Want to lend a hand at COE’s ‘Leading Through Excellence’ summit?

With less than two months to go before the Center for Operational Excellence stages its first-ever multi-day summit, we’re on the lookout for undergraduate and graduate students who want to be a part of the event.

Leading Through Excellence COE summit 2013Up for grabs are multiple two-hour volunteer slots at the Leading Through Excellence event, which takes place April 10-12. We expect this summit to draw hundreds of mid-level and higher-ranking operations professionals, and we need motivated students to help –

  • Staff the check-in / registration desk
  • Ride along during plant tours
  • Introduce professors and visiting experts during break-out sessions
  • Assist with audiovisual needs during presentations
  • Help attendees as a greeter / way-finder

– among other tasks. For students, this is a great way to help with a major event for the Fisher College of Business and network with professionals in companies constantly seeking their next great recruits. Also: Free shirt!

If you’re a graduate student at Fisher, check out our posting on the hub. Undergrads should e-mail Anirud Varadraj at varadraj_1@fisher.osu.edu.

Ohio State president, Momentive CEO to speak at COE’s April summit

E. Gordon Gee

Case studies. Plant tours. Simulations. Bestselling The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg.

The list of reasons you should sign up for COE’s first-ever Leading Through Excellence summit is already long. We’re going to add a few more reasons, and one of them is none other than the bow tie-clad leader of our esteemed institution.

COE has booked Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee for an appearance on Thursday, April 11, at our summit. He’ll be speaking in the afternoon amid our triple threat of breakout sessions. Before that, however, you’ll also get to hear a special address from the chief of one of the 50 largest private companies in the nation: Momentive Performance Materials Holdings CEO Craig Morrison.

Craig Morrison

These are great additions to an already stellar lineup. Gee oversees six campuses, 65,000 students and 48,000 faculty and staff and is one of the most highly respected leaders in American higher education. Morrison led the 2002 effort to combine the former Borden Chemical with three other companies into Hexion, one of the nation’s largest specialty chemical makers. After merging with its sister company in 2010, Momentive as it’s known today emerged and has grown to a nearly $8 billion organization, dwarfing its size a decade ago.

Both of these men will be at our summit to talk about the crucial role leadership and problem-solving play in the success of your organization.

You can read more about the summit here, but trust me on this – just register.

MBOE recap: The K-word

You’ve probably heard the word “kaizen” used by organizations that have recently started their lean journey or even have been on it for a while. If you have, it’s possible the term was being misused, says Beau Keyte, Shingo Prize-winning author of The Complete Lean Enterprise and a guest lecturer for our MBOE program.

For many, Keyte says, Kaizen is an event. Really, it’s more like a small, reversible experiment you are conducting with a team in your organization to improve the processes. It’s not how many days you spend doing the experiment but how you actually go about doing it. What is the specific outcome you are expecting? Are you going change just the way you work or how you manage the work as well? Do you have the right people on the team? It’s important, Keyte says, to make sure the right people (operators) are doing the thinking and others are not doing the thinking for the operators.

Keyte suggested the following approach to running an experiment:

  • Develop a theory about what you expect to happen (Grasp the situation)
  • Develop a way to test your theory (Plan)
  • Run the test and observe the result (Do)
  • Analyze the results (Check)
  • Confirm (or reject) your theory (Act)

MBOE recap: Lessons from the pharmacy

Value stream mapping has been widely used in the manufacturing industry to understand flow. Our MBOE students learned how value stream mapping can be effectively used in a pharmacy setting using a case based on Giant Eagle’s pharmacy, authored by Gary Butler, pictured.

One of the many things that the case addresses is the question that commonly comes up when mapping a value stream in a service industry: Variation in how customers come in. There are peak periods and then there are low periods.

How do you then calculate the demand and takt time? When you draw the current state value stream map, it’s not surprising to see multiple takt times: Shorter during busy times of the day and longer during the slower periods.

In health-care settings it’s very common to have multiple people with varying skills performing various tasks in the process. A value stream can give you the metrics to calculate their utilization, which can help you understand how to allocate resources so that every resource can spend their time on only those activities based on their expertise that add value to their customers.

MBOE recap: Learning from observing

With the theory of value stream mapping internalized, our MBOE program’s health-care cohort traveled to Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center while the industry cohort headed to Center for Operational Excellence member Tosoh USA Inc.  A key step before launching a value stream mapping exercise is to go to the gemba. You can’t really map a value stream unless you’ve seen the process and have the relevant data, and you can’t do it accurately without the people who are a part of the process.

MBOE students value-stream mapping following a visit to Wexner Medical Center

Legend has it that Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, had his engineers stand inside a circle for eight hours to observe the process. There is a lot of learning that results from just observing. Once you understand how the process flows you go speak with the people who do the work. Share your findings with them. Ask them to validate the findings. Ask them why they do what you observed. Note the issues they point out and ask them what would make the process better and why.

On the hospital gemba, students went to three different areas: Outpatient endoscopy, inpatient endoscopy and Invasive Prep and Recovery (IPR). Ryan Haley, Peg Pennington, Jill Treece, Jason Swartz and Tim Nelson were key in assisting.

The biggest hurdle in getting started with the value stream map is selecting the correct group of product or services to represent on a single flow map. For example, in IPR, the manager was interested in understanding the flow of EP (Electrophysiology) patients. Within this group there were multiple procedures, such as ablation (that took the longest to perform and recover) and cardioversion (the shortest procedure to perform and recover). There are many more within that range. What procedure should one focus on? The answer: Select the family of procedures that if improved upon will have the most benefit to the patients and organization.

The students spent three hours on the gemba and mapping the process and later presented their findings to hospital leaders. As our students benefit from gemba partnerships, so do these organizations. In fact, many departments have implemented the recommendations made by the students and achieved positive results.