It’s impossible to sum up all the great content we covered with our Master of Business Operational Excellence and MBOE Healthcare students on campus last week, so let’s settle on some worthwhile tidbits that could help you in your organization:

Share with the rest of the class. Drew Locher, Shingo Prize winning author, challenged the class by asking, “What do managers know that the employees don’t know? And why can’t you share this information with the employees so that they can make better decision using this information?”

Lean works anywhereTaking organizations in the service industry lean is a challenge (remember “Airplanes aren’t cars!”?), but Locher insists it’s not only possible but important because these companies deal directly with customers. Using visual management principles, such as a call-center signal light when an employee needs help, can increase productivity, communication and morale. Locher even helped a company that makes graphics for CDs, driving home the point that lean can work in creative processes as well.

In the MBOE program, Ellis New with his usual energetic and passionate style emphasized the importance of Total Preventive Maintenance. What point is there in waiting for the equipment to breakdown and then wait for the service people come fix it? Would you fight an 18 feet alligator or rather squish their eggs? In other words how long will you wait to fix the problem? The students were trying to find the answers to these questions while they were being a part of TPM at Tigerpoly, a supplier to major car companies and one of our of gemba learning sites.

…especially in health care. MBOE Healthcare students visited Akron Children’s Hospital to learn about visual management and its application in health-care settings. Anne Musitano, a process improvement expert at the hospital, MBOE grad and 2012 IQPCfinalist, organized an action-packed day for the students, having them observe daily huddles and visual management practices in several departments. Students also got to speak to area managers and understand the joys and pains of implementing changes in their departments.

Ann Musitano

MBOE grad Ann Musitano greets the latest health-care cohort at Akron Children’

Are you S.M.A.R.T.? File this acronym away, per coach Gary Butler: Metrics won’t work unless they’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable/actionable, Relevant/reliable and Timely. I also spent time with senior lecturer and COE Executive Director Peg Pennington discussing measurement systems, particularly the concept of Gage R&R. This helps you determine if your measurement system is repeatable (similar readings with the same operator) and reproducible (similar readings with two different operators).

Tune in for our students’ return to Fisher in early May.



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