Statistical measurements, usually called key performance indicators (KPIs) are found on pretty much every shop floor and in every company. Many management decisions are made based on KPI. Unfortunately, these numbers often are not reliable at all.
I occasionally watch the reality show Undercover Boss, where top executives work undercover in their own companies. Over and over again I see these managers making the same mistake: They have no understanding whatsoever of what is really happening on the front lines. It is a typical case of not going to the shop floor often enough, or in lean speak, no genchi genbutsu (Japanese for “go and see”). So, <dramatic voice> Why do bosses all make the same mistake? Will they ever learn? Will you enjoy this post? See for yourself in the post below! </dramatic voice>. Continue reading Common Mistakes of Top Executives – A look at “Undercover Boss”→
There is an excellent and highly sarcastic video around by Prof. Dr. Peter Kruse, professor of organizational psychology at the University of Bremen. In this, he describes his Eight Rules for Total Gridlock in the Organization (8 Regeln für den totalen Stillstand). Since these eight rules are quite relevant to the lean change process, I have transcribed, translated, and subtitled the German video for you into English. Continue reading Eight Rules for Total Gridlock in the Organization (Video)→
For larger improvement projects with a dedicated project team, there is frequently a “war room,” a conference room where all the project-related information and performance measures are kept. The name sounds cool and gives a certain air of focus to the project.
With the end of last year, Daimler stopped selling its flagship vehicle, Maybach. I would like to use this opportunity to talk about the danger and harm to your company by increasing the number of product types sold. As an illustrative (and expensive) example, I would like to split the total cost of the Maybach in its individual parts (as far as I can estimate them). My hope is that this motivates you to reduce, or at least no longer increase, the number of variants in your product portfolio. Continue reading A Lean Obituary for Maybach – A Cautionary Tale About Cost of Complexity→