You probably hate long drudging hours working in the office and feeling really worn out at the end of the day. Maybe you’re sitting in an office working right now (and of course your reading my blog means you are working 😉 ), knowing that you will be worn out at the end of the day. This post is especially for you, looking at work hours and productivity. The good news is: Less is more, but don’t overdo it!
In my last post I looked at the span of control. This is very related to the workload of the supervisor. Hence in this post I would like to discuss how to adjust the supervisor workload. Usually, this is to reduce the workload, as most shop-floor supervisors are in my opinion overworked and have no time left for improvement. In some cases, however, you may have a situation where you want to give the rare underworked supervisor more work. Most of the approaches presented will work in both directions. Let’s look at some ideas:
Pretty much all companies are based on a hierarchical structure. One superior manages multiple subordinates. The question is: How many subordinates should be managed by a superior? This is also called the span of control. This depends on a number of factors. Let’s have a look at efficient group sizing.
Twenty-five years ago today, William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) passed away. He greatly influenced the management of quality in Japan, where he is still revered as one of the great gurus in manufacturing. Through his influence on Toyota, his ideas are now common in the lean world. Time to look back at his life.
A lot of lean problem solving requires creativity. There are many creativity techniques available to help generate ideas for problem solving. In my last post I presented brainstorming, which is a freewheeling creativity technique. In this post I will show you some creativity techniques that have a more structured approach. These include mind maps and fishbone diagrams. Both can be used in groups, but they are also helpful if you need to tackle problems on your own.
But what about the people who prevent the need of a hero? What about the people that make sure the disaster never happens? What kind of people do you really need in your company?
Like most companies, Toyota conducts an annual evaluation of the performance of their employees. Recently I got a chance to look at these evaluation sheets and take notes. There are some surprising differences in the evaluation by Toyota in comparison to the evaluation by most other companies.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Japanese word monozukuri (sometimes written as 物作り, but most often written as ものづくり). Literally translated, it means to make (zukuri) things (mono). Yet, there is so much meaning lost in translation. A better translation would be “manufacturing; craftsmanship; or making things by hand.” However, this translation also does not give justice to the weight and influence this idea has in Japan. Let me take you on a tour of the Japanese culture of monozukuri.