Catchball

Catchball is the second phase of the hoshin kanri process (see my previous post for discussion of some of the terms). Management in Lean has a focus on aligning improvement efforts with priorities; mobilising your whole organisation to produce improvements; embedding and maintaining improvements, and creating a situation in which people feel able to improve…

‘Problems are treasure’

Mark Graban, a long-standing Lean advocate and author, has an excellent podcast, which has over 200 editions. In a recent podcast edition, he re-posted a recording of his interview with a health care technology programme. In the course of the interview, he commented that ‘problems are treasure’.  This chimed with me. I’ve heard this said as ‘problems are gold’…

Who Produces Change?

I had the chance recently to talk about Lean to medical students visiting from another European country. A colleague delivered a good introduction to Lean, focusing on waste, 5S and quality improvement science. Some of the students were clearly unconvinced. My colleague hit the nail on the head by asking the students if they would…

Involving Doctors in Improvement

Involving doctors in improvement work can be……difficult. Professor Michael West, an organisational psychologist, touched on this at a presentation at the 2013 Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management conference. West has worked with colleagues on an enormous survey of culture and behaviour in the National Health Service in England. The full text of a published summary…

Organisational Support For Lean

There are many examples of organisations that have ‘tried Lean’ and found it wanting. There is a fairly typical industrial example here, and a discussion of problems in health care at this link. Zoe Radnor, of Cardiff Business School, undertook a series of case studies in health service settings in the UK, including a mental…