Friday, November 21, 2008

A Great Week

As I started in a recent post, this week is seeing the culmination of some big projects. The next one is an administration support review, which all but finished on Tuesday with a backlog cull.
The manager of the staff had been trapped by the sheer weight of their backlog, which had peaked at approximately 900 items ranging from emails, projects, reading etc.

Now, whilst I conducted it with GTD mindset on the recommendation of Iain. I was brought to back to earth by the comments of my supervisor that I was implementing a 2S instead of a 5S. This was only telling as I had particularly railed against some of the Lean zealots that seem to be popping up around the place.

To be fair, I have nothing against Lean or 5S and in fact think they are quite fine toolsets for the right problem or part thereof. The bit that intrigues me is that it seems to inspire cult-like followers that only ever speak of success except to note that when failure occurs that it was due to a like of higher management support... I don't think I am alone in suggesting that if failure is not publicly spoken about, it is more than a little suspicious.

In fact the Change Management Guide questioning approach was created in hope that some attention might be paid to the people (especially the ones who dared offer resistance or criticism), thus some potential to actually achieve a culture of continuous improvement.

Upon reflection, there were 4S (Shine would've been waste of time as these people were nearly OCD-style clean) used but in itself it was not a Lean intervention. There was far more invested in resolving some of the emotional issues such as stress and disengagement. I find that this merely confirms that the Lean stuff is just a hammer not everything is a nail.

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