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Experimenting with LEAN

LEAN

Did you know that Thomas Edison tested over 1600 materials while designing the filament for the electric light bulb? He is credited with saying “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.” Applying LEAN thinking requires a similar approach.

 

Did you know that Thomas Edison tested over 1600 materials while designing the filament for the electric light bulb? He is credited with saying “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.” Applying LEAN thinking requires a similar approach.

 

Every good idea should be approached as an experiment. Don’t be afraid to test a new idea, it could be the one that works. If we try an idea that doesn’t make the process better, then we should stop—but keep thinking of new ideas! There are a lot of things at McKenney’s that are very good due to years of examination and improvement but nothing is perfect. As we continue to look for ways to get better, we need to make sure that good ideas are making a positive impact.

 

Here are a few brief rules of thumb to make your LEAN Idea experiments successful:

–          Keep it simple. The best ideas aren’t difficult to test or implement.

–          Keep the test small. Find out if it’s successful in a small area before suggesting it on a large scale.

–          Keep sending in all your ideas whether they succeed or fail. We want to learn from all of our collective failures as much as our success.

 

It is absolutely critical in a LEAN transformation to embrace every failure as a learning opportunity. If ideas fail, share them with those around you and eliminate them as possible solutions in the future. And remember—by analyzing what you did and what didn’t work, you can learn from your failures, improve the next time and then celebrate your successes!

 

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About Dan Cotton

Website: http://www.mckenneys.com
Email Address: dan.cotton@mckenneys.com
Dan Cotton
Dan Cotton is the manager of Virtual Construction at McKenney's and is responsible for our BIM and CAD modeling teams. He has been a member of the LEAN Construction Institute (LCI) since 2011 and is currently a core team member of the LCI’s Georgia Community of Practice. Dan holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Georgia Tech and led the LEAN efforts at McKenney's from 2010 through 2013. Prior to his involvement in Virtual Construction and LEAN, Dan was a project manager in the McKenney's New Construction division for six years.
Tags: LEAN

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