All entries for Monday 20 May 2013

May 20, 2013

Contradictions between Lean and Deming

While exploring best-practices in asset maintenance I faced contradiction to Deming’s SoPK in one AM approach, namely, Six Sigma. The thing is, when we talk about knowledge management, I immediately associate it with Deming and his theory,…thus, to adopt Lean Maintenance through KM, we should be sure that it follows Deming’s core principles.

To be more specific, I found few articles where Lean was recognized as methodology for eliminating wastes and cutting the time flow, which, in turn, brought some reduction in workforce. Thus, the process improvement using Lean brought staff reduction. Whereas, Deming’s “chain reaction” says that by improving quality, we reduce production costs which, in turn, results in better productivity, lower price for the product. The better price and quality attracts more customers that let us stay and grow in the market and create new jobs. So, the promise is just opposite comparing to Lean.

However, I couldn’t believe that Lean bring company to staff reduction, just because it initially was developed by Taiichi Ohno who combined Shewhart’s control charts with Deming’s philosophy and therefore couldn’t contradict to SoPK. Later I found a book “The Machine That Change the World”, where managing people in a Lean way had just opposite meaning to employees reduction. By considering TOYOTA experience, author stated that optimizing the process would release some labor, but this extra human resources should be not fired but placed to improvement projects. Thus, company will support itself with both, people working with the core business process and people improving that process.

May 2013

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Most recent comments

  • I would say knowledge "lean" folks understand the and the need to respect people (share success and … by John Hunter on this entry
  • Come on Cheryl, these all are just my observations based on lectures materials!))) by Arina Borodina on this entry
  • i think u get a lot material to write ur PMA!! good for u by Tzu-i Yang on this entry
  • Your welcome and I couldn't agree more with your post. Indeed many companies have heads and not lead… by Lorraine Karuku on this entry
  • Thank you for comment! And I totally agree with you that "we need good quality leadership to improve… by Arina Borodina on this entry

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