Best practices in Lean, and a walk around Midtown Atlanta

My latest article for is now live. The title is Success in Lean comes from the bottom up. Here is an excerpt:

Long before Toyota even existed, and before corporate executives were getting black belts in Six Sigma, Frederick Taylor was trying to find ways to improve efficiency through something he called scientific management. He meticulously measured the productivity of each individual worker, and corrected inefficient practices. Productivity went up. Taylor’s influence spread rapidly throughout the industrialized world.

The conclusion that Taylor reached through his research and experiments was that workers were incapable of achieving greater productivity, without the control and direction of a manager.

The Toyota Production System realized that this concept might be flawed. If a worker spends the majority of her waking hours performing certain tasks, that worker probably knows all too well the sources of any inefficiency.

Hello Atlanta!

I am currently sitting in my hotel room, on the eve of the 1st annual Retail Design & Construction Conference. The event takes place at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. I am scheduled to lead a session at the conference on Friday, called Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control.

Speaking of Lean, the conference kicks off with a keynote by Scott Heydon, who introduced Lean practices at Starbucks. After leaving Starbucks, he founded the Retail Transformation Group, LLC, a consulting firm that assists multi-unit retailers and restaurants with Lean implementation. I’m looking forward to Heydon’s talk.

My father and I traveled together from San Diego. After arriving at the hotel, we headed to the nearby Ribs N Blues for some outstanding barbeque before walking the neighborhood.

We saw the gigantic Coca-Cola headquarters in the background, walked around part of the Georgia Tech campus, past the Turner Broadcasting building, then headed back to the hotel. The picture accompanying this post shows the dual-branded Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites taking shape in Midtown at the corner of 10th and Williams.

Upon closer inspection, it appears that the Tyvek is reverse-lapped with the DensGlass sheathing at the vertical columns:

Oh well…