Lean Management System work at Rebuilding Center

by Jared Davis
Developing the capabilities of people is a key task of a high functioning management system, as well as showing respect for everyone in the organization.  It’s that task that Lean PDX and the Rebuilding Center are transitioning into.  To do that, a manager and veteran employee have been the focus of the past two development sessions, where we have built tools to ‘hold the gains’ and enable the Rebuilding Center’s improvement efforts to continue.
The shop closing checklist developed last session has been experimented with and modified to be an’opening’ checklist, with safety and maintenance of past improvement projects as the primary objectives.  To pair with this checklist, we mocked up a (to be named) board to celebrate the gains, showcase what is being worked on and manage the incoming improvement ideas. Just like the opening checklist, this will go through many iterations, but it will be a vehicle to develop the people and refine the management system.

Press Release: Lean Portland Partners with New Leadership at OEN

Portland, Oregon – April 14, 2017 – Maggie Finnerty, the new Executive Director at Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), announced today that OEN is entering into an agreement with Lean Portland (a Benefit Company) for lean coaching and consulting services.

Often associated with the manufacturing industry, lean principles have potential to drastically improve the efficiency of nonprofits, many of which are already operating with scarce human and financial resources. As Lean Portland extends its reach into the nonprofit sector, it hopes to help nonprofits reduce operating costs and strengthen revenue streams by helping staff better prioritize and focus their time.

The agreement is part of Lean Portland’s unique mission: Developing our members leadership skills by helping nonprofit organizations learn to continuously improve.

“During a change in leadership, many existing processes are often revisited and called into
question,” says Finnerty, who started her role in January. “There is no better time for OEN to
start our Lean Journey, and we’re thrilled to have access to the unique talents of Lean
Portland’s volunteers. We are surprised and delighted to have world-class talent volunteering their time for us.”

“We’re here to teach the tools, but more importantly, we are coaching staff to help them adopt the underlying mindset that drives positive engagement,” explains Matt Horvat, Founder of Lean Portland. “Our vision is that Portland is a city where people are actively engaged in making improvements to their own work. And having ownership in your work is fundamental to dignity.

As Taiichi Ohno, the father of lean, used to put it, it’s about “respect for humanity.”

Lean Portland is also engaged in projects with The ReBuilding Center and Free Geek. Past
clients include Friends of the Children and Social Venture Partners. The current project for OEN involves Lean expert volunteers Kjell van Zoen of VanZoen.com, Brion Hurley of Rockwell Collins, and Thomas Cox of Becoming a Best Boss.

The OEN staff looks forward to reporting their progress to their board, to their members and to the public.

About OEN
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) helps entrepreneurs start up and scale up through
mentorship; hands-on business training; and access to loans, cash, and capital. A nonprofit,
membership-driven organization with a 25-year track record, OEN drives innovation, facilitates job creation, and puts Oregon on the map as a center for entrepreneurial excellence. For more information, visit www.oen.org.

About Lean Portland
Lean Portland is committed to jointly developing leadership skills of its members and the staff of local non-profit organizations through project-based volunteer work that lead to continuous improvement. It has been a formalized professional organization since 2010 with the ultimate goal to ‘teach itself out of a job’ by developing people’s capabilities, building the Lean brand, and creating lasting impacts in the larger community.

To reach this mission, Lean Portland focuses on creating educational opportunities for members that are directly connected to pro-bono projects for local non-profit organizations. Lean Portland also provides members with networking and educational events, as well as the opportunity to build lasting relationships with other members and non-profit organizations. By creating an open source of methods, resources, and projects completed by the group, communities through the world will be able to replicate successes and learn from mistakes.

Holding Gains at Rebuilding Center

Today’s LeanPDX session with the Rebuilding Center jumped off from the momentum generated by the RBC’s warehouse meeting earlier in the week. They did some 5S training on their own and prioritized what they would be working on going forward.

At the top of that list was “Holding Gains”, which means different things to different people – from reducing rework and motion around the warehouse when an material is moved around, to the Standardize and Sustain concepts from 5S, even Leader Standard Work.

This week’s session stared out with how we could begin to really practice the discipline of standardized work, as well as sustain both ongoing operations and the smaller projects that the RBC has done with Lean PDX (see the Welcome Stations and Lumber Yard 5S posts).

This first step in creating this discipline is a standardized “closing procedure” checklist that Steve drafted up today, and will experiment on over his next few shifts.  This will primarily focus on warehouse safety readiness for the following day’s shift, but also ensuring the projects that have been kicked off are being sustained.  It will be backed up by the start of a management system to track the checklist usage and abnormalities that become visible from it (which is where we will pick things up next week).

Great work this week from the emerging Lean Leaders at the Rebuilding Center!

-Jared Davis