… the Blog

The name “Gemba Tales” is borrowed from Mark Hamel’s Shingo Prize-winning, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events. There are 39 Tales within the Fieldbook, all based upon the experiences (some successful, some not) of the author and other lean practitioners and shared for the purpose of providing insight into the application of certain lean concepts.  The purpose of this blog is really no different, just a bigger community for sharing and learning.

As for the “community,” a Jakob Nielson usability study determined that about 90% of online-community folks are “lurkers,” meaning they read without entering into the conversation, 9% participate “a little” and 1% actively contribute. So, here is an open and genuine invitation from me asking you to participate in the conversation. Don’t be a lurker. We can all learn from each others, especially if we abide by the lean principles of humility and respect for the individual.

Gemba: A Japanese term that means “actual place,” it is the place where the work is (being) done. In conjunction with genchi genbutsu, Japanese for “go and see,” it specifies direct observation of the gemba in order to  grasp the current condition and gain insight into kaizen opportunities.

… the Blogger

Mark R. Hamel is a lean implementation consultant. He has played a transformative role in lean implementations across a broad range of industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, business services, chemical, durable goods, electronics, insurance, healthcare and transportation services. Mark has successfully coached lean leaders and associates at both the strategic and tactical level. He has facilitated hundreds of kaizen events and conducted numerous training sessions and workshops.

Mark’s 19 year pre-consulting career encompassed executive and senior positions within operations, strategic planning, business development and finance. His lean education and experience began in the early 1990’s when he conceptualized and helped launch what resulted in a Shingo award winning effort at the Ensign-Bickford Company.

Mark holds a BS in Mathematics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, a MS in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford and a MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He is a CPA in the state of Connecticut and is dual American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) certified in production and inventory management (CPIM) and integrated resource management (CIRM). A national Shingo Prize examiner, Mark assisted in the development of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)/Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)/Shingo Lean Certification exam questions. He is also Juran certified as a six sigma black belt and a member of SME, AME and APICS.  Mark authored the Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events, published by SME in October of 2009. The Fieldbook won a Shingo Research and Professional Publications Award in 2010. He also is a regular columnist for Quality Digest and a Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) faculty member.

Mark can be contacted at mark@kaizenfieldbook.com.

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