Discussion on Control Points with Jamie Flinchbaugh

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This is a transcription of a Business901 Podcast, Can Control Points add Value in Lean? with Jamie Flinchbaugh of the Lean Learning Center.

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Discussion on Control Points with Jamie Flinchbaugh

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast Transcription Implementing Lean Marketing SystemsCan Control Points add Value in Lean?Guest was Jamie Flinchbaugh, co-founder and partner of the Lean Learning Center Related Podcast: Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJamie Flinchbaugh is a co-founder and partner of the LeanLearning Center in Novi, Mich., and brings successful and variedexperiences of lean transformation as a leader, practitioner and facilitator. Under Jamie’s leadership, the Lean Learning Center has become in just four years one of the most recognized and premiere lean providers in the world. The Lean Learning Center’s clients include Harley-Davidson, Land O Lakes, Intel, Simmons Foods, ZF and Guidant including their Industry Week’s Best Plant winner among many other world-class companies. Before the Lean Learning Center, Jamie was part of the development, training and implementation of the Chrysler Operating System, a widely-benchmarked leanchange program spearheaded by Lean Learning Center partnerDennis Pawley. Jamie was also with DTE Energy as a leanthought leader to help build the first lean program in a utility andto transform operations and leadership of the utility industrytowards a philosophy of lean.Jamie is a frequent writer and speaker on lean and continuousimprovement. Articles include the popular Beyond Lean, TheExtraordinary Vision of Henry Ford, Transforming How We Workand others for various industry magazines. He has also written atraining video called Learning Lean Through Simulation releasedby SME (The Society of Manufacturing Engineers) and is co-author of the best-selling book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean:Lessons from the Road. He currently contributes a monthlycolumn to Assembly Magazine titled Leading Lean. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe business901 Podcast. With me today is Jamie Flinchbaugh,who is the co-founder and partner at the Lean Learning Center inNovi, Michigan. He is one of the foremost experts on Lean and hisblog can be found at jamieflinchbaugh.com, which happens to beone of my favorite blogs. Jamie, I would like to welcome topodcast and tell me what you have been up to recently.Jamie Flinchbaugh: Thanks Joe. Im glad to be here. I stillspend most of my time coaching change agents, coachingexecutives on application of Lean in their own work, or in theorganizations work, certainly travel a lot to do that, and workingwith clients and everything from retail to healthcare, and inbetween. So, thats how we spend most of the time and I spendgood amount of time doing education of various types.Joe: You contribute to a monthly column to assembly magazineand I think it is titled "Leading Lean" and you touched on aparticular point of mind that grabbed my interest on controlpoints. Could you tell me a little bit what prompted the article?Jamie: Well control point is form of standard work formanagement that is often unappreciated and not very wellunderstood. What prompted it was really was just my coachingthat kind of draw lots of my inspiration from what Im seeing inmy coaching and I certainly saw and I see a lot of peoplestruggling with how they really get a pools of higher uporganizations opera and how they know our problems. Theyshould be working on particularly at least attempting to workproactively instead of in fire fight mode.Joe: Lets first define what a control point is?Jamie: A control point is one of those touch points you have inthe organization that helps give you understanding of how thingsare going. I like to compare this to sort of your own personalhealth because its easy example to understand. We can certainly Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsreact and wait for disease to hit, wait for the triple bypasssurgery, wait for something bad to happen. The control point sidewould be measuring your way, may be monitoring your exerciseprogram, monitoring your health, your blood pressure,monitoring your cholesterol, and those are the control pointsbecause theyre essentially predictive points in your own personallife of future problems.Control points of those things in your organization that help tellyou that you might have a problem buoying up. You might have aproblem down the road and you want to find out about thosethings earlier rather than later.Joe: How is a control point different from a dashboard?Jamie: Well I think the main difference; I think dashboards aretype of control points. So, control points can be coming in a wideset of varieties. For example, if you have a Badge reader at yourfront door and if someones badge is not active, they can get inthe door. That is a form of control point. Its a very automatic onemeaning that youre essentially controlling and predicting whetheror not the wrong people get in the building, which helps you withsecurity and lots of property and all sorts of other things.Measurements and dashboards are form of control point.However, most people especially whats on their dashboard a lotof it is rear view mirror looking.It might be yesterday, but its still rear view mirror meaning itstelling us what is already happening. Its a forum of control point,but it often isnt as predictive as it needs to be. I think the otherthing that I think distinguishes just a metric and just a dashboardfrom the control point is also defining the response to it and lot ofpeople under-appreciate that even with the matrix.They put matrix up because theyre interesting, but they dontreally defined well. How would we respond if this went the wrongway and thats an equally important part of the control point is Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsreally knowing well when this goes south what do we do? What isthe response to that piece of information?Control points can be visual checks. They can be investigations.They can be conversations. They can be matrix. So, I would saydashboard is a type of control point, but its often not aspredictive as some of the other forums would be.Joe: An oversimplification may be that it would be control pointwithin the manufacturer facility that might be a Kanban card?Jamie: A Kanban card and perhaps also the review of theKanban numbers, right. Are we running out? Are we still startingthe system that might be something we want to be checking tosee if our...are we losing cards or is the system not operating ordo we have the wrong calculations? Examples of manufacturing,for example, would be safety glass check. You walk through theoperation eyes; do this as a supervisor long time ago is walkthrough, look at each pair of eyes to make sure everybody iswearing their personal protective equipment. Most organizationsdont really do that until there is a problem.When somebody gets hurt, then you go and reinforce the safetygear. If youre doing proactive checks and well say, I need to doit weekly, or I need to do it monthly, its going to make sure thatyour system is operating as it should be.Another example would be standard work. For organizations thatuse standard work as a way to create, let us say, manufacturingenvironment a predictable and robust outcome of the task, mostpeople only check if people are actually using the standard workafter defect is created.We have a defect. It means somebody might not have beenfollowing your standard work. Let us go flush out, not at thewhole thing, is supposed to be doing weekly checks to say, is thestandard work store still working for you? Is something wrong Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswith it? Or just you do not understand it and doing that beforethe problems actually occur.Joe: It may be a higher level control point. I have seen usingsupply chain is where they have the red, yellow, green monitorsin the end with the green being the top, yellow in the middle, andred or they even sometimes have four levels or whatever, but asthat fluctuates they can manage that control point much better inthe process. They keep that in front of them to always be able tosee that. Is that more sophisticated type of control point there?Jamie: Its as well and this is the way I see companies do. Aslong as youre also defining how you respond, and thats whereyou really get into the high agreement of how we do manage theoperation. Its how do we respond to certain conditions. So, red,green, yellow as an example of really any dashboard or anymatrix, what often I see is everybody knows what green means.It means were OK. No further action required. Everybody knowswhat red means. We have a problem and some counterinvestigation and counter measures are required, but nobody elseknows what yellow means. Yellow is ambiguity.I think about the traffic light you actually pull up to. So,everybody knows what red means stop. Green means go. Yellow,there is a wide range of behaviors and it leads to all sorts ofproblems.Joe: Step on the gas.Jamie: Yes.Jamie: Step on the gas and breaking, look for the cops and thenblast through. The behavior is wide and varied and the samething is true with matrix around yellow. I always ask people if itsyellow, what do you do? If I get no response or 15 differentresponses, I know that its not necessarily good control point yetbecause were not really defining either what questions we should Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsbe asking or what actions we should take when it reaches thatpoint. Thats what it should really do. We should have highagreement about what the control point is and how we respondbased on where its telling us.Joe: I think thats a great answer because what do you do andthats the part that everybody questions and its left forinterpretation on how you react to that intermediate situation andI always had this saying: There is only 10 percent of the worldthats black and 10 percent of the world is white and then rest ofthe time the other 80 percent were living in is grey. So thatyellow is probably the world they live in and the part that has thebiggest question mark.Jamie: Its not being rigorous in saying this is automaticallywhat you do, but at least it should force: are we going to do aninvestigation or are we going to ask further questions? Or are wegoing to increase the sample size? So, sometimes yellow is justlike we might have a problem. Lets increase the frequency ofchecks so that we find it going towards red before its too late.But again, a lot of people use yellow as a...well, Im pretty busy.Yellow means that we dont need to do anything else because Ireally cant afford to do anything else, or sure I have no reds upthere. Yellow can mean, I will go take a look.It becomes the safety valve when in fact it really meanssomething very specific and thats the same of any control pointis what you know? What is the response when you see somebodywithout safety glasses? What is the response when you seesomeone not following the standard work? Its just not enough toknow that there is a gap. Its enough. Its important to know towhat the effect of response is?Joe: When you talk about using standard work and controlpoints in management, I thought that it was just kind of more forline people in a process out in the shop. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJamie: A lot of people kind of confuse standard work fromstandard work instructions. Standard work instructions are oftenthats often the shop use of saying, OK, do step one, step two,step three, step four. It applies in the office as well, but only forcertain things. If you want to say issue a credit back to acustomer on their next invoice, there is probably a step-by-stepprocedure for that. But standard work is anything that yourebuilding some stability, some consistency, and really enough of astable platform in which to experiment and improve. Check listscan be standard work. Routines can be standard work. Genderscan be standard work and this is really a form of essentially checklists of saying these are the things that we want to pay attentiontoo.It doesnt necessarily say step one, step two, but it providessome consistency and some collective knowledge around whatare we trying to pay attention to in an organization andessentially articulates the organizations knowledge of causeversus effect because control points should be the causes. Are wepaying attention to the causes before we see the effect?Joe: Can you kind give me example of a standard workprocedure in management?Jamie: Let me kind of even back up in providing some contextsfor that. As an example, if you take a look at aviation and werenot going through the whole story about the B17 bomber andhow check out pre-flight and flight check lists came into being. Inaviation, the uses of check lists are a way to allow a pilot to applytheir knowledge and skill effectively and consistently. Whetherthey are tired, whether they are in a rush and whether they havea bunch of other things going on. Its a job aid. I couldnt takepre-flight check list and grab the yoke and start to fly.Its not a replacement of knowledge and its not inflexible, but itis a tool to help a pilot apply what they know about what they Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsshould check around their flight, their flight plan, and theiraircraft consistently and effectively.Its big difference of standard work as knowledge versus standardwork as an aid to knowledge and check lists in aviation areexamples of aids to knowledge, not replacement of knowledge. Asa result of check lists I know Captain Sullenberger from theHudson in water landing, he has been talking about this reallyaround aviation safety record and it really is a phenomenal safetyrecord.We still have some problems, but its the phenomenal safetyrecord. Standard work in aviation is a big reason why that existsand you really see a lot of it. If its non mechanical, a lot of timeswhen there is a problem because someone took a short cut.Standard work and management could be as simple as everytime I have a one-on-one with one of my direct reports.Here are five questions that I always want to be asking. I mightalways want to ask them in order. I may ask 15 additionalquestions, but I always want to make sure Im asking these fivequestions because they give me the core knowledge that I needto build my relationship and my work with my direct report on.Again thats not the form of rigid standard work instructions. Askthis, if response A, then go left. Its just a job aid. When usedthat way as an aid to skill and knowledge, thats an effective useof standard work in management practice.Joe: If I have a salesman that had five questions to measure thepulse of where he was at with a customer that he completed aftera sales call each time, we all would pretty much have an ideasince that is a regular procedure of what he meant even if it waschart on one to 10. What his feeling was about the customers,where our value proposition was, where our service capabilitieswere, what wed be able to do. If he had that and sent that inthat would be a piece of standard work for the salesman. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJamie: Absolutely. A lot of times, we swing the pendulum insales between let everybody wing it and having sales scripts.Sales scripts often are far too rigid and winging it means that wehave no capability to learn or share or grow as an organization.So, having job aids that kind of say: these are the 10 questionsthat we really think are the most effective. You may have to startin the middle and work your way back. You may have to skip overa couple because they just dont seem relevant. Its not a rigid.Its an aid. Thats really what is important. A good sales personwill have this anyway. The only difference is they probably have itin their head.A good sales person will know which questions really get to theheart of the matter. Which questions give me good answers andgood responses and a good sales person will experiment withthat. Well, say if I ask you this way, I get a narrow response. If Iget this one, I will get the response Im looking for.A good sales person will constantly be experimenting with theirset of questions and their spiel as well around what they findmost effective. So, they have standard work. Its just usually intheir head. I think the only difference here is, do we have theability to share some of that knowledge as its build throughout asales team or sales organization?Joe: If you had these four, these five questions for standardwork, could that trigger the next action?Jamie: Absolutely. Control point is just a form of standard work,but theyre looking for where there are early indications ofproblems and so in a lot of cases, they should trigger no action orthey should trigger some predefined action. I may find a controlpoint and there might be an issue, and that spins my entire dayout of control; but its still perhaps more proactive than waitingfor the numbers to go south, which is really how a lot of ourproblems are found. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Or someone else finds them for us, a customer!Jamie: I mean really, its a kind of wait until our customer tellsus theres a problem. Thats the worst way to find out of all.Joe: Now, can these things be set up to be automatic? We kindof briefly discussed that a little bit, but are they all automated orare they all manual? Is there just a big mix to them?Jamie: Its a big mix. I think about it in terms of twodimensions. You could even draw a grid, a two x two grid aroundthis. On one axis is how manual versus how automatic thatcontrol point is, and on the other axis is it backward looking or isit forward looking? So, is it predictive or is it essentially reactiveto something thats already occurred? Youre going to have acrossthat grid all sorts of different control points.For example, going back to what I had indicated earlier. Having aportal or having a badge reader that essentially prevents peoplefrom coming in the building that dont belong, thats bothautomatic and forward looking, basically trying to get out in frontof a problem of the wrong people being in the building and tryingto prevent theft of either physical material or intellectualproperty.Its an automatic. I dont have to go through the building andchecking peoples badges and checking to see if they belongthere. Basically, that check is done every time they walk throughthe door.Meanwhile, often a daily operations meeting is also a form ofcontrol point. Its much more manual. Were usually goingthrough some metrics. A lot of times those metrics are aboutwhats happened in the past 24 hours or the past week. So, itskind of in the other far quadrant. Its backward looking and verymanual. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsControl points, now theres two different parts to this. Controlpoints fit all over that grid. They can be metrics, they can beautomated systems they can be all sorts of investigations. Controlpoint standardization really then is what really fits into forwardlooking but manual checks.Things where we do need to go looking for potential problems, sothats really what makes them manual but often in a forwardlooking way. Checking to see if people are actually using theirstandard work and if their standard work is helping them orhurting them thats in advance of problems being created. Itsforward looking but it is a very manual check.Control points exist at many different dimensions of theorganization. Control point standardization is just that, thatstandard work for what we need to do as managers in the manualbut proactive forward looking category.Joe: The control points is a pretty central part of managementthen?Jamie: It really is. I mean, a lot of organizations, really, I meanthey already have control points. Every organization has controlpoints. I think by understanding those two axis of manual versusautomatic, forward looking versus backward looking, we canunderstand them as a suite, or as a package of control points.And, often people look at them as isolated things.They see this management review as one way, and they seewalking about the floor as something different, and they see thismeasurement as something completely different. They dontreally look at is as this is how we know whats going on in theorganization.What happens is that we often end up with a ton of redundancy.We end up with checking the same thing 15 different ways, which Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsis really just bureaucratic waste of resources, lots of overprocessing there. So, thats one sort of failure mode.The other major failure mode is that we, you know, if we actuallyput all of them up on that chart, on that grid, wed find that wehave far too few forward looking or proactive control points, fartoo many of them are reactive or after the fact.Joe: Well, thats why I would be afraid of it. It would be kind ofmicro managing with all these control points out there.Jamie: The goal is actually, in many cases, I would say reducethe number of control points but make them more effective. Whatwe often find is that well have, lets say we want to make sure,lets take a manufacturing environment, we want to make surethat the lines are running. The supervisor is checking that oncean hour, the area manager is checking that once an hour, thefactory manager is checking that once an hour. Thats just wrong,thats an absolute waste of resources.What should that look like? Well, it really should look like thesupervisor checking it once an hour. If its down for a certainperiod of time, then they let their area manager know. If itsdown for another period of time, then they let the plant managerknow.It shouldnt be everybody going to look for problems becausethey dont trust that other people are looking for problemsbecause thats where a lot of the waste is today.Well see a plant manager checking something every 15 minutesthat the supervisor is checking once a day. Well, theres adisconnect around alignment and what the priorities are in thosecases.I think in a lot of cases the goal of control point standardization isto get better alignment so we actually simplify and reduce the Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsamount of work that paying attention to performance looks like.If we define what the proper response is, then we dont haveeverybody running around trying to find problems just becausethey dont trust that somebody will know what to do when theyfind one.It really comes down to how do I trust people if I dont know howtheyre going to respond when they see a problem? You know, Icant. This defines what do I do when I see a problem so then wecan start to trust the system and the people that are using it.Joe: What I think of when youre talking there is the redundancythat we have because of automation today.Jamie: Weve made measurement in data so cheap and so easythat we assume everybody should be looking at it all the time,and they should look at all of it. Thats not it at all. In fact, wereally should be, you know, weve gotten to the point whereweve gotten information rich but often, Ill say, wisdom poor, inwisdom being how do I know what to do? One of my examples isif youre driving home from work, what would you rather have, aspreadsheet that shows you every car and their speed andlocation, or knowing when the car in front of you puts on theirbrakes?I mean, at some level I can get a boatload of data, but what do Ineed to know? I need to know when to put on my brakes. I needto know when the car in front of me does the same thing. Thatinformation doesnt even come to me as data; it just comes tome as a on/off switch, a very binary signal.In a lot of cases weve made information so accessible, but wehavent figured out what to do with it. What we have is everybodychecking everything all the time. Thats just a waste of resources.Joe: I think does that not go back to really defining what isreally valuable to you or valuable to your customer? Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJamie: It is. It really comes down to understanding cause andeffect. I mean, what are the things that, what are the causes inour operation, in our system, that affect the performance of thatsystem? I want to pay attention to what the cause and effect is.The better I understand how my system operates and what leadsto good performance, what leads to bad performance, what leadsto problems, the better I can pay attention to what are the criticalfew.Its not about eliminating important metrics. I mean, if I need 42metrics, then I need 42. Id probably challenge that anybodyneeds 42, but the idea is what really is going to tell us the mostso that we can take the most rapid, proactive and focused actionat the right place at the right time. By having too much data weend up with a redundancy which often leads to us chasing manytimes, the wrong problems instead of focusing on the critical few.Joe: This is what should drive change?Jamie: Yes, and it should be dynamic. A lot of people see thisas, "Oh, you develop the standard, and this is what were goingto check for the rest of time." It should be changing based oneither the priorities changing or the needs changing. Hey, wewant to get more focused on safety, so were going to increasethe pace of safety coaching conversations. Were going to pick upthe pace of checking peoples personal protective equipment.Were going to increase the number of observations were goingto do of people in at-risk situations and observe how theyreoperating in the environment theyre operating in.So again, I could have good intentions and say were going to paymore attention to safety. Or I could decide what are the proactivethings were going to do? Whats the frequency of those? Whoshould be doing them, and whats the pacer frequency of doingthose things so that we end up with a way to drive that change? Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIn many cases we find it is turning what people communicate asgood intentions into a real plan.Joe: Now from your experience, because you work withmanagement so often in the Lean process, I wonder howmanagement takes it. Because when you go in there and you talkabout Lean and you talk about standard work, and they talkabout for the office environment and for the shop floor and thingslike that. But when you turn the tables and talk to them aboutstandard work, what kind of a reaction do you get?Jamie: Well, I think a lot of people need to experience it. I thinkthe first reaction that anybody has management or otherwise,standard work is I want my flexibility. I love flexibility. I lovebeing able to do whatever I want when I want to do it. Thatsgreat to me. Its not always effective. I mean Id love not to haveto go to the doctor today, but its probably more effective for meto go. It comes down to one, capturing the knowledge that saysthis is what we find to be most effective. Then second, I thinkwhat people again misunderstand in advance is that this is goingto be a rigid thing that says at 9:00 I do this, at 9:12 I do this, at9:17 I can have a cup of coffee. Thats not it.Again, I think theres a big difference between standard work asjob aid and standard work instructions. There are certain tasks inmanagement that you could probably write standard workinstructions for but relatively few. Its really about developing jobaids that will help us supply our knowledge consistently andeffectively.Well, Ill say two things. One, an awful lot of times people findthat what they know to be proactive they just never get aroundto. So having the aid really helps them make sure that they dontlose sight of those proactive things and they dont end up withmore problems down the road. So thats really one. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThe second thing is that when we start to say, "Well, supervisorto manager or to plant manager or however many levels theremight be, when people start to see some of the redundancy andoverlap, and we have 15 people checking the same thing, theyreally find how much freeing it can be to say, "Well, this is whatthis persons checking."We all know what theyre going to do if they see somethingwrong. I really dont have to worry about that anymore. I can gofocus on something else." Once they really get into it, thats oftena major response.Because again, so often, in the age of control, in an age ofgovernance and oversight and risk, theres so much redundancyin some of our checks that were really probably not gettingnearly enough out of our management teams as we should.Joe: Switching gears just a little bit, is control points applicableto lets say PDCA to go from one part of the cycle from the plancycle to the do cycle? Is that the same terminology? Or wouldthat be the wrong terminology for that?Jamie: Well, what you would say is that control pointstandardization is a check. The plan is how we built it. Its whatdo we think is important to check that helps us predict andprevent future problems? By using it, it is a check. Again when Istart to see, well, hey, we missed this because we werentchecking frequently enough, then it gives me some feedbackaround, well, maybe the frequency of my check is not highenough and I need to change that or maybe the effectiveness ofit. Or maybe its the wrong person doing the check.We had a quality escape get to the customer. Was theresomething in our control points that should have prevented that?If so, why did it not work? And if not, is there something we wantto add? Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsReally, using control point standardization effectively is a PDCAcycle, and essentially anything happening that we think weshould have found out about sooner is a check. Its telling us thatthere was a gap between what we thought would happen andwhat did happen.Joe: Just a great meeting outline! You take your control pointsin and this is the crux of your meeting.Jamie: It is, although not all control points are in a meeting, andin fact a lot of them arent. They might be going out to look at ametric. They might be having a conversation with a customer.They might be going out and do a visual check--being able tolook at how a process is operating. Its a guideline of what youneed to do throughout a day, a week, or a month. But a lot ofthose checks might not happen in a meeting room because whereour system is operating in many cases is not in a meeting room.Now it depends on what that process is, and it depends on whereour best observations take place.Thats really the question we have to ask, is what is theinformation we need to tell us were going to have a problem andwhere is the best place to find that? In some cases its going tobe meetings. In some cases its not.Joe: One of the comments you made, Im not sure if it was anarticle or in something else that I read from you, but you talkedabout "kick the whats lurking paranoia." What did you mean bythat?Jamie: Sometimes my coaching leads me to just shadow amanager for a day as part of observation. What we see with a lotof managers is they just spend any window of extra time thatthey have, they dump one of two places. Either they dump it intoemail, which we know is a common habit, or they just go looking.Its like, "Well, I dont know if were missing something. I dontknow whats going on. I dont know what problems exist." So we Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsjust go wandering around somewhat aimlessly looking forproblems.That really comes from a paranoia of saying, its a well-justifiedparanoia by the way, "I dont know what problems exist. I dontknow that our systems are going to catch them, and I dont knowthat my people are going to raise the issue if they find them."That paranoia is based on experience that suggests that that isntwhat happens.Joe: Well, usually if you go looking for a problem, you usuallyfind one, dont you?Jamie: You can find one, but thats what reinforces it. I findthem at random places at random intervals, so we just think weneed to keep investing more in this wandering aimlessly searchfor problems. But again, control point standardization tells methat if I know that a preventative maintenance task that takesseveral hours is really important, and I know that our process isfor the supervisor in that area to check in with the team once anhour. If theyre more than 15 percent behind schedule, theyregoing to let me know.If I know that thats the control point, I dont have to gowandering around finding out whats getting missed because Iknow if theres a problem there, its going to get found and itsgoing to get surfaced because we have that high agreement. Wehave that standard about what the check is and how to deal withit.That really gets us out of this aimless wandering of looking forproblems and instead builds an organizational response to how dowe proactively find the problems at the right place at the righttime with the right resources?Joe: I think another important thing is what you alluded to isthat when you go start looking and walking around looking for Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsproblems your employees or the people who are working for you,are sitting there watching and saying, “Here comes Jack again.”They are wondering what youre going to find because they knowthat there is no rhyme to reason to what youre looking for.Jamie: Well, thats exactly right, and what we see whathappened a lot of times that the people in the organization,manager will come down and they will ask about a safety issue.And so, the message today is safety is really important. Then thenext day, come down and ask about a quality issue and so qualityis really important, make sure we pay attention to quality. Itbecomes this very haphazard sort of ask and respondorganizational event where any time a manager asks about somerandom event, a bunch of people overreact to that and gorunning around going, "Quality is really important. Quality isreally important. Let us put everything on quality." When all itwas just one question taken out of context in isolation.When we make the control points standards visible, we seethat...oh Im paying attention to safety. Im paying attention toquality. Im paying attention to delivery. Im paying attention tothese multiple dimensions. And so, it enables people to really say,"Oh, this is what were paying attention to", instead of overreactand respond to the random question-asking that might go on witha manager following up on things.Joe: Should the control points be kind of like an open book?Should everybody know what your control points are and whatyoure monitoring?Jamie: Absolutely. It should be absolutely an open book. If its aphysical environment, well even put them up on the board, putthem up next to the scoreboard, or whatever is there, make themvisible. If its digital, it should be on an easy place whereeverybody can find it, changes to them are communicatedbroadly. So absolutely, it should be an open book. This is in part, Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsjust being an open book is in part making the priorities and focusof management more visible both to the whole organization, butalso to each other. So, that we ... I do know what my boss isfocused on. I do know what my peer is focused on. It is meant tocreate a little bit more open book about what people are payingattention to.Joe: Whats the difference maybe between a control point and atoll gate? In Six Sigma, I think of the toll gate that is used to gofrom one stage to the next. In DMAIC, it would be like fromDefine to measure. Is there a difference between a control pointand toll gate?Jamie: No. thats the toll gate or a gateway in productdevelopment. These are just types of control points and its howdo I take product development? How do I make sure we reallydefine the customer need before you start tooling up product? Iwant to make sure before we tool it up it ends up in themarketplace. I can always joke that the Aztec, Pontiac Aztec, hadno gates. It probably shouldnt have gotten to market because assoon as it came out everybody said, "Why would you build that?"Gateways, toll gates and any of these things are just from aproject basis. There are checks along the way. There are controlpoints to make sure....are we still headed in the right directionbefore we continue to invest more resources.In a lot of cases, a toll gate, a gateway if I have at least aminimum set of questions that Im asking that help me makesure that Im dealing with it across the many dimensions I needto pay attention to. That list of questions that I ask at that gate isa form, again another form of standard work.Joe: Is there anything you would like to add to the subjectcontrol points?Jamie: I think I have just come back and emphasized that thereally important point around the response. So, this is where Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswhen people deal with escalation or problems, when they callescalation pass or they call it andon or whatever it might be,people tend to think only about sort of the problem and how theyescalate it.There is multiple dimensions to this. One is how do I know if its aproblem? We need high agreement about what is a problem,which we find might often not be the case? What is the method ofescalating it? So, how I do it? There should be really only be oneand one consistent way to do that. Who are we escalating it to?Everybody always thinks I escalated it to my boss, which mightnot be the case.If Im a technician in the process and my supervisor is not atechnician escalating the problem to them, it might not get methe help I need. Maybe I am escalating to an engineer, maybeIm escalating to a senior technician and also who really should Iescalate that problem to and equally important is how they dothey respond? All we find is that if I dont know what responseIm going to get. Im going to get smacked in the head one timeand get help next time.Well, that unreliability of the response when I surface a problem,really leads me to hesitate to surface a problem in the first place.Most organizations when I think about finding and escalatingproblems, they tend to only think about the front end of thatprocess and you need to put as much thought into the back end,which is really who should we escalate to and what is the definedresponse?Joe: I think you got some great points. Whats going on withyou in the near future or with the Lean Learning Center?Jamie: Well, in general, we continue to try to be as innovativeas possible to help companies move forward and a lot of thethings that we continue to do. We continue to just invest moreinto proving them. Things like the Lean Experience, which has Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsbeen still an effective course with an effective message. We havea fairly new course, "Lean and Lean", which is change agentsskills, which we find are often under-invested in, for the criticalfew that are going to influence the many. We also have a coupleof new things coming out very soon.We have a new simulation. We have several simulations that wesell through the Leanlearningcenter.com website. We have newone coming out called the Lean Quad, which weve used for manyyears but we finally made it ready for sort of off the shelf use forinternal change agents and leaders.Sometime next year, we plan to also offer a Lean for HR courseto help HR people understand their role in the change and bebetter prepared for it. So, thats a course we plan to offer publiclythatll be pretty new. So, those are the couple of the new thingsthat we have going on lately.Joe: It sounds interesting. Especially the change agent, I find itinteresting because it is a skill, isnt it.Jamie: It is, and giving people the skills and tools they need tomake to be as effective as possible or influencing the rest of theorganization is something we often dont think a lot about. Weoften have either people that are in full time change agent rolesgoing through that class, or those that feel that they have aresponsibility as a leader to help make a change happen. Wehave had COOs and Vice Presidents and Plant Managers and LeanChampions, Lean Facilitators, Lean Coaches, all through thatclass and they actually have one. We offer that publicly abouttwice a year and always enjoy it because again its leveling up ourchange agents skills aside usually turns into a good investment ifyou are investing in the right person to do that.Joe: I would like to thank very much. This podcast will beavailable on the Business901 website and also the business901iTunes store. So, again thank you very much, Jamie. I appreciate Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  24. 24. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsyour input. Youre one of the real thought leaders I think in theLean community and I enjoy following your blog and on Twitterwhich you can be found on Twitter at…Jamie: flinchbaughJoe: Again thank you very much.Jamie: Thank you, Joe. I enjoyed it. Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901
  25. 25. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has alwaysdelivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that isalways a pleasure to work with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Can Control Points add Value in Lean? Copyright Business901

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