Light Bulb Kanban

Improvement Insights Blog

Light Bulb Kanban

Ever had a light bulb burn out and wish you had another one? You can with light bulb kanban. And there’s other opportunities to Lean your life.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“In my bedroom, I have a little reading light over the bed so that I can read books at night. It helps me sleep. But every so often one of those burns out. The thing that I’ve learned is I could use a little Kanban. I could have a light bulb ready right next to my bed in the stand there, so that if that one burns out, I can just pull it out, plug in a new one. Then I can go buy another one so I always have a Kanban bulb waiting for this one to burn out.

“Think about that in your own life. What things do you have that you could have a queue? Not a big queue, a little queue. One bulb. Replace one bulb, right? Or maybe one Kleenex box to replace another Kleenex box, or… two cans of soup: one that you can take now and another one that you can have later and you buy one more. Think about how you could Kanban your life so that we have stuff queued up and then we add to it as we deplete it. Does this make sense?

“These are the kinds of things where you can take Lean principles and you can apply them in your own life. It’s that simple.

“Let’s go ahead and improve something this week.”

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