For most of us, the sigma level – or defects per million opportunities – for New Year’s resolutions would be abysmal. We have 365 opportunities in a year to implement what we resolve to stick to and in reality, how many do we take advantage of? Whether it is skipping that dessert or going out | Read more…



When our Master of Business Operational Excellence health-care students spent some with Kathryn Correia, chief of Minnesota’s HealthEast Care System, she brought up a great point about the things that slow us down. Most of the interruptions that impede the flow of care, she said, aren’t surprises. If a machine breaks down, we know that | Read more…



Last week, we hosted our industry and health-care MBOE cohorts on campus, bringing together dozens of professionals in a range of different fields. The principles and leadership skills we teach in each program carry many similarities, but there remain some key differences between health care and the rest of the pack. Shingo prize-winning author Jean | Read more…



We all have our own way of doing work. This is something we learned in school, found it worked for us in the past, or we just developed a habit to do our work in a certain way. Let’s take a simple example: Managing e-mails. Some people print each and every e-mail to keep a | Read more…



Here’s a provocative question: Are workplace accidents ever really accidents? For an equally provocative answer, watch this 30-second video from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario – though the squeamish should be warned. Unanticipated events at work occur because of a combination of multiple factors. It is a result of interaction between human | Read more…



In Fisher’s Master of Business Operational Excellence program, we just completed the “Gate One” review of our students, the first of four evaluations they undergo. Gates are the points where students are assessed based on the progress they have made on their capstone project. Coaches and faculty follow a rubric that assesses students for their | Read more…



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 | Read more…



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 | Read more…



Google “value stream map” and you’ll get about 5 million hits. You can read as much as you want on it, but the only way to truly learn is by doing one – and in my experience, you learn more with each new map. Learning to See, co-authored by lean guru John Shook, gave our | Read more…



The MBOE program trains our students to be leading problem-solvers in their organization by providing the tools they need and, more importantly, teaching the behavior that creates lasting change. This week, we started handing out the tools. Peg Pennington, a senior lecturer and Executive Director of the Center for Operational Excellence, kicked off MBOE’s second | Read more…