ASQ Lean and Six Sigma Conference 2010

March 12, 2010

I just got back this week from the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) Lean and Six Sigma Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. I think this is my third year in a row attending (since the Six Sigma Conference added Lean). This year was even better than last’s. There are so many people that make this conference a success I couldn’t possibly name them all here. But I would like to give a special thanks to Shirley Krentz and Mark Olson from ASQ for all there hard work and effort. The results speak for themselves. I would also like to thank the members of the Lean Enterprise Division of ASQ for their support.

The first day of the conference I was kept pretty busy because I had two sessions to give. The first was on Hoshin Planning. This one hour overview walked the audience through the Hoshin Kanri process. As you can imagine that the information was pretty high-level, but gave enough information for novices and experts alike. What I liked was when a women came up to me after the talk and said that she was so glad that she attended this session and that she felt much more confident about the Hoshin planning process. Another comment came from an experienced Hoshin planner when he commented on how he liked the explanation of the “X-matrix” (one of the tools used during the process).

The second session was a fun, interactive and educational session called the Lean Training Game Exchange. As a consultant, trainer and lean practitioner I have many tools to help drive home certain lean points. During this session I presented four of them: the 5S Numbers Game, Visual Hide & Seek, Index Card Batch Size Reduction and the Tennis Ball Game. Since this was a one hour session also I had just enough time to cover the basics and try a few rounds of each class exercise. Some of the comments included:

“Useful application of tools”
“Easy, self-explanatory, hands-on”
“Reinforces lean principles and represents the “steps” to improvement”
“Loved this one!”

Over the next few months I will try my best to get these up and available for free on our website including short instructional videos. The 5S Numbers Game is already available for free including a PowerPoint presentation, facilitator’s notes and the forms needed.

I was able to attend the morning keynote sessions for both days. I have to say they were inspirational and informative. They also got me revved up again with a boost of energy to continue to strive to improve my professional and personal life.

One last note, it was great to see old friends and meet new ones. I thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity and to help connect people together. I had a chance to sit down face-to-face with a couple of people where we were able to exchange ideas, get some work done and help each other out. That’s what I love about the Lean community.

See you next year! – Tony

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