human resources

Warning sign: merge ahead

People Bottlenecks

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 06-20-17

In the flow of a manufacturing plant, the bottleneck should often be the most valuable, or at least most expensive asset. We actually should be designing our processes around that fact, and then ensuring there is no unnecessary waste in the process that affects that bottleneck. In the Theory of

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Video preview: Practicing lean

Practicing Lean

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-28-17

The idea that just as doctors practice medicine we must practice lean is the premise of a book I contributed to called Practicing Lean which was edited by Mark Graban. We must be wiling to evolve our practices and learn as we move forward.   Order a copy of the book today

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How "flat" should an organization really be? Zappos eliminates managers

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-09-14

Lean means getting rid of managers, developing a flat organizational structure, and abdicating all responsibilities to the front line employees. Right? Too many people just read that without twitching. But it’s wrong. That’s not lean at all. Before going too far, lean also doesn’t mean adding organizational layers. There is

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Are Working on Gaps Always the Best Approach? [Guest Post]

by ShawnP on 04-20-11

Guest Post: Shawn Patterson is the Senior Director of Corporate Services at DTE Energy where he is responsible for the Supply Chain, Fleet, Facilities, and Continuous Improvement organizations. Shawn has held numerous positions in multiple industries and is passionate about influencing lean transformations in organizations.   We are all familiar

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The right supervisor ratio

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 06-01-10

“How many direct reports do you have?” That used to be a question asked to measure someone’s importance. People wanted control. Building an empire was a status symbol. But that has little to do with effectiveness. I have been writing a lot lately about topics related to organizational design, such

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What is the right span of control for a manager?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-17-10

Spans is how broad an individual managers responsibility is defined, be it defined by subordinate ratios, geographic expanse, or process breadth. Layers is is how many levels exist in the organization between an action and a decision. It is best defined by handoffs – how many handoffs are required in

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Motivation and Incentives in the Lean Company

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-11-10

  Some groups don’t have to worry about motivation. Sports teams, for example, are filled with people who want to win, or at least enjoy trying. But for most of us, don’t have motivation so easy. Truly lean organizations have demonstrated a higher level of motivation, incentive, and engagement. In

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Organizational Design Solves Lean Challenges

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-29-10

Organizational design can be used to solve problems or enhance lean methods. I wrote on the relationship that HR can play with lean, and fitting in with organizational design, in Organizational Design and Role of HR in Lean. Certainly mental models are challenged within a lean journey and the organizational

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Creating Employee Engagement, Part 4

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 03-08-10

This is the final part of a 4 part series on Creating Employee Engagement. You can first read Parts 1, 2, and 3. Skills Required for Engagement Skill gaps to create engagement exist both in employees and managers, although most transformation efforts tend to focus on only one or the

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Creating Employee Engagement, Part 3

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 03-05-10

This is part 3 on employee engagement. Read Part 1 and Part 2. The Development of Systems to Support Engagement When conducting an assessment, one of the most revealing questions that I seem to ask is “if you have found waste or an opportunity to improve, what do you do

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