Healthcare

2009 will be the year of lean

John Shook at Lean Enterprise Institute says lean is “just what the doctor ordered” for 2009 and is hoping for a better year.

Brian Buck expects creativity and innovation to arrive on the scene.

Jon Miller talks about how Tom Vilsack might bring lean to the federal level (hooray!).

Kevin Meyer suggests Toyota could use some of its lean knowledge to energize the rest of the automotive industry.

In the lean software arena, “Mastering the Recession with Lean, Agile, and Scrum.”

And have you seen all the lean people that are now on Twitter?  Brian Buck and I surmised it must be some kind of New Year’s resolution.  Regardless the cause, there’s any obvious effort to get the word out about the value of lean, and Twitter is another tool to spread the word.  Here are the lean tweeps I’m currently following (I’m sure there are more): @brianbuck, @evanjmiller, @GembaPantaRei, @gerrykirk, @giladl, @GotBoondoggle, @leanblog, @lssacademy, @matthewemay, @mglombard, @Paulflevy, @RalfLippold, @Rwilliard, @shmula, @superfactory, UPDATE: @lizguthridge

If you aren’t creating value for customers…if you aren’t eliminating waste…if you aren’t respecting your people, this won’t be your year.  This is true now more than ever, as consumers and business get more picky about where they’re going to put their resources, and as the personal savings rate has actually gone up (this is a good thing since it had gone negative, but indicates spending will be tighter!).

Don’t think lean is drawing attention?  Check out the search terms people are using lately.  This is drawn from the Google Keyword Search Tool.  I just checked out “lean manufacturing” as an example.  In the month of December, there was an 18% increase in the interest in the term “lean manufacturing” over the average of the previous 12 months (the totals of the entire result set were 109,459 for December versus 92,808 for the average).

lean_keyword

And this is just the term “lean manufacturing”.  What about all of the other arenas like healthcare, software, and others?  Even just the term “lean” has a WHOPPING 50% increase (2,740,000 for December versus 1,830,000 prior 12-month average).  Granted, “lean” in this case might include people looking to improve their physical fitness, but regardless this is a huge jump.

Where are people conducting these searches?  For that info, check out this cool tool.  It gives you a “heat map” of where these searches are being conducted (US data only).

state_map

Principles that started in manufacturing have spread to so many different arenas.  And why not?  Look at how Tom and Mary Poppendieck describe the principles within software development:

The seven principles of Lean Software development are:

  • Respect people
  • Eliminate waste
  • Defer commitment
  • Create knowledge
  • Deliver fast
  • Build quality in
  • Optimize the whole

Sound familiar?  Manufacturing, healthcare, education, services, construction, government, and software development have all found how valuable these principles are.  Granted the tools and practices probably look different from one to the next, but the principles are constant.

(side note…I’m now going to use the phrase “deferring commitment” instead of “procrastinating”…it sounds a lot better! 🙂 )

Maybe we should organize a big “lean-fest” or lean tweetup to exchange ideas across industries and share best (or better, as some are now saying) practices (maybe the Lean Global Network is already doing this?).  A nice, central-US location might be nice.  Say…Pella, Iowa (street view from Google Maps)?

Lean people on Twitter, anyone up for FriendFeed?

Hopefully making for some more useful conversation, I’m starting to find some more lean people on Twitter.  I’m starting to connect with people around the world that I otherwise would never meet.  Here they are in no particular order:

Are there more?  I’m sure they’re out there.  We could get some groups going…would really like to do this on FriendFeed though (see below).

I can be found here: http://twitter.com/scottsorheim.  I try to stay on the manufacturing side of things, but am generally interested in all things lean.  I, of course, develop software (primarily for manufacturing, but even that scope has crept a bit) and am interested in what’s happening in that arena as well.

What I’d really like to get going, though, is some more active participation on http://friendfeed.com.  I think it’s a much better place to share information and have conversations.  Maybe there’s already some lean stuff happening there, and I’m just not aware of it?  Please let me know if that’s the case.  I’m here: http://friendfeed.com/scottsorheim.

By |2009-01-02T12:50:20+00:00January 2nd, 2009|Healthcare, Manufacturing, People, Technology|2 Comments

Health care: Little House on the Prairie style

Remember when Dr. Baker on Little House on the Prairie went to the homes of the people who were ill?  That would never work today, would it?

Well don’t tell Jay Parkinson that.  When he finished residency, he was determined to revolutionize health care by personalizing it.  Here’s some of what he has to say:

My goal was to just provide a super easy visit for people.

I designed my own web site, people would go to my site, visit my site, see my Google calendar, choose their own time, tell me their symptoms, my iPhone alerts me, I do a house call, and they pay me via PayPal.

Talk about wow (first learned of this “Dr. Wow” video from Jeff Jarvis).


Jay Parkinson at Pop!Tech from Jay Parkinson on Vimeo.

So why is it relevant here?  Jay recognizes the simplicity of his solution and its similarity to another effective, CUSTOMER CENTRIC solution:

Really, it was the Toyota Way.  It was lean.  It enabled me to practice medicine and solve 90% of the problems.

Jay has gotten a lot of buzz, and that’s because he’s delivering a very important value: personalized, easy-to-do-business-with healthcare.

By |2008-12-01T09:43:02+00:00December 1st, 2008|Customer Service, Healthcare, Innovation, People|0 Comments