1st Edition

Learning with Lean
Unleashing the Potential for Sustainable Competitive Advantage

ISBN 9781466572942
Published August 21, 2013 by Productivity Press
294 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

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Book Description

The toughest Lean journeys are those taken in organizations that have achieved long-term success. Processes and people become fixed in their ways and exhibit a natural resistance to change. But, regardless of how well your organization is performing, unless you have a sustainable competitive advantage, you are at risk.

Examining the performance gap between good organizations and great ones, Learning with Lean: Unleashing the Potential for Sustainable Competitive Advantage explains how to use Lean as a learning vehicle for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage.

Helping you better understand the current state of your organization, the book outlines a series of five simple phases for developing an architecture and implementation plan to transform your organization’s performance. These five phases fit neatly into a closed-system model that has similarities to the Plan-Do-Check-Act quality model. The model is simple, easy to communicate, and easy to implement—Assess, Plan, Prepare, Do, and Learn.

  • Supplies a brief overview of Lean tools
  • Provides an understanding of the Voice of the Customer as a focusing engine
  • Covers measurement and goal setting
  • Illustrates the dynamics of organizational change
  • Explains how to boost learning through Lean

The authors guide you through the deployment of training and the implementation of new knowledge and skills around Lean. In addition, they also explain how to find and improve on the areas where waste exists so your organization can reinvent the way it learns.

Effective management techniques recognize the need for balance, and this book is no different. Helping you pinpoint where those balances and dichotomies exist, it arms you with powerful techniques to manage these challenges and to transform your organization into a change-hungry Lean learning organization with a sustainable competitive advantage.

Table of Contents

What Is the Need for Change?
What Is Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
     Applied Rate of Learning Threats
          Disruptive Organizational and Technology Threats
Overcoming Organizational Inertia
     External Crisis Impacts to Inertia
     Creating Internal Urgency with No External Crisis
Recognition of the Risk of Inaction
     Success Builds Inertia
     Ignoring Risks May Stall the Organization
Lean Enables a Learning Organization
     Organizational Learning
     Learning Organization
     Lean as a Learning Vehicle
Transformation Is an Endless Journey
     Phases in the Transformation Journey
     Phase 1: Assess
     Phase 2: Plan
     Phase 3: Prepare
     Phase 4: Do
     Phase 5: Learn
Measuring Impact and Rate of Learning
     Change-Hungry Organization Maturity Levels
Communicating to the Organization
     Expanded Need for Different Types of Communication
     Dichotomy of Conversation
     Audience-Based Porpoising
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Change Starts with Knowing What You Have
Assessments Build Stronger Organizations
Learning Atrophy
Take Stock of Yourself
     Are You Committed to Leading the Change?
     Check Your Ability to Lead a Learning Organization
     Check Your Lean Leadership Capabilities
     Check Your Lean Thinking and Actions
     Check Your Credibility Cash Index
Take Stock of the Organization
     Looking for the Capability to Learn
     Organizational Beliefs, Knowledge, and Ability
     Characterizing Learning Organization Dimensions
     Check for Lean Thinking and Action Competencies
     Check the Organization’s Performance Quotient
Communicate to the Organization
     Complex Message Delivery
     Sharing the Transformation Vision
     Setting the Course of Action
     Personal Actions and Passion for Change
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Planning the Transformation
Forming Your Personal Vision and Plan
     You Have to Buy-In
     Use Your Passion and Courage to Lead the Organization Transformation
     Visualize the End Game
     Personalize the Transformation
     Build Your Action Plan
     Walk the Talk
Changing Organizational Culture
Changing Organizational Momentum
Design the Transformation to a Lean Learning Organization
     You Can’t Buy It—You Have to Build It
     Integrating Your Supply Chain into the Journey
Lean Becomes the Learning Vehicle
     Foundation of the Organization
     Core Tenets Align the Organization
     Assemble the House
Communicating to the Organization
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Preparing for the Race
Set Expectations
     Define Success Goals and Measures
          Foundation Layer
          Measurement Layer
          Action Layer
Deployment Reality
Enroll Natural Lean Leaders
Invest in People
Communicating to the Organization
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Go Improve Something—Start Doing
Go Ahead—Give It a Push
So You Think You Know How It Works
     Entropy and Noisy Systems
          Noisy Systems
     Automation Creates Techno-Waste
Data Will Set You Free
Focus on Using the Voice of the Customer
     VoC Segmentation
     Customer Listening Posts
     VoC as a Focusing Engine
Setting Simple Goals
     Work on Things That Matter.
Keep It Simple
     One-Touch Flow
Communicating to the Organization
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Leverage the Learnings
Reevaluate and Refresh
Accelerate the Applied Rate of Learning
Leverage Learning with Lean into the Supply Chain
Standard Work
Clustering Thousands of Small Fires into a Forest Fire
Reinforce Good Decision Making and Risk Taking
Benchmark and Compare for Higher Performance
Reinvent Work and Job Skills
Measure and Share Progress
Communicate and Walk the Talk
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Wrapping It Together
Final Thoughts from the Authors
Key Messages in This Chapter
Challenge Actions

Bibliography and Works Cited
Glossary of Terms

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James T. Zurn is the director of Lean Business Process Improvement for QLogic Corporation in Aliso Viejo California. He is responsible for driving corporate-wide LEAN adoption, use and impact. He has over 34 years experience in quality, reliability and design engineering with QLogic, Intel, Storage Technology, Xerox, AT&T and Fujitsu.

Jim holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in engineering with concentrations in statistics and operations research from CCU in California. He’s been a Senior Member of ASQ, SME and IEEE and is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Reliability Engineer. He is an SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer in two disciplines (Manufacturing Management and Manufacturing Systems). Additionally, he is an accomplished, GE-trained, Six Sigma Black Belt. He holds registration as an ISO9000 auditor and is pursuing certification as a SEI CMMI lead assessor.

He is serving his fourteenth year on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as an Alumni Examiner, and is the founding chair and Judge of the Arizona Governor's Award for Quality program. He was Presiding Judge for the U.S. Air Force’s SECAF Quality Award program and was active in the Air Force’s quality journey as one of five civilian members of the USAF Chief-of-Staff’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Quality Assessment. Additionally, he was Lead Examiner in the U.S. Army’s Centurion Quality Award program and a Senior Examiner in the U.S. Dept. of Labor Workforce Excellence program. Jim is the Chair of the AZ Governor’s Advisory Council on Quality and was a member of the joint private/public Venture Teams with Arizona’s ADOT (Transportation) and ADES (Economic Security) divisions.

He is widely published with over credits in publications such as; IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Quality and Reliability Engineering International and ASQ’s Quality Engineering.

Perry Mulligan is the Senior Vice President of Operations for QLogic (since 2007), where he is responsible for all aspects of the manufacturing and delivery of products to the customer in addition to overall supply chain design and manufacturing strategy. He has over 25 years of experience leading Operations and Supply Chain Management.

In the years prior to QLogic Mr. Mulligan was at Solectron where he held the position of Senior Vice President Supply Chain Management and Chief Procurement Officer, responsible for establishing and executing the overall materials and supply chain strategy. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors for Microvision since January 2010.