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Factsheet: ‘Poka Yoke’ Error proofing

Process excellence through Poka Yoke In order to achieve Operational Excellence it is vital to have processes capable of delivering Zero defects. Poka Yoke is the concept of eliminating process errors, ensuring the output is defect free. Eliminating errors and preventing defects not only improves quality but enables improvements in productivity and delivery and increases […]

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Leadership Lessons: Asking the ‘obvious’ question

Asking questions is the ABC of problem solving The most effective approach in leadership, as it is in problem solving is simply the asking of questions, and it’s certainly true that ‘if you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers’, so why don’t we ask the ‘obvious’ question? In early 2000 […]

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Factsheet – Plan, Do, Check, Act

PDCA – supporting performance excellence Continuous improvement is a critical factor in achieving operational excellence, one of the three factors of performance excellence. Continuous improvement is ‘making changes in a controlled way’. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is a process to follow when you need to make a change or have a problem to solve. […]

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Factsheet 2 – Root cause analysis

Cause & Effect in problem solving The key to effective problem solving is root cause analysis, or separating the symptoms from the cause, to identify what’s really causing the problem. You can then apply, validate and embed your countermeasures in the knowledge that it will eliminate the problem. In order to achieve this successfully you […]

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Factsheet 1 – Root cause analysis

5 Why analysis in problem solving The key to effective problem solving is root cause analysis, or separating the symptoms from the cause, to identify what’s really causing the problem. You can then apply, validate and embed your countermeasures in the knowledge that it will eliminate the problem. Ask why the problem occurred, then continue […]

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Leadership Lessons: effective employee communication

Whilst there are many different and wide-ranging theories on leadership, surely the common element in all theories is effective employee communication. Therefore if it is a common link, effective employee communication should be seen as the single most important leadership factor. Goal Deployment The first step for good communication practice is Goal Cascade – more […]

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Quality Management: protecting the customer

If a main business goal is “Satisfy the customer” then the first rule of quality management should be to protect the customer. This is clear but is often missed or not fully implemented as the business tries to extinguish the various quality fires. Responsibility of removing risk of poor quality to the customer The responsibility […]

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Leadership Lessons: See the leader behind the managers mask

How I unmasked my leadership style If you’d asked my colleagues about me 10 years ago, I’m sure that they’d have been quick to tell you how cold, direct and uncaring I could be and I’m sure the words grumpy, angry and disagreeable would come up pretty soon, along with some more savoury negatives. By […]

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How Lean can be feared by the workforce and how goal deployment will help

The fear of lean Almost by the nature of the term, lean is often feared and seen by the workforce as a means to cut costs and therefore cut people. Herein lies a major paradox – lean requires engagement by all people at all levels, yet these very people often see lean as a threat. […]

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Leadership Lessons: Where did ‘Grip Self’ lead?

As an automotive Project Manager, I spent my time living in my self contained ‘project world’ not thinking about leadership, just attempting to manage tasks, in reality running around like a stressed and increasingly angry headless chicken, dragging and pushing tasks through the business and battling with people who didn’t have the same priorities as […]

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Fact Sheet – What is Standardisation ?

Standardisation is perhaps the most important element of any Lean or Six Sigma implementation. Creating a standard is the starting point for any continuous improvement cycle and is the means for embedding the improvements made so far. There is often the misconception that standardisation is about creating a set of work instructions with which you […]

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Quality Management: Problem Solving – The benefits of Cascaded Problem Solving

Lean QCD’s unique Cascaded Problem Solving process addresses one of the keys to effective problem resolution and quality performance improvement. Maximise the value of investigations and the resulting countermeasures by cascading them throughout your business. You suffer a problem, either your customer identifies an issue or hopefully you’ve identified it yourselves ‘in house’. You invest […]

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An Automotive Lean Journey

This is a brief story involving a business turn-round using lean, leadership, quality management and back to basics to dramatically improve an automotive supplier on the edge of extinction. Company: Automotive components manufacturer in Rotherham, UK Turnover: £40m No of Employees: 800 Industry: Design, manufacture and supply of automotive parts Main Customers: Major OEM’s including […]

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Quality Management: Problem Solving – What is the cause of repeat problems?

When we talk problem solving, Repeating issues cause the most damage to customer satisfaction and the majority have two root causes. Cause 1; Failure to identify or eliminate the ROOT cause of the problem. Example; Mrs T is garden proud and she particularly hates the weeds which frequent the lawn, when they appear she is […]

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Lean and the Accountant – how the finance professional can add value

Lean, whether it is in the guise of TPS, TOC, Six Sigma or any other philosophy is generally seen as the remit of the operational leadership of the business. What does this mean for the finance professional who wants to be a true lean accountant. As a qualified management accountant (ACMA) who made the jump […]

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