Conducting Observations in Clinical Areas

I’m going to start a series of posts on the type of observations that can be useful in Lean work, and on the forms that are often used to collect and display the information. In advance of that, I want to write about observation etiquette. In an ideal state, everyone in a work area knows…

Supermarkets and Lean

Supermarkets turn up in Lean descriptions from time to time. Taiichi Ohno is often said to have come up with the idea for kanbans after seeing an American supermarket. Other authors suggest that Ohno had not been to the US at that time, and had the idea after reading about supermarkets, rather than seeing one.…

Bypass and Baton Pass Zones

Flow is a key issue in Lean services. Moving away from batching and towards one piece flow is a good place to start. This is often combined with levelling. In levelling you smooth flow and  even out the peaks and troughs in demand. In effect you convert uneven demand in to level operations. This can…

How to Calculate Takt Time in Healthcare

Takt time is the beat of a service – the overall rate at which it needs to function to keep up with demand. Calculating takt time can be tricky if you haven’t done it before. This post describes how to work it out, step by step. Step One:  Work out the service demand What is…