About Me

My photo
Tampa, Florida, United States
9 year US Army veteran I break out my service time as follows: 6 years in Military Intelligence and 3 years as a Cavalry Scout. I went into Electronics repair for 10 years and for the last 5 years I have been a Project Manager and Lean Six Sigma Change Agent.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Episode 19 USPS VOC

Well United States Postal Service has announced that they are cutting back on a lot of things. The next episode I intend on using this to talk about managing change and keeping a hand on your customer. The problem is the unique situation of the USPS and some other items that will cause some problems in change.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Episode 18 WIP

Building WIP between episodes. Break the rules of one piece flow. Check the process map. Now to determine what to talk about in Episode 18, ISO, Training, Interviews, Gemba. Well I think Gemba and the Gemba Walk would be a good subject (feed back driven right now)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Episode 18 will be next week

I would put up a new episode this week. However my voice is and has been gone since the 19th. Considering the poor quality of the audio to begin with to have my horse voice trying to get over the rest of the problems would not be in the best interest of my customers. It is not for the holiday that begins on thrusday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Episode 17 Teaming

This is the episode I talked about on the Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Episode 17 Will be Teams

I listened to a podcast of a 60 minutes program and one of the articles was about a College in Maryland. So I went on a rant for the first 20 minutes. The next ten (to be recorded in the next 24 hours) will be on how to structure the teams.

Here is a link to what inspired the episode.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388127n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel

Monday, November 14, 2011

A fun "I got it!!" moment

I was watching a show on the arrow of time no US PBS TV show NOVA over the weekend. They got to the point where they were talking about Entropy and I thought:

"Lean and Six Sigma are about reduction of variation and elimination of waste in a process. So we are always fighting Entropy. The transition from an ordered state to one of disorder. So LSS must overcome S = K log W."

I know it is oversimplification but hey it sounds good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Episode 16

Greetings

Here is the next episode ready for you to listen to and hopefully provide feedback.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Episode 16 OEE and Teaching

The improtance for yourself in training others and a touch on OEE.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Get ready for Episode 15

The next Episode I will try to talk about you doing training of others. Overwhelmed? no you are not. The trick is prioritization of work. If your organization has no clear vision or an understanding of it's mission than you will always be overwhelmed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Episode 13 Goals

For your listening pleasure. Goals, how to establish them, measure them, and achieve them. Also what can go wrong and how to avoid it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goal setting

I have some time off this week. My family is out of the country visiting family and friends. I am working my behind off on projects around the house and listening to podcasts on a verity of subjects.

Some are on self improvement and others are for entertainment. I've also been able to catch up on movies that I like that my wife is not so fond of.

Why all of the personal stuff on a skills development blog?

Well all skills are personal and how you aquire them is all on your mindset. Some times you need to take some time to evaluate your goals and get reoriented to your goals.

I was taking a break and watching some US history program about the War of 1812. I started rembering when I was a child studing the US involvment in World War II (the global conflict from 1938 to 1945) I wanted to be a US Soldier. I accomplished this and more. When I was discharged from the service on medical reasons (I got fat due to Prednazone treatment for a skin rash that swelled my eys shut, during the time when they were getting anyone out they could to save money, in 1998)

Since then I have set short term goals. Now I am finally developing long term goals that are more meaningful. Now to set the short term achieavable goals to get to the larger long term goal. This is always the hard part of Lean and Six Sigma, as well as Project Management. Scope Creep is a real problem and how to manage is a very difficult process in our professional lives as in our personal lives.

For the next episode I think I will go into this instead of OEE. I will get back to OEE soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Episode 12 is up

Here we have some feedback and I am going with it.

30 min and on Value Stream Mapping. Also a little breakdown on who is listening.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tommrow in Episode 12

I will go into Value Stream Maps and their use. I will try to keep it to 30 Min. This is based on feed back I have received. I appreciate it very much.

Have some other ideas in the near future that will get kind of confusing to some. I want to try to tie in some more using LSS and PM in your personal life to help perfect your use of the tools that are available.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Episode 11 How to Maintain

Here it is how to keep your skills sharp. Not only for the new practitioner but for the seasoned Master Black Belt.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Getting Episode 11 ready

Episode 11 will be about what to do in order to maintain your credential and stay ahead of the rest of your peers.

You are already moving ahead. You are researching and learning ahead of your peers by reading this and listening to this Podcast. I am only going to validate what you are already doing and recomend some other ways to move it foward.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Restructuring the podcast

Looks like I will have to redo some of the things I do on the Podcast.

I will probably change the title and start all new. I have not figured out which way I want to go yet. I know I need to do some changes and make it better somehow. I figure I will get it figured out over the next month or so.

Family will be out of town for a week so I will put something together then.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Episode 10: Fiction and use in Training

Where is good Lean and Six Sigma in fiction? Mostly in Dilbert and 30 Rock in a derogitory fashion.

However there is good fiction out there and you can use it in your training modules. I talk about it here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Next episode: LSS in fiction

Have you seen, heard, or read anywhere you can get references to Lean and or Six Sigma in use. I know 30 Rock keeps nailing Six Sigma for comedy purposes. Then there is Goldratts books. How about other places like the very short lived Factory on Spike. I have been re listening to World War Z on audio book, and there is a section in there where you listen to a bureaucrat discussing restarting war production with limited resources. This would be a great resource for a training exercise with Lean or even Project Management.

I will be talking about it in Episode 10.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Episode 9

Had a warning that it may not be avalable right away.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Episode 8

Here it is. More on VOC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Customer Relationships

I've had an experience this week where a small business had seriously broken processes. The processes were so broken that they had an individual quit while working on the job that affected me and my family directly.

This caused waste on orders that you would not have believed. I tried to help them out but they were to focused on being what they are that they only made the situation worse. How do you avoid this? Can you avoid this?

I will put this into the podcast this week. It goes well with the Voice of the Customer that I spoke about two episodes ago.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Episode 7

Here it is a short discussion on training. How to structure it and how to make it happen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Episode 6 Voice of the Customer on the road

This week I am on the road in Kansas City. Very appropriate to talk about Voice of the Customer other wise known as VOC. How do you get to hear the VOC? How can you understand it?

The answer to these questions are in this podcast.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Episode 5 is now published here and on iTunes

Here it is ready for your listening pleasure


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tightening up Episode 5

Did the first dry run on recording the Podcast. I am going in a different direction than I had originally thought. I am starting out with work place politics. Then I couple that with what is going on in the traditional political realm of national and state politics.

I am not choosing a side or talking about voting or such concepts as that. However I am talking about how to navigate these waters.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lean and Six Sigma in Politics USA!!!!

Where is this going?

Mr. George http://strongamericanow.com/  formerly of the George Group. The guys that brought Lean and Six Sigma to the Government.

Between him and Paul Akers http://leanamerica.org/ who is abusiness owner and entrapanuer.

These guys with ohter are now doing what they can to bring Lean and Six Sigma to the political part of the government system. The workers, day to day get it done slogging in the trences people in the Military use these tools everyday. Well the above two sites and the men behind them are pushing the methodologies into the political realm.

How will this affect the practictioners? Well listen to the podcast which will be up by Friday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to Basics

What is it about the soft skills that are so hard to learn?

They are the unquantifialbe parts of the skill sets that are a must. These are the skills that are not able to be measured from cause and effect. However they can make or break a project.

These skills are aquired, as some would say, only through hard trial and error in day to day work and life. More on soft skills and how to build them up in the podcast.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Resources I use

http://www.leanblog.org/ This is great for Lean in healthcare

 http://www.isixsigma.com/ Great general Lean and Six Sigma information

http://www.pmi.org/ The house of Project and Program Management

http://asq.org/index.aspx Go here for a start on quality

http://www.apics.org/default.htm These guys get into Lean and other things

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prep for next podcast

I am looking at a more meaty episode.

I know some people out there may be wondering about certifications. Where, who, and how.

The main thing to remember is when looking at certification you need to determine if you have to be certified in a specific discipline. If not then look at the tool set you might need and become proficient in the use of them.

Lean, Six Sigma, Project Management, Business Process Management, etc etc.

Which one do you focus on? Which one do you do?

You do what is appropriate for the business culture you operate in. You use the tools that better make your environment more adventagious to you. These are all tools, a tool is used on an item. Some tools can do more than one job, however, when possible the best tool should be used. You do not use a screwdriver to drive a nail.

I will go into this in the podcast in some depth.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Episode 2 is now up.

http://lssl.libsyn.com/lean-and-six-sigma-leadership-podcast-episode-2

This is the roll out the project episode. Some things to think about in there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Podcast Episode 2

I will record it tonight on my way home.

I will start with a little bit of rolling out projects. This will dove tail into getting buy in from management for additional changes. The key subject for this episode will be "Moving Forward In A Backward Thinking, Fast Moving Company."

This will be fun.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Podcast Process

Well I finally got the first Podcast up.

This was an interesting journey. First I had to get the correct software in my iPod to record the podcast. Then I went through two microphones before I could get a clean sound. After all of that it came down to recording several times.

Finally I had to learn to get it from the iPod to the hosting site. That was an experience. Not for the technical issues that was easy. It was more about time management issues. I have to squeeze this between work and home. I record the podcast in my car on the way home. Then I have to find a time to load it. Well I figure I can record on Wednesday and Thursday and have it loaded up on Fridays from now on. I'll get a full blown blog post up to support the podcast by the following Tuesday.

Podcast Episode 1 update

This episode has not yet been released. This embed will work on 2011-08-02 11:54:08

Podcast Episode 1 is almost up

I will have the podcast up in very short order. Then I will start talking about the next item.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Soft Skills" Defined

Soft Skills


First off what are “Soft Skills” where change agents are concerned?

These are skills that you use to interact with people in order to accomplish tasks or work in a project. At least that is what I take away from all of the references everywhere. I will list the core group of skills here:

Written and verbal communication

Presentation for example use of visual aids and meeting management

Transition in a small group from participant to leadership and back again

Working one on one

Understanding and executing instructions from sponsors and leadership

All of these skills will get their own treatment over time in this blog and in the podcast as I get to them. The main thing right now is to understand that this is the generally accepted list from a consolidation of resources and my own experience while working through projects. Leadership and the associated skills are not limited to the management or supervisors or people who have authority over another person. I have seen great leadership from a subordinate with no authority. An excellent example is for you parents out there where your child manipulates you into purchasing a toy. Maybe not the toy or treat the child wants, however when you walk into a store with the intention of only getting what you need and the child changes it. Some would call it manipulation however you tend to have to do it over and over. This tells me you start your leadership training at 2 years old.

Upon realizing you have to be a leader in managing change that causes anxiety through an entire company, you start to read everything on leadership and manipulation you can get your hands on. Some of the common authors are Franklin Covey, Jack Welch, Sun Tzu, and Bruce Lee, and many others.

The first thing you learn is to assess the company you are going to conduct change in. The main thing to ensure is that the leadership is on board and willing to start change. I mean they need to be on board with painful change. If they are already having trouble in their processes and have not initiated real change and are looking to you to save them. You need to gage their commitment to change. All you need is to be in the middle of a major process overhaul and some major failure or process hiccup occurs. All of your efforts are shot as you are dragged off to play fireman.

So you study basic communications and leadership. You take the appropriate tools and apply them to what works with your situation and personality. However most important of all is to ensure you are in the correct environment for change. All of the leadership capabilities in the world and the change you know will work will not happen when the boss says “no we can not do that.” An extreme example can be found in history. In the following case though, it is good that the change was not executed, for all our sakes. However at the time it did make sense for General McArthur to hammer the Chinese with heaver weapons than where at hand. Truman said no. Would it have worked? I do not think so. We will never know. However it was an idea with its own merit and backed up with data. You would have to make the call.

Next week and on the first podcast I will start out with a discussion on Presentation Skills.

Lean and Six Sigma

I think that one of the hardest to teach and learn aspects of Lean Six Sigma transformations of a company are the soft skills. The hard tools and skills are relatively easy to teach and understand. Granted the statistics portions are a problem. However with practice you can learn how to use them.

The soft skills there is no place or circumstance in which you can practice them. Except in front of a mirror, a classroom, or on the job. I will Begin to discuss from my experience how best to employ the soft skills in various situations in this blog and go into more detail in an audio blog followed up with videos published on YouTube.