how to discuss your improvements with your team, weigh those improve- ments against the eight deadly
wastes and, what I call, the improvement trident. You want to find creative
ways to talk about continuous improvement for two reasons: First, it is
important to create a story around the
improvements that have been achieved.
Since the beginning of time, people
have loved stories, especially ones that
flatter their individual effort and ingenuity. Stories keep the mind engaged,
opening the fast lane to our memory
banks. Second, learning requires
repetition. But repetition alone can get
very boring, fast. Discussing your improvements around a few key principles
keeps it interesting while employing
repetition to reinforce the learning
process. This technique is also going
to be the foundation of your morning
meeting (more on that later).
Carts show the way
The best way to see how this all works
is to walk through an improvement
scenario for each. I will share a recent
example from my factory involving an
improvement to the carts we use to
move doors through the production
process. We use two different height
flat carts. The taller carts would get
top-heavy and there was a risk of tipping during the move to shipping. The
by Brad Cairns
email@example.com LEAN JOURNEYS
Engage for continuous improvement!
Example of improving carts shows how improvement process works.
; Want more? Read Brad Cairns columns at
Brad Cairns is the senior principal at The Center for Lean
Learning as well as running a woodworking business called
Best Damn Doors in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, where
he puts lean thinking into action every day. You can reach
Brad at 519-494-2883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before improvement, the door carts were an unbalanced Tetris puzzle, that wasn’t
safe or efficient.