Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Risks Should be Taken Wisely

I agree. I think it is wise to understand you are willing to take certain risks in order to improve and innovate. Sometimes things might not work out. That doesn't mean you don't do what you can to mitigate the impact of things that don't work out.

It does seem to me the "accept risk" (fail fast, accept failure...) folks would be better served to focus a bit more on mitigating the results of failure. Sure accept risks when you determine it is worth taking the risk due to the benefits.

I wrote about this earlier this year: Taking risk, but do so wisely.

Accepting risk doesn't mean failure is good. And it doesn't mean the results of experiments are all blameless. You can do a poor job of taking risks. If that is done, we should learn from it and improve how we take risks going forward. I would also put my focus process over people (what, good and bad, can we learn about how we did this experiment or took this risk to do better experiments and risk taking going forward).

In response to: To Blame or Not to Blame

Related: Find the Root Cause Instead of the Person to Blame - Blame the Road, Not the Person - Respect for People Doesn’t Mean Avoiding Any Hint of Criticism

Monday, November 04, 2013

Making Standard Work Fun

I am not really sure the standard work shown in the video (drivers pointing to the sign in each subway station) is a great part of the process but it is an example of standard work. It just seems odd to me that it is really the best idea to have as part of the process but maybe it is. In any event it is a fun video.

Related: Why Isn’t Work Standard? - Arbitrary Rules Don’t Work - Standardized Work Instructions - Visual Instructions Example

Friday, November 01, 2013

Lean v Innovation is a False Dichotomy

The whole idea that process improvement efforts are harmful to innovation frustrates me. It is due to misunderstanding what is labeled as process improvement. Lean isn't about just making whatever process exists less wasteful. Lean focuses on value added to customers but people forget that.

A separate idea people have is that in order to improve processes you need to improve all of them the same way. Wrong! The way you improve the internal operations of a fast food restaurant are not going to be the same things you do to improve a think tank or research lab. But both have processes. The results of both can be improved by improving how the systems work.

Yes a think tank or research lab would not be served well by the same types of processes as a fast food restaurant. And a fast food restaurant wouldn't be served by the type of process improvement that would benefits a research lab.

I have written about this several times, including: Response to: Lean v. Innovation…Wrong Question!

Related: Clayton Christensen on Innovation and Macro Economics - Accept Taking Risks, Don’t Blithely Accept Failure Though