Volume 12 Number 6 - June 3, 2014


The Finish Strong® monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.

These brief articles, list of events, and amended quote will make you think.
Go ahead: test us


Whether it's a conversation about operational process metrics or Leader Standard Work (a key component of a lean management system) I frequently hear the same question: "Why should I write by hand? Computer screens are visible too. I carry my laptop with me wherever I go."

Consider: what are you trying to accomplish with the activities I encourage you to document manually?

1) Operational process metrics must be timely, easily visible at the point of use, owned by the people responsible for them, and a contributor to problem solving activities. If they are not, what value do they bring?

2) The same is true of Leader Standard Work (LSW). LSW is one of 3 parts of Lean Management system. The others are Daily Accountability and Visual Metrics. It takes the integration of all three aspects to effectively manage a lean operation. Purposes of LSW include providing a system of PDCA from which we can identify gaps and then learn, and unwavering focus on those things believed most important to organizational improvement. Unlike standard work for operators, it is very much a working document, updated throughout the day. Every day.

Which is more likely to support the necessary cultural components of Lean Management: documents kept in a computer, or handwritten/printed information that can be readily seen, notes and all, by anyone whenever it is needed? Unless you are the owner, your daily LSW will be reviewed regularly by your boss and shared with others. If you are the owner, I encourage you to identify someone to jointly review yours frequently as well.

To those of you who insist on computer-housed process metrics and LSW, please ensure that the methodology you use accomplishes the intent. Timely, visible, daily accountability and ingrained PDCA are critical to excellence. Use whatever methods best meet those requirements.


The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (www.ame.org) is now hosting a job posting service. The hiring company writes the job description and controls how resumes are submitted. Check it out on the AME home page: www.ame.org Finding the right people is the first step in building the workforce you want.


The Starting Pistol:
John Ruskin:
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"It is the responsibility of leadership to ensure that work within in the company builds better people. That is the true meaning of "respect for people.""

If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations, let us know.

Your best interest is our best interest.


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