Those of us who have tip-toed into the world of blogs know that one day can be dramatically different from the next. The authors of Evolving Excellence have, to put it mildly, had a very interesting 48 hours and I know I’m ready for a stiff drink and some sleep. What happened? Within the past two days three of our stories have been quoted in two other blogs that happen to be in the Technorati top 100… in other words they generate incredible traffic. Almost a thousand visitors an HOUR were referred to Evolving Excellence, which generated a ton of email comments and questions that I’ve tried to stay ahead of.
Yesterday the TechDirt blog mentioned our post on GM’s Disrespect for Robots and then today they discussed our post on Lean Healthcare Takes Off. In between the CNET’s ZDNet blog commented on our post from exactly a year ago on Forget SAP, Run Down To Staples, which prompted several posts on other software-oriented blogs. That last one also created a firestorm of email, ranging from "you’re ignorant" to "finally someone had the guts to say that." It’s amazing how many people actually thought having a complex ERP system was appropriate for a small company with simple products and short cycle and raw material lead times. Actually it’s sad how many people have drunk that Kool-Aid.
Also interesting were the multitude of comments to TechDirt’s post on lean healthcare. Many saw the potential of lean manufacturing, but others were, well, confused. For example, here’s one comment:
Informally, JIT already occurs in the health care industry. Hospital night shifts are run by inexperienced workers who want to keep deaths down. Night shift workers at hospitals have a saying, "Keep ’em alive until 7:05" (when the shift change happens). I manage a registry of state deaths, and yes, there is a dramatic drop in deaths reported in the 7am-8am time period (which then dramatically spikes afterwards). There’s also a dramatic spike in deaths at noon – 2pm, when doctors make their after-lunch rounds.
Huh? Besides the morbid aspects, how is that JIT? In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of JIT. That tells me that those of us in the lean world have a long ways to go in educating non-manufacturing industries about lean.
Which is why I hope that many of you who visited Evolving Excellence via those non-manufacturing related blogs will stick around a while. From the bounce in our subscribers, I’m glad to see that many are. Lean can be and actually has been applied to practically every industry.
I also encourage you to prowl around the other lean blogs you’ll see listed in the left column. The lean blogger community is very active, friendly, and growing rapidly. As just a few examples:
Kathleen at Fashion-Incubator often writes about lean as applied to the apparel industry.
Ron at the Lean Six Sigma Academy also goes into many of the finer aspects of lean and six sigma.
Karen at Lean Reflections has been involved with many aspects of lean and now tells us about them on her blog. Several of her posts are also healthcare-related.
That’s just for starters. Take a look around at the lean world; I bet you’ll find several concepts you can apply to your industry!