Using the Lean continuous improvement process to increase efficiency and productivity is seen frequently in the manufacturing and automotive sectors, but less often in animal research facilities. Those who have used Lean to overhaul animal facilities say there is a lack of understanding in the industry about how this methodology can drastically boost efficiency, lower operating costs, decrease waste, improve sustainability, enhance program flexibility, increase capacity, and lower space requirements.
Read the full article here: University of Houston
Standardization is one of the most valuable Lean techniques for process consistency and success. Using "Visual Controls" can be a powerful tool to ensure Standardization.
The folks at Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital developed a unique visual control to standardize the process of weaning mice.
Both husbandry staff and Investigators can now make critical decisions based on clearly defined visual parameters. An inspiring article that showcases the creativity of staff to find elegant solutions to haunting problems. To read the entire article, click here (page 52): B&WH
Visual Management "aims to make the situation easily understood merely by looking at it. The goal is to get as much information as possible with as little observation or time as possible. https://www.allaboutlean.com/visual-management/
Visual management is an easy way to "read the environment" and it can take many forms: graphs, signs, location markings, or signals. We can find visual management all around us; directional signs, supermarket stocking systems, material restocking information, wait time displays in emergency rooms and billions more that tell us immediate information to enable us to succeed in whatever we are doing.
W. Edwards Deming would ask two fundamental yet critical questions to supervisors and managers to determine their understanding of their business:
"How are you doing?" and "How do you know?"
We visited to two Boston-area organizations that use basic visual management techniques extremely well, enabling them to answer Deming's two questions in real time; the Broad Institute and Hologic manufacturing.
This is a knife cabinet in the Alkatraz prison kitchen; a form of visual management...
What critical information do you know immediately?
What questions come to mind? Should you be concerned?
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to improve human health by using genomics to advance our understanding of the biology and treatment of human disease, and to help lay the groundwork for a new generation of therapies.
The Broad creates nimble teams supported by nimble systems to run tens of thousands of extraordinarily complex gene sequencing protocols defect-free and as quickly as possible every day.
To manage these teams and projects, the Broad uses basic Visual Management techniques to enable all stakeholders to discuss goals, roadblocks, resource needs, identify potential problems and to celebrate successes together.
While technology is used to track progress in the background, the Broad has found that manual / tactile visual management is far more effective way to uncover problems than burying information in a computer.
Broad staff meets weekly to discuss "fires", process performance and on-going critical initiatives that cross over departments. They quickly discern the global affects of discoveries or problems that require team discussion, make course corrections, or acknowledge efforts that deserve team celebration.
Toyota Principle #8: "Use only reliable and thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes. The Broad has determined that Visual Management is their proven technology of choice.
The Hologic Corporation designs and manufactures a portfolio of life-saving and life-enhancing products that encompass breast and skeletal solutions, GYN surgical solutions, diagnostic solutions and medical aesthetics.
Hologic's cutting-edge technologies are grounded in scientific precision and clinical accuracy to make earlier detection and treatment possible for more patients.
Hologic has developed visual systems that enable their teams to adjust rapidly to the needs of their customers. While they pride themselves with very robust lean programs like 5S, Safety, and process improvement, their rigid yet flexible practices provides them with instant information that enables them to flex, adapt and improve quickly through the shared ideas of their employees.
Hologic's management meets daily in the "Obeya Room" for 30 minutes to discuss problems in company, changes in the environment that may become challenges to the company, where to allocate resources and to celebrate their successes.
Within 30 minutes every morning, each department is synchronized to better meet the ever-changing demands of their customer and of their business environment.
Hologic is committed to visual management throughout the company so that workers at all levels understand what is required to meet today's customer expectations.
MGH also experienced the need to develop a transparent system whereby issues that are escalated from the front lines can be properly identified, with root causes analyzed and appropriate countermeasures acted upon in a timeley fashion.
Taking notes from the Broad Institute and from Hologic, MGH is in the process of developing a visual management system to support global initiatives and escalated problems.
Ensuring that Senior Staff "practices what it preaches" to the rest of the enterprise, Senior Leadership huddles three times per week for 30 minutes per huddle session. At these Huddles, new issues are discussed for real-time info sharing as well as issues that are works-in-progress to maintain clarity, urgency and identify when scope-creep may be occurring.
Leaders Standard Work is used to guide each session and to ensure that:
For more information, contact Gerry Cronin: email@example.com