Lean Yellow Belt Training (part 1)

Core values of Lean: respect the people, challenge the people, people will fix the process. 70-80% of people want challenge. They want to feel good at the end of the day, they want to wake up in the morning and they want to do something bigger than themselves. But if you don’t give initiative, if you don’t challenge them – you going to get mediocrity. This is first part of Lean Yellow Belt Training (Module 1) by Charanjit Singh (CJ) Bawa, Lean Coach and QCDMS Consultants founder.

Most important thing for us was, and you’re going to see it tomorrow, to teach you root cause analysis. Are you trying and are you taking the right steps?

It’s okay to fail. That’s what I learned at Honda and that’s what I teach. First time, second time… Of course, nobody will react as long as you have done your root cause analysis and you have a very solid plan to address that it’s okay and especially if you’re a supplier to Honda. But to be very clear, when you’re going to Honda they will ask you: “Have you done root cause analysis?”, and you’re gonna learn (I didn’t even give you the sheet, it’s in that box A3 problem-solving), they’ll ask you to fill out that sheet and in the sheet if you lie, it will be clear, they will catch you. Especially if you only say, “It was an operator’s error”. You are calling for a trouble, you cannot say in front of Honda, or Toyota or any good manager that it was people’s issue.

People will make mistake. What did you do to control it?

People will make mistake. What did you do to control it? So it was okay to make mistake but not okay to make stupid mistakes. That was not okay and I have seen in those meetings where people gave stupid reasons. They’re not talking about the problem; they’re talking about how you’re going to fix the problem.

That’s where people are afraid to make a change… especially in public service I observed that, people are so afraid to make a change because for the last so many years they’ve been told to follow it otherwise… citizens will put you in the newspaper or something. People are really afraid to make process changes in public service I can tell you that, but as long as we do it in a controlled manner, as long as we can change that by law or that policy it’s okay. Who writes the bylaws and policies and procedures? It’s the people. People wrote it for the people, if it makes sense, change the bylaw, change the law, have your data in your hand before you change the law.

Core values of LEAN:

respect the people

challenge the people

people will fix the process

In some case a file would come in, you have a hard problem, he touches the file first, then she’s touching at home, populate something into the date record, then he touches the same file for you sitting in the office, then again he touches the file, then she again touches the file. Five or six time they used to touch. What they did? Now it’s at least one or two touches from five touches. So you guys have already making change because people were on the process, they made a change. The file moves faster now.

Initiative, equality and trust

People want initiative. Tell me what are the challenges. 70 to 80% of the people want challenge, they want to feel good at the end of the day. They want to wake up in the morning and they want to do something bigger that themselves, but if you don’t give them initiative, don’t challenge them, you’re going to get mediocre. You ask mediocrity, you’re going to get mediocrity.

Equality. Have you seen those clans, I will say, in an organization, who go to the lunch together, who have the meetings together and you cannot enter that circle of trust? People watch you. People watch everything, what’s happening. Everybody should be equal.

And last but not least, people should be not looking for their back, who’s going to stab me today. If you are worried inside, forget about the competition. You’re fighting inside, your competitor is very happy – keep on fighting.

Douglas McGregor Theory. How many people have heard this theory? Very simple theory. Manager X, manager Y. Manager X takes control. Manager X thinks people are stupid, people need to be told, people need to be monitored. Manager Y says people are positive, challenges them, gives them targets, they will do on their own. We believe theory of Y.

Listen, listen, listen. Especially when you will be doing Lean process review, you cannot listen enough. Listen to your people, listen to your stakeholders, listen to your customers and put it all together and you will find your answers. Captain Michael took the worst US Navy ship in history and turned into the best US Navy ship in history. Look what he did.

That’s Captain Michael’s story: “I wanted to connect with each and every sailor of that ship, all 310 of the sailors who were doing the high profile jobs, as well as the sailors who were doing the seemingly menial jobs that we needed to have done in order to operate our ship. And I decided the only way I could connect with each one, would be to interview every sailor individually and it gave me the opportunity to look into each sailors’ eyes and tell them what we’re about. We’re about being number one in our industries, we’re not playing to come in number two and that I can’t do it without you. It’s not a one-man show and with these interviews I got to know my sailors, their names, their spouses’ names, their children’s names, their hometowns. I asked them what their goals were while they were in the Navy, most of my sailors never had anybody in their lives to sit them down and say what are your goals and how can I help you achieve. I asked them why they joined the Navy. I found out that over 50% joined because they wanted to go to college, but their families were too poor to send them, so they joined for the GI Bill for the tuition assistance, same reason why we went to the Naval Academy. Six of seven kids. My family was too poor to send me to college. When I found out somebody wanted to go to college, I decided we’re going to help you get it. We offer the SAT exam on board. And when I realized how smart my crew was, I added three questions in the interview: “What do you like most?”, ”What do you like least?”, “What would you change, if you were the captain of the ship?”

One sailor comes in and says, “Do you know how many times we’ve painted this ship in the last 12 months?” and I’ve said, “No”.

He said, “Six times, and every time we paint the ship that takes us a month to paint the ship, so every other month we’re painting this ship”.

He said, “Have you ever painted your home?”, I said, “Yes”. He said, “It sucks, doesn’t it?” and I said “What’s your point? We’ve been painting ships for 235 years”. He said, “Have you ever stop to notice why we have to paint the ship every other month?”. He said, “Every major piece of equipment that’s topside of the ship that’s being held in a place, it’s being held in place with nuts, bolts, screws, washers and fasteners that are made out of ferrous metal and when it’s rusting, it streams rusting down the side of the ship”.

He said, “Have you ever heard of stainless steel?” and I said, “You mean the stuff that doesn’t rust in salt?” and he said, “Exactly”.

You know this is stuff I tolerated my entire career. Then I started looking at this, you know, this is work that’s keeping us from figuring out how to defend ourselves better, so I took out our US government Visa Card, scoured the globe looking for materials we could change the stuff out with. We spend about 25 thousand bucks, we did not have to paint the ship again for the next ten months.

That program has since been implemented on every ship in the entire US Navy and it came because a 21-year-old sailor raised his hand and said, “Hey, captain. You get a little bit of this”. I used to say to the crew, “It’s your show. You want it just as much as I do”.

It’s a true story. The book name is “It’s Your Ship”. I don’t need to explain this. He’s not a Lean consultant, he’s a common sense servant leader.

Do you think your customers care about your department divisions hierarchies? Not at all. They care about the service they are getting at the end. Break the communication, let the communication flow from wherever. And yesterday you were saying you have a communication barrier.

Write down this, please. Huddles are the most important. Start the huddle, forget about the numbers first. Just start meeting for five minutes and never sit down for huddle meetings. It has to be a huddle meeting, it has taken from sports.

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