Lean Blog Interviews — 430: The Power of Process: Interview With Matt Zayko and Eric Ethington

Show notes and links: https://www.leanblog.org/430

My guests for Episode #430 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast are Eric Ethington and Matt Zayko, the authors of the new book The Power of Process: The Story of of Innovative Lean Process Development. They are both faculty for the Lean Enterprise Institute, among other roles. Eric has a firm called Lean Shift Consulting and Matt has a new role as Lean Leader at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

The book is available now through the publisher, or from Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats.

Today, we discuss their book, with topics and questions including:

  • I like to ask guests about their “Lean origin stories” — When did you first learn about Lean and what was the context?
  • The way it’s always been? – how to get past this?
  • LEAN PROCESS DESIGN –> There’s a lot emphasis on “process improvement” in organizations, often in the context of Lean. How do you define “process development” and why is this so important?
  • How do we avoid disconnects between process design intent and those running the process?
  • GO SLOW TO GO FAST? Iterative design and being more ready to launch and go fast in ramp?
  • Doing something new — A new mass vaccination clinic?
  • How do you strike the balance between “we’ve got to design it well” vs. “it’s never perfect, but we can improve it”?
    • If you have flexibility, you don’t have to be as perfect
  • BACK TO SLOGANS — In your book, you talk about process design with “no slogans, no absolutes” — what do you mean by that? What are some slogans or absolutes that have gotten people in trouble?
  • “Small lot flow” vs. single piece flow (Yamada), as small as possible is what he taught
  • Who do you expect to be the typical readers of this book? What roles, levels, or industries?

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network