Productivity and Communication

The Lean Philosophy in Research Administration: Continuous Improvement with a Long-Term Philosophy

Lean Rules:

  • No meetings in the first two hours of your workday to allow for Gemba Time (go to where the work is being done and check-in with your people). Focus on your team and those things that can add value, improve their workflow, solve a problem or reduce waste.
  • When planning a meeting, determine the purpose of the meeting: informational, planning or problem solving. If the meeting is informational, consider whether the information can be provided by email instead of a scheduled meeting.
  • Have an agenda for every meeting and circulate it prior to the meeting.
  • Schedule meetings to begin at the top of the hour for a maximum of 25 or 50 minutes to allow for travel between meetings. Research shows that a meeting’s productivity reaches its peak at 30 minutes, plateaus and then declines rapidly after that.
  • Commit to starting and ending meetings on time. Follow up outside of the meeting time if necessary.

The 5S Philosophy:

  • Lean depends on standardization. You want your tools, processes, and workplace arrangements to be as simple and as standard as possible. This creates fewer places for things to go wrong, and reduces the inventory of replacement parts that you need to hold.
  • Sort: Get rid of all clutter so we can find the things we need.
  • Straighten: Be sure everything is in its place and materials stay where they belong. Systematically arrange the plant.
  • Sweep: Make sure your premises are clean, and install systems to keep them that way.
  • Standardize: Establish procedures to maintain workplace organization

Waste and the Munda:

Waste is anything that doesn’t add value to the end product. There are eight categories of waste.

  1. Overproduction – Are you producing more than consumers demand? Do you provide more data or information than is needed? Do you create reports more often than required for example? Or do you spend unnecessary amounts of time formatting these reports?
  2. Waiting – How much lag time is there between production steps? Do you spend too much time waiting for information or data from others, before you can do your work? What can you do about this?
  3. Inventory (work in progress) – Are your supply levels and work in progress inventories too high? Do you have a large stock of materials? Are your supply levels and work-in-process inventory too high?
  4. Transportation – Do you move materials efficiently? Do things flow efficiently? Could you combine deliveries, or deliver things more quickly?
  5. Over-processing – Do you work on the product too many times, or otherwise work inefficiently? Do you needlessly work on something more than once?
  6. Motion – Do people and equipment move between tasks efficiently? How is work passed along in your team? Do people understand what they’re required to do at each step? Do people and equipment move between tasks efficiently?
  7. Defects – How much time do you spend finding and fixing production mistakes? How often do you find mistakes? Do you make the same mistakes on a regular basis?
  8. Workforce – Do you use workers efficiently? Do you use your time wisely? Do you spend most of your time on activities that add value and are a high priority?


“Lean Manufacturing Philosophy” by Carlos Eduardo Queiroga Guerra at

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/04/2018

Further Reading

%d bloggers like this: