Friday, May 4, 2012

Lean, Fast, No-Frill Meetings!

None of your continuous improvement activities should ever be done in a vacuum.  Show me a company where people are together solving problems several times a week and I'll show you a SMART company.

Conventional companies have comfortable conference rooms with high back chairs, and water pitchers on doilies. this is where "administrative assistants" plan meetings on the company Outlook calender. People show up on time, some run late, others are held up to do some firefighting somewhere. Once the meeting starts, which is after we discuss the Mets, or American Idol, then we get to the work of figuring out why we're having a meeting.

 Lean companies do meetings differently. The place and time is determined by the A3 team. At GEMBA, right after break. Whatever. No Outlook, No Powerpoints. No ccs or bccs. They are coordinated not weeks or days, but hours or minutes in advance. The A3 itself is the ticket to admission, as well as the agenda. A3 meetings are usually done standing up, on the factory floor, and are never over 30 minutes long. The average length of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of A3 meetings I've been involved in is probably less than 10 minutes. 

This includes the get togethers between EACH project (A3) leader and the LEAN Champion or Operations Manager that happen a few times per week

When the DMAIC has been done, and the A3 project is ready to be closed, people get together again, People teach their peers what they learned and what they changed. In 10-20 minutes.

"With all of these get togethers, how do people have TIME to do their real work?" I WANT everyone working ON (vs. IN) the business as much as possible to free up MORE time to make more improvements. Don't forget, ALL of our processes are 90+% chock full of non-value added activity. So let's spend at least 10% of our time going after it!! 

1 comment:

  1. I am a veteran of being involved in the kind of meetings you described. The ones involving fancy power points, cushy boardrooms and outlook appointments. I look forward to jumping back into the fray and creating a culture of trust and execution where I can lead LEAN meetings such as the ones you described. I enjoyed your post today. Thanks Bill!