Friday, 3 October 2014

Yorkshire Lean Learning

Earlier this year a community of practice was established for Yorkshire lean professionals. Last night I was able to attend my first meeting, it was the third meeting of the group.

Laura Hallett from The University of York welcomed us to the event and introduced the speakers. She also mentioned the Leanhe Hub conference which will be held in Cardiff next month http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/leanheconference/

The main presentation was by Stewart Halliday Assistant Director of Transformation and Change at City of York Council. At the council there is a drive for capital programmes, efficiency, business consolidation and transformation. They use lean objectives to empower all employees to make a difference, create conditions for widespread improvement, provide understanding and skills of lean thinking and give control to those who see the opportunities.

Their lean principles are: Don't waste people's time, provide the quality that is required, changes must be identified and made as close to the Ing of delivery as possible, it's an ongoing task.

The next steps are looking at not just improving their existing processes, but creating a vision of the service they want to provide. They are thinking about leadership, clarity of purpose, involving as many people as possible (including our customers). They are also finding sometime for leaders to tolerate the failures, and encourage staff to try new things, rather than fearing failure.

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The next slot was Hannah Smith one of the Business Analysts from The University of York, she shared an example of a visual agenda, based on Penny Pullan's work in “Making Projects Work”. The aim of the agenda is to provide a shared visual aid to support a meeting. It needs to have a purpose, plan, outcomes, roles, ground rules, actions and a car park for questions. The use of the visual agenda has been really effective and is gaining momentum at The University of York.

Hannah also talked about Piktochart which is a free app which is good for helping people to represent things visually. They are using a blog to informally share information with the wider university community about their projects and have also created a wiki site for the formal actions. Other work they have been doing includes been using Pinterest shared board and Hannah also shared a nice example of how they help teams create a vision statement using a big whiteboard in an interactive session.

We then had 15 minutes for networking, it was great to catch up with people using lean in their day job, I look forward to attending the next event in December.

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