Sunday, April 24, 2005

While LANL can and should train all of us in Quality, ...

Masaaki Imai, in Kaizan, p92, quotes Zenzaburo Katayama of the Toyota Motors company:

”The workers know-how and ideas are incorporated into building a better production system. … This idea initially came from the workers. In order for the system to work, you need a trained and disciplined workforce.

Another feature of this system is that you will lose money by adopting it unless the parts’ quality is satisfactory. Every time a part of inferior quality is forwarded, the line will be stopped.

At Toyota, we stop the entire line when we find a defective part. Since all plant operations are coordinated, it means that when one plant stops, the effect ripples back to the previous processes, and eventually the Kamigo plant, which manufactures engines, stops too. If the stoppage is prolonged, all the plants have to stop operation.

Stopping the plant is a serious blow to management. And yet, we dare to stop it because we believe in quality control. Once we have taken the trouble of stopping the plant operation, we have to make sure that we find the cause of the trouble and adopt a countermeasure so the same trouble never reappears.

We expect our workers to use their brains … , and we expect them to contribute to refining the system by providing new ideas.”
(Emphasis mine)

-Are we at Los Alamos a production plant? No and hopefully we will not evolve into one.
-Is Quality essential to our success? Absolutely!
-Did Pete Nanos shut Los Alamos down over Quality type issues? Yes, safety and security are part of the LANL Quality responsibility.
-Does the Los Alamos workforce understand Quality in the sense described by Katayama? Clearly not, or someone closer to the problem would have punched the “red button” when they saw critical deficiencies. (BTW- I do know that some of you were trying to get the “red button” to connect to the management brain and should be recognized for that.)

We at Los Alamos could benefit from learning and becoming committed to the overarching principle of Quality in all aspects of our work so that our hearts and minds are engaged in ISM, ISSM, IWDs, STOP and other aspects of our work intrinsic to quality. To many at LANL, these processes are extraneous to “our work”, imposed by a mindless and inefficient bureaucracy. Only when we come to understand that they are truly intrinsic to “our work” will we implement them efficiently and effectively.

DX- People say that that processes and organizations in DX were seriously broken before the Shutdown. Then the same people complain bitterly that it has taken so long to bring DX back up to level 3 operation. They also say that it took a long time to actually understand what the Startup requirements were, that the requirements kept being refined as the process of Startup wore on. I do not know. I was not there. To an unbiased, outside, observer, the two appear consistent. The length of time required to get DX restarted could be evidence of the complication of and difficulty of establishing safe and secure processes, rather than evidence of a punitive attitude toward DX. I doubt that the startup procedures rolled off of someone’s head in a clear and complete form. They were developed through a difficult iterative process.

If LANL and DX were operating under a Quality culture, then a Shutdown and Restart over the CREM and laser safety events might have been short and localized. Most of the issues that had to be solved during the Startup would have already been worked out and put in place.

Katayama goes on to say out:
“If the line is stopped, the engineers and the supervisor will rush in to see what is wrong, and they will find the cause of the stoppage is defective engines. If the engines are really defective, the engineers from the Kanigo plant will hurry to the Tsutumi plant to study the problem.
In the mean time, all of the plants are stopped and no cars are coming out of the plant. However, no matter what happens, we must find the cause.”
ibid, emphasis mine.

-Where is the problem? Is it that Pete punched the “red button”? Is that it took a long time to identify and define safe and secure processes? It might be that things in DX were badly broken and had to be brought into correct order.

-Where is the fault? Is it a lack of management understanding of Quality processes and effort to instill them into the organization? Is it resistance on the part of the workforce to Quality concepts and processes? Is it a deficiency in how corporate Los Alamos trains their mid-level managers? Is it something else? I do not know. But I doubt that it is because people consciously sabotaged the organization.

The “Running list of wasteful activities at LANL,” linked on this blog, is evidence of insufficient Quality culture here. I see it in my environment in numerous ways. Lack of coordination between the elements installing and operating the Red network is a particularly frustrating issue. Lack of coupling between our security processes and operating needs is another. The people doing these jobs are dedicated, sincere, and hardworking, with few exceptions. There is a lack of understanding of Quality principles and lack of company-sanctioned feedback processes and a lack of worker commitment to offer and to respond to ideas for improvement.

While LANL can and should train all of us in Quality, for the good of the Lab, no one is holding you back from picking up books on Quality, TQM, Six Sigma, etc. and making them part of your skill set as a LANL employee. The Lab would probably train you if you asked.

Gary Stradling


Comments:
Regarding Gary's claim that "LANL can and should train all of us in Quality..." I wish to point out that

1. LANL staff are positivly awash in useless, time consuming, mind-numbing, worthless Nanos-inspired training already.

2. One of the "justifications" Nanos used to fire Todd Kaupilla was that he had "taken too much training."

Sorry, Gary, more QA training is not the answer to LANL's problems. Getting rid of that completely inept top layer of management at LANL is the only possible fix to our problems. I'm afraid that I have to agree with the others who said about you that "you just don't get it." I'm also pretty much convinced that if by now you still don't get what everybody has been telling you about Nanos, you won't ever get it, for whatever personal reasons you might have.
 
Actually, the Toyota process is a good one and could be used at LANL if a) enough training in Quality were provided. b) If the shoot the messenger policy were abolished. As things stand now, no one dares to call a stop work for fear of retaliation. Employees who raise safety issues are in hot water and the reason is simple. It makes the manager look bad. Pete Nanos hasn't learned his own lesson, either.
Not long ago, a scientist I know reported a safety problem to his division leader who immediately reported it up the chain of command. The division leader( an acting) became the subject of a major rant by Pete Nanos. He in turn filed a written discipline against the person who reported it. The person who received the written discipline immediately retired in rage. This happened since the shut down.
No the problem is that no one dares report a safety problem. Hence safety problems are not discovered. Then "accidents" happen. LANL is miles and miles from being able to introduce a Quality system due to cultural problems.
At LANL a "can do" attitude is required. And "can do" is defined as bypassing anything that gets in the way of accomplishing the goal, even if it causes a disaster on down the line.
Until shooting the messenger is eliminated, and people reporting problems are actually rewarded, LANL will not be able to implement the Toyota method.
I, however, really appreciate, Mr. Stradling's willingness to seek solutions to the problems he sees. From his op-ed in the Monitor on April 19, I can see that he has caught on to why people wish to remain anonymous and is groping for solutions to that problem.
Keep questioning, Gary, in the end that is the only way to find out the truth.
 
4/24/2005 02:36:48 PM points out a long-standing and well known problem (at least to the working staff) at LANL. Nanos was right when he said there was a culture problem at LANL. He was wrong about where, in the organizational structure, the problem is located. It starts with him (and the same is true of his predecessors), and flows down.

More useless, Dilbert training is not the answer.

More accountability by management at *all* levels is part of the answer.
 
Gary,

We are not Toyota. Why compare. We have
no real overlap. People are starting to
leave. The center is not holding.

Look why should anyone bother to do a good
job with Nanos around. He sets the example.
He goes or we go.
 
Toyota is good at copying technology and manufacturing those copies to the fullest extent of the marketplace.

They couldn't come up with a new innovation no matter how hard they try.
 
Can you say "Prius"?
 
It would really be nice if all of management could demonstrate its expertise by showing three simple tasks:
1. Change a car tire without help.
2. Change the car oil and filter without help. Properly recycle the oil and oil filter.
3. Change the spark plugs.
4. Check your own e-mail without help.

Demonstrating even these minimal mechanical tasks would speak volumes about thier ability to understand and manage the technology and complex experiments at the lab.

Management, the gauntlet is thrown--show us what you can do that is practical! Perhaps then, you will be able to identify useful training and how to handle non-scripted environments, like 99+% of the laboratory.
 
Hey folks, let me remind us again. Gary's mission is not to solve problems because removal of Nanos is not a problem he can solve or indeed even supports. Dynes, Foley, or Brooks must do the removal. The fact is that Gary is helping Nanos by diverting the discussion from the real issue, i. e, George Peter Nanos himself. Gary is like members of Waffen-Schutzstaffel that ran around Europe after the Normandy Beachhead changing all the road signs so Americans would get lost. Eventually, of couse, we won but we did waste valuable time reversing course and backtracking. Personally, I don't plan to go down this road to nowhere.
 
Good suggestion, 4:58. Gary, for whatever reasons, is stuck on Nanos. I see no benefit in wasting any more bandwidth on the subject.
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Perhaps as a compromise, LANL can provide training to help some of us learn a new skill that will give us an "edge" when we need to find new jobs. Whatever the reason might be for having to do so.

I have a feeling that my weapons background is not going to be worth much.
 
from Gary Stradling
My point, which if you read carefully, is corroborated by a number of your statements, is that some staff at LANL appear to “not get it” with regard to taking personal responsibility for those things they can affect and for developing state-of-the-art skills. This is particularly problematic at the nexus of systematic requirements like safety, security, accounting, etc. with the fundamentally creative and non-scripted requirements of our work. A “culture” is internalized and is reflected in how we approach all things in the workplace, systematics and innovation.

[ 4/24/2005 02:2-
1. LANL staff are positivly awash in useless, time consuming, mind-numbing, worthless Nanos-inspired training already.]
Is this a issue of “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”? a training quality issue? or a training topic issue? I doubt that it is an issue of “we are all so smart that we cannot be improved”! Or maybe your point is exactly the latter and a dictatorial director and SET are holding that LANL staff and middle management back from spectacular performance? Which?
[4/24/2005 02:36 Not long ago, a scientist I know reported a safety problem to his division leader who immediately reported it up the chain of command. The division leader became the subject of a major rant by Pete Nanos. He in turn filed a written discipline against the person who reported it. The person who received the written discipline immediately retired in rage.] Events you described here should not happen at LANL and, if true, should be corrected. Is your account accurate? Do you know all sides of this story? Was the safety problem a process that needed fixed or was it a case of someone breaking workplace rules? I could see the latter resulting in disciplinary action. In any case, we should have a workplace environment that encourages the resolution of safety and security issues.

[4/24/2005 04:58 removal of Nanos is not a problem he can solve or indeed even supports. Dynes, Foley, or Brooks must do the removal.]
I will admit to wanting you to focus your attention constructively and to provide a less pessimistic perspective to the many gathered around to see what all the fuss is about. You and I cannot resolve issues of style in the Directors office, but there are glaring parts of the problem that do not reside there. Note that LANL had process and organization problems prior to Nanos and, unless everybody extends their hearts and minds to improve the processes and practices of this institution, they will plague us after he leaves. I think management practices can improve here, but we would benefit from improvement at all levels. Rather than providing misinformation and misdirection, as I think some here are doing by assigning all blame to today’s top manager and will do the same at the next one, I would rather point out that key parts of the problem are closer to home.

[4/24/2005 05:10 stuck on Nanos. I see no benefit in wasting any more bandwidth on the subject.] You are probably right. When you cannot even think outside of the single thought of “Its HIS problem and all will be well when he leaves” with all of its logical contradictions and blind bias, you are probably wasting your time on an open discussion. Perhaps a private party or just parading around in a sandwich board would be a better use of your time.

Gary Stradling
 
Would Toyota shut down its production lines if it found that its intellectual property was at risk? Probably not, because the protection of intellectual property is not the responsibility of the line workers and is unrelated to the company's ability to produce quality products for its customers. The analogy of Toyota to DX division is poor.
 
Look Gary, you have come up to a
car crash. There is person dying of
a gash. The blood is flowing out, if it
is not fixed the person dies. You are telling the person they can improve
by drinking three cups of water a day
or eating right. None of that matters now.
What matters is that the blood loss
needs to be stopped or it is over.

No one really cares about all this culture of quality. It has "NO MEANING" because
Nanos is in charge. Nothing you do matters
with Nanos here. He invalidates any
meaning, quality, mission, or purpose.
He says one thing today and another the
next day. Why listen to anything? Why
care.

Look if it gets bad enough it will
be better off to close LANL down. Gary,
write to someonw, look for a job elswhere.

I am not alone I just do not see anyone
in my division who thinks that any progress can be made untill Nanos is gone.
No one supports him. No one. Are we all
wrong? All of us?
 
Sychophant: A person who attempts to win favor and advance himself by flattering persons of influence; a servile self-seeker. These persons lavish praise or attention on others, usually in the hope of gain. Sycophant and toady both refer to parasites of the rich or powerful and stress self-seeking motives. Toady especially implies truckling or adopting a menial attitude. Flatterer, less specific and less derogatory, does not always imply hope of gain but may suggest insincerity or servility.
 
Gary-
Look, of course you are correct that DX had (indeed still has) many many problems. Of course we could all learn from best practice at Toyota, GE, Sandia, or wherever. What you seem to fail to grasp time and time again is that 99% of the workforce does not trust Nanos. The reason we do not trust him is that he does not tell the truth. The reason he does not tell the truth is that he is more concerned with his own phony legacy than with doing the right thing for Los Alamos and for the country. It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken if and when Nanos leaves or is forced out.
I simply cannot describe to you how difficult - insanely difficult - it has been to do anything of any value at DX in the last year. When we finally got the latest hydrotest off, despite the endless and completely meaningless drivel forced upon us by Nanos and company, he used our success as an example of how we were all finally "getting it". To a person, we revile the man, but felt a duty to do our jobs anyway. He has destroyed our ability to serve the country. He has destroyed DX division. Now he has the nerve to take credit for the real work that hundreds of individuals did DESPITE him. The whole ordeal makes me sick. I don't even go to Group meetings anymore because it is just too depressing to see who is leaving each time.
 
What is with the whole "getting it" thing.
I do not know what it means. What was
Nanos talking about with "getting it" what is "it". Why did Nanos not just say what
"it" is. Maybe Nanos made it up? I
do not know. There is no information
comming from the guy. Every all hands
meetings have just been weird. Why do we
have them? Can someone please tell me.
 
I, for one, have been "trained" up the wazoo! Don't need any more training--the kind you are alluding to reinforces the era of "heil Hitler." Perhaps you should consider moving to Germany or Japan where you can become one of the automatons!
 
From Gary Stradling
[4/24/2005 07:40 What you seem to fail to grasp time and time again is that 99% of the workforce does not trust Nanos. … I simply cannot describe to you how difficult - insanely difficult - it has been to do anything of any value at DX in the last year. …To a person, we revile the man]
Yeah, I get it. I am enormously sympathetic with the challenges you have been thru. I recognize the visceral reaction you have to Pete Nanos. Maybe nothing will change that. I wonder though whether you are remotely close on the statistic of 99%.

I have offered well-reasoned, thoughtful responses and discussions, even points that support some of their arguments, that have been ignored by the core set of respondents, who have insulted me, quoted slogans, or picked at peripheral issues. They will not engage in constructive dialog or consider that the issues may be broader than the Lab director. Given that narrow polarization, I think that however rational, reasonable and logical an explanation Pete Nanos might offer, or even an apology, those individuals will reject them with contempt.

Frankly, that surprises and disappoints me. That reminds me of the irrationality of divorce, where contestants amplify misunderstandings to support emotions in opposition to their interests. But without a willingness to look at the other side of the conflict, the wound cannot be healed.

I do not think this extreme polarization applies to many Los Alamos staff and hope that though they feel buffeted by the experiences of the past year they can shake it off and move forward.
Gary
 
Gary, this is war. The technical staff is at war with the director and anyone who defends him. When he goes, so will you. There are no rules in this war. Anything that helps to rid us of Nanos is fair game. If we lose this war, we will leave. Do you understand?
 
Gary,

It is about 99% of the staff. That is about the right number baby. In my division I have not found one person to support Nanos. Not one. No one trusts him. LANL is a safe lab.
Brad Holian showed this. LANL is a
secure lab the documents also show
this. We are very good people.

I can leave and things will
be fine for me. I just feel that
our Nation will suffer if LANL goes
down. I just want to see things set right and justice done.
 
I would like to remind this person that (1) there was no CREM issue in DX. It did not exist. (2) the laser indicent occured in C-Division not DX. SO can he explain to me why DX was shut down for so long.

The only explaination I can see is that we were immediately singled out by the director as the cowboys and thus had to be held up as an example to the rest of the lab for punishment.
 
"It is about 99% of the staff. That is about the right number baby. In my division I have not found one person to support Nanos. Not one." Well, my division is perhaps more forgiving than DX, because I have found one. Exactly one. Out of approximately 120 TSMs in the division. I would add that it is my job to know the scientists in the division, and while I don't know all of those 120, I do know a significant fraction of them, and interact with them often enough to know their views. Yes, "99%" of the staff wanting him out may be an exaggeration. It may not be, and 95% almost certainly is not.

Gary, your goal of getting us back on track is laudable, although I disagree with your choice of methods. I think some reasoned dialogue will identify superior alternatives to "Quality training" that head in a direction more likely to get us to a satisfactory end state, and I think you will agree to them when they are found. For starters, how about some discussion of how a national lab SHOULD operate? It's a lot easier to describe and refute negatives than to devise models and procedures that actually work. We might be able to make some progress on that via this forum. But face the facts, man! There is NO way ANY of those models and procedures will succeed while that man is director.
 
[4/24/2005 10:18 Gary, this is war. The technical staff is at war with the director and anyone who defends him. When he goes, so will you. There are no rules in this war. Anything that helps to rid us of Nanos is fair game. If we lose this war, we will leave. Do you understand?] That sounds like a personal threat, which illuminates the logic of your position. When people cannot think things thru, or come to balance with reality, they tend to resort to slander, bombast and threats. You might want to spent some time in front of a mirror asking whether that is the person you wanted to grow up to be and whether your family and friends would be proud of your stand. I am disappointed in it. I will hate to see you go, because the nation needs the best technical talent that Los Alamos has. I just assume that includes you.
Gary
 
[4/25/2005 07:27I think some reasoned dialogue will identify superior alternatives to "Quality training" that head in a direction more likely to get us to a satisfactory end state… how about some discussion of how a national lab SHOULD operate? It's a lot easier to describe and refute negatives than to devise models and procedures that actually work.] I agree that the solution set has to be larger than what I have suggested. My main point about Quality is that the presence of that approach in DX and elsewhere would have preempted and minimized the problems that arose, not only management of CREM, selection and training of CREM custodians, laser safety procedures, etc. but also having to construct, from apparently a low level, startup procedures that could pass muster. The human interface problems that have developed will not be solved with more Quality training.
Gary
 
The quality movement is an excellent one, but it is a completely new way of thinking based on respect for the people actually doing the work and respect for their ideas.Toyota has turned this into a big money maker and I think it would be a great idea for LANL, in the areas of safety, security, and purchasing at a minimum.
I strongly recommend Ed Demming's book Out of the Crisis to everyone.
The problem is that TQM takes time and management cooperation. If we had been practicing TQM when the DX "lost CREM" incident had occured, instead of firing everyone in sight who didn't have a lawyer, everyone would have sat down and made a few new procedures for preventing such an incident from happening again. The vault would be better managed and those who used it would be better trained. There was no need to shut down every single process in the entire laboratory! And firing people is a great way to guarantee that no one will report any future problems.
TQM doesn't have to be done by the whole lab whole cloth all at once. It can be done a little bit at a time, but it starts on top, with management.
Employees can read all the books they want but if they cannot trust that they won't be fired if they bring up problems, it will business as usual for LANL and endless snafus where the problems are discovered in embarassing and public ways.
It is impossible to build an accountability system for CREM or anything else without time and money and a task on one's IPO.
I was once a part of an attempt at starting TQM from the grass roots. It failed because the Division leader was constantly interfering with the work we tried to do. He didn't want us to work on problems we had located. He wanted us to work on how he thought things should be and thus destroyed our effectiveness.
 
At LANL, Quality, along with Conduct of Engineering, Performance Surety, etc. is a joke. These organizations are the repositories of the chronically unemployable. The are obstructions to getting any work done at all. Their existence has no added value. They have no respect from those of us who actually have work to do.
 
We have asked for such training. And the the Lab has not provided. In fact the lab tried once and to my knowledge not one single person was certified.
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
While Gary's well intentioned suggestions seem to make sense, they reveal a profound ignorance of LANL history.
Total Quality Management, or in LANL jargon CQI, was tried, and destroyed, at LANL in 1992/1993. An excellent idea, which met with great success at Toyota, Ford, and Sandia; it was eviscerated at LANL, by the management, especially Dayem. While the CQI jargon persists, this is simply to fool the ignorant. The essential, empowering the workforce, is absent.
CQI came to LANL in 1992, under the tutelage of ATT consultants, and I was one of the first champions, having been pushing this CQI/TQM for over a year previous, simply because it is a good idea. As soon as LANL "embraced" CQI, the roof fell in. The management, which "kicked off" CQI in ADCIS (Browne's) Directorate immediately appointed their friends to lead the effort, and substituted their own ideas for those coming up from the CQI process.
John Whetten, who was the leader of CQI at LANL (remember the moose?) was a clever fellow who abandoned the ship, to Bill Wadt and Rich Bastian. The effort morphed into LANL pursuit of the "Malcolm Baldridge Award"; not a bad idea actually. LANL was going to win the Baldridgy award, Yeah, right. This was pathetic. Each year, we tracked the same problems at LANL. Clearly failing to achieve the Baldridge criteria, it was quietly shelved, and the evaluations ended.
Wadt continued to head the "Quality Office" until recently, but it was dead. CQI language continues at LANL, but the program is dead. Empowering the employees, a central feature of CQI, ran right into LANL management. Measurement of "progress" against the Baldridge standards was discarded as LANL wasn't making progress, mostly because management wouldn't change the culture.
Today at LANL, the CQI culture is a fraud; a place for frauds to get their big salaries. An initial step to having a "real" Quality program at LANL, which could be very beneficial, would be to utterly destroy the current CQI program at LANL, and build on solid ground.
This is not impossible. Sandia Lab used, and uses, TQM/CQI very effectively. LANL utterly destroyed it, and kept only the buzz words. In fact that is the issue at LANL, the management clings to power, and resists change, while putting up a screen of buzz words to confuse the DOE and others. The staff, however, in the belly of the beast continues, as this blog demonstrates, to see the reality; the continued hypocrisy of management; the appearance of compliance, not compliance itself.
The Nano's action, as reported on an earlier response to this article, of punishing a staff member for surfacing a safety issue, shows that the problem continues.
Until LANL management stops managing appearances, and starts managing reality, things will not improve. Nanos, sadly, is managing appearances, as is UC.
As for CQI at LANL it is a fraud, and needs a stake through the heart. Then, it needs to be done again. Perhaps LM could lead this? Certainly Sandia, and ATT, have done it successfully.
 
DAMN IT, GARY, GO CRAWL BACK UNDER YOUR ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Gary Stradling spent quite a bit of time in Washington, D.C., on his "change of station" assignment, and it shows. The signatures of Washington-speak in his writing style are unmistakable. At first, one gets an impression of a balanced, thinking, even caring approach. It takes a while to parse what he is actually saying.

"Quality training"?? Is our immediate problem here "quality"? Is there overwhelming evidence that the nuclear devices engineered at LANL explode in silos? Was that the official reason cited for the shutdown? I know, he'll say the Quality issue in question is actually safety and security. Guess what? There is no statistical evidence that the safety record of LANL is worse than that of other comparable facilities. Security? Remember that Wen Ho Lee did not actually pass any secrets to the Chinese government. The case crumbled and the judge had to apologize to Wen Ho Lee on behalf of the US government. Remember also that the two disks over which Nanos shut us down for half a year simply never existed.

Besides, this is almost certainly NOT a car assembly line; this is still a National Lab. Maybe by "Quality" Gary Stradling means that our papers are full of errors? Is Gary Stradling going to train us on how to write correct papers? Every other monday, 8 am to 12 pm, in the White Rock training location?

Jokes aside, why did Gary Stradling bring up the piece on Toyota? Because he managed to find a case when a reputable business stopped its production line. No doubt this justifies the half-a-year-long LANL shutdown. Which, in turn, exonerates ex-Vice-Admiral Nanos, who, according to Gary Stradling, has taken a focused, planned approach from the ground up.

How about this instead for a "thoughtful" solution to the LANL problems? 1) Expel Nanos now. Send him on his Change-of-Station assignment to Macy’s in New York. 2) Replace the upper-level management. 3) Have a well-run private company take over LANL business side. 4) Put together a board of external reputable scientists to review LANL science.
 
Gary is onto something, more than any of you realize. What people don't understand about Toyota is that a typical Toyota plant stops *AND RESTARTS* the line hundreds of times every day. Also their definition of a "quality" problem is much broader than you are thinking. If a supply isn't at the line right when it's needed - that's a problem that must be addressed by the supervisor within minutes. (THAT, my friends, is a JIT system! Not this cruel joke of a supply chain we live with). Every eye in the plant is on FIXING the problems. Toyota would NEVER tolerate the horrible support systems that our programs have to use. Broken forklifts blocking access to do work at the firing site? Six week lead times to procure the simplest of hand tools from our Just-in-Tears vendors? Fuggedaboutit.However, the Toyota system only works if management is fully dedicated to removing barriers to the workers' ability to do value-added work. Needless to say, we ain't there.
 
Gary, why don't you set up the new blog--you have too much free time in PADNWP to keep posting so many long comments to the blog. Just a suggestion.
 
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