Thursday, December 30, 2010

Annual Management Improvement Carnival 2010 - Improve with Me

It’s that time again for the Annual Management Improvement Carnival which is orchestrated by John Hunter, creator of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. I have the privilege to help by reviewing four excellent improvement blogs, Improve with Me, Lean for Everyone, My Flexible Pencil and Training within Industry. Following suit with the great review formats of Jamie Flinchbaugh and Tim McMahon, I will review each blog in separate posts over the next few days.

I’ll start things off with Improve with Me written by Brian Buck. Brian is a lean healthcare practitioner from Tacoma, Washington and started writing his blog back in December 2007. I sadly missed a couple of opportunities to meet Brian last year as I traveled to Seattle but hope to met him on one of my future trips.

As a regular reader of Brian’s posts, I have gained a broader perspective on improvement. Here are a few of his best for 2010.

Strategy Deployment Challenges at a Hospital
“Just because a project is a good thing to do does not mean it should be done now. It is very easy to spend time and resources on these “good” projects if your organizational strategy is not deployed throughout all levels. The challenge our organization is facing is there are other strategic initiatives losing momentum due to competing resources.” This post links to a nice video feature Dr John Toussaint from ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value on their hospital lean strategy.

Advice for First Time A3 Authors
“Writing an A3 is a wonderful tool to solve problems and share the thinking that goes into resolving issues. I have some tips to help first time A3 authors that I hope will be valuable for you.”

Doing Silly Things
“It is amazing to me how often people want to implement something or suggest how to change a process without ever connecting their thoughts to a problem or desired outcome. As an internal consultant at a hospital, I frequently get presented with proposed changes where we have to back-track to discover the problem. Here are some reasons I think this happens”

Fire at Will
Brian Buck provides some thought provoking points to the “Burning Platform” approach to drive change.

Don’t Call HR Yet!
“If someone isn’t following standard work then it becomes an individual performance issue. Have you ever heard a leader say something like that? It is important to help leaders understand that there are many reasons why standardized work may not be followed and creating a human resource performance improvement plan should not be the first step.”

A.C.O.W. Tale
“Does your hospital have a system to ensure nurses have working equipment or they know how to get them fixed? I recently visited a hospital where the answer would be “NO”.”

I like Brian’s posts because he presents great examples from his lean healthcare experiences that stretch my manufacturing-centric point of view on lean improvement along with providing his insight to the lean approach.

Please be sure to continue reading Brian Buck’s Improve with Me in the future and comment on his posts.

1 comment:

Brian Buck said...


Thanks so much for this post! I am honored since your blog has been one of my favorites for years! I hope we can actually connect next time you are in town.