Value Stream Mapping, an Interview With Author Karen Martin

Karen_MartinAn interview with Karen Martin talking about her new book Value Stream Mapping.

How to Visualize Workflow and Align People for Organizational Transformation

In this episode, Karen discusses how too many organizations remain unfamiliar with value stream mapping as a methodology. As a foundation for Lean business management, value stream mapping is used as a means to build outstanding organizations.

Value Stream Mapping
Value Stream Mapping

In this work Karen offers real solutions for organizations such as: information intensive office, service and knowledge work environments, communication, construction, education, energy entertainment, financial services, government, healthcare, hospitality, law enforcement and the military to name a few.


TLM 022 Innovation Engineering with David Mixson

TLM 022 Innovation Engineering with David Mixson

Innovation Engineering Deficit?


Are you plagued with IADD? As I spoke with my guest, David Mixson, he just coined the phrase Innovation Attention Deficit Disorder!  Join me on this episode,  to see if you and your business have fallen prey.

David with his experience in the field of economic development works with companies around the state to increase profits through a David Mixsonvariety of means.   He is based at Auburn University working through ATN Alabama Technology Network, a  -5:02 function of MEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership ,a division NIST National Institute of Standards and Technologies. Their purpose is to help companies create jobs, maintain jobs through new products  or new processes, improving efficiency of their operations with a wide verity of resources.

– 10:42 The term Innovation Engineering was first used by Doug Hall, who spent many years with Proctor & Gamble bringing many new products to market. One year he put out a record nine products! He later founded his own organization, Eureka Ranch, which for over the last twenty years has been building on the premise that ideas must be Meaningfully Unique.

Social-InnovationThe idea must:

  1. Have a clear benefit “Promise”
  2. It must have credibility or “Proof”

Innovation Engineering can be thought of as a system of looking at what could be called the fuzzy front end.   Things like: idea creation, idea generation, and idea mining-looking forward.

– 17:00 A Google search on the word innovation yields 285 million results; An Amazon search on the word innovation yields 224 thousand results.

The formal definition for Innovation Engineering is: Meaningfully Unique.  If you’re not meaningfully unique you’d better be cheap!


  • What is the problem?

  • What is the promise?

  • And what is the proof?

– 18:05 Nissan innovation that excites! And Infiniti Q50, predictive forward collision technology

If we build it, will they really come?   Innovation Engineering teaches us to fail fast, fail cheap and get smarter.  Does anybody care about what we think is an innovation?   The first idea you come up with in many cases is wrong in some area, the promise, the product, or the profitability of it.

-30:00  Are we bringing our product and process ideas to market effectively or do we have Innovation Attention Deficit Disorder?

Innovation Engineering teaches us to spend that extra time on the “Fuzzy Front End” of idea creation and commercialization in a systematic way to get the maximum out of an idea in terms of solving problems and maximizing profits.

Creating A Lean Manufacturing Environment with Employee Engagement

Creating a lean manufacturing environment requires engagement

In this Lean Manufacturing Podcast episode I discuss with Karen Martin the critical importance of employee engagement.   Before we can move on to things like six sigma,  pull using kanban signals or even a well established 5s program we must create an environment that engages the hearts and minds of our employees.

Creating a lean manufacturing environment requires engagement

“Engagement, in my view is neither an attitude nor a behavior.  Rather, it is an outcome that results when an organization takes active steps with its employees to foster connections, to hand over control of appropriate aspects of  the work environment, and to challenge the employee’s intellectual capacity and creativity in a way that benefits the organization, its customers, the employee, and society as a whole.”  Page 152, The Outstanding Organization.


“The Outstanding Organization has been awarded The Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award.”

Research & Pub logo



TLM 021 Master Plan for 5S Implmentation – Interview with Mark Thompson

Join Mark Thompson with ATN and I as we discuss the importance of developing and deploying a plant wide implementation plan for 5S and linking that plan to the company’s strategic objectives.

Mark Thompson at the board

Mark Thompson at the board

We discuss the need for starting with a clear and easily understood master plan publishing it and communicating it to all team members, then establishing simple accountabilities to ensure the plan is measured and stays on track.

We also discuss the importance of team member involvement and input into the plan to ensure buy in and success of the individual events.

Mark and I discuss a current project in which we employ a triangular approach so to speak.

  1. The use an A3 to record current, and future state conditions, keep track of all the action items from the event.   Ensure their timely execution and keep the team tuned in and engaged.  Download Example: A3 Project Plan
  2. A daily five minute check sheet with a persons name affixed ensuring accountability and sustainability
  3. Regular work place scans (WPS) an auditable numeric record that the area team and supervision participates in, is visibly posted and trended over time to gage long term overall performance.
Team members and 5S

Team members and 5S

Thanks for listening and please leave a comment.

Six Sigma Strategies for Sustained Improvement

My guest today is Mark Woeppel, owner of Pinnacle Strategies, an intentional business consulting firm located in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Mark consults and educates, executives and managers, in the area of Lean Manufacturing, 5S, Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma.

His consulting company develops and implements management, operations and sales strategies to grow businesses.