Wisdom From Taichi Ohno on His Birthday: Wanna Succeed at Lean Manufacturing? Destroy Preconceptions Daily

My youngest just commented on how tough it must be to have a February 29th birthday.  Indeed.  As Lean expert John Shook just reminded everyone, today would have been Taiichi Ohno's birthday. Another interesting fact?  The primary developer of the Toyota Production System was born in....China?

Pfizer Goes Beyond Muda: The Secret to Lean QA/QC is Managing Volatility

The most popular piece of content on for the past month or so has been "Pfizer Reinvents Lean in the Lab," an in-depth look at how the QA/QC labs in the company's Grange Castle, Ireland, site, have revamped and "Leaned" their work habits.

The Lean Novel: Free Audiobook Chapter from "The Gold Mine"

A novel about Lean Manufacturing?  Not as strange as it may sound. After all, Lean visionary Frank Gilbreth, who, together with his wife Lillian, and Frederick Taylor, is credited with inventing time motion studies, wrote the somewhat fictionalized memoir "Cheaper by the Dozen." It was nothing like the recent movies....A few...

Lean Management Lessons From BP

Cautionary tale for execs in pharma (or any industry) on the limits of "doing more with less," ignoring technical operations and focusing on financial balance sheets at the expense of quality and safety.   Frontline's documentary on the BP disaster and Texas City refinery tragedy.AMS

EZ Pass Testing, Coercion and Buck Passing: A Tale of Broken Pharma QA and QC. Sound Familiar?

Just read Mina Kimes' enlightening account of the J&J McNeil quality disaster in Fortune. Forget about the fact that the adulterated products did not and most likely would not have harmed consumers, the problems cited are very serious and go straight to the heart of GMP's.

Wyeth's OpEx Legacy

Did any of you catch that recent WSJ report on the negative impact of mass layoffs? OK, I know that M&A layoffs are different, but today brought the sad news that Pfizer/Wyeth will lay off 6,000 employees and close eight of its manufacturing plants in Ireland, Puerto Rico and the U.S.

ASQ Now Offers Lean Certification for Individuals

Want to make yourself indispensible, within pharma or other industries?  This just in from Quality Digest.

Ali Afnan to Leave FDA

This week, the FDA will lose its most eloquent advocate for process analytical technologies (PAT): Ali Afnan, senior staff fellow at CDER's OPS. who leaves the Agency this Friday to pursue a career in independent consulting. A member of the original PAT team led by Ajaz Hussain, Dr. Afnan had pioneered...

How to Motivate Employees: Connect Them to Patients

From the Wharton business school, an interesting piece on an easy way to motivate employees...connect them to those who benefit from their work. Professor Adam Grant has tested this theory and found it works....I'm betting that plant accidents or quality problems wouldn't happen  as frequently if employees had regular contact,...

Can Lean Negate Quality Control? Lessons From Fallen Lean Icons Toyota and J&J

Recent postings in the WSJ blog and elsewhere have asked the troubling question: Does Lean Manufacturing, by definition, lead to quality control problems? Click here for an interesting read. (For something that doesn't require registration, click here.)