Last week I participated in a “Lean Basics” class using a simulator from NUMMI given by Steve Ansuini and his team. I’ve never worked in manufacturing, and the opportunity to ‘work on the line’ was wonderful. Starting class, we talked about metrics: and the first metric discussed was safety. Makes sense, manufacturing can be dangerous work. It made me think, though, we don’t often talk – or think about – safety first in service processes. But safety is unbelievably important in so many service processes; think about airlines and flying, staying in hotels, gas and electrical utilities…and, of course, healthcare, in which so many processes are life and death. So, if you haven’t thought about safety first in your service process, now’s a good time to start! I’m at the 10th Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen Life Sciences Summit in Philadelphia this week, and you can be sure, safety first will be a big part of the discussion!


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