Metrics and More
At 12:20 p.m., Frank stood and placed his paper plate in the trash. at
signaled an end to lunch.
“Lets take another 10 minutes to use restrooms and be back in here by
12:30,” he said pointing to the wall clock.
Everyone was back in their seats by 12:30 this time. Frank shot me a
glance as if to say, “See the dierence?”
I smiled back at him. I have to say, my mood had lied.
e rest of the aernoon we continued working on the metrics that
would signal whether we were meeting our mission. By the end, Frank
had lled out the metrics sheet.
Metric Leading Responsible Lagging Responsible
Safety Audit scores Carlos OSHA & LTI Flo
Quality FPY &
Gus Complaints
& Returns
Schedule % on-time to
Dale Complaints Carlos
Cost Daily Labor $
plus RM cost
Carlos, Phil COGS Phil
Justine % Turnover Flo
Frank had made notes to the side that gave the denition of each of the
abbreviations he’d used:
OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration
LTI = lost time injuries
FPY = rst pass yield
32 Sustainable Lean: e Story of a Cultural Transformation
CT = cycle time (amount of time it takes to make one of anything)
RM = raw materials (purchased manufacturing materials of any type)
COGS = cost of goods sold (total inventory costs of goods sold during
a particular period, which the Lean Council established to be the
previous scal month)
e Lean Council had agreed that the leading indicator for cost would
consist of the total of all manufacturing and assembly hours spent each
day, plus the total cost of RM consumed that day, divided by the products
shipped that day. is, they said, would be a close approximation of actual
costs incurred each day.
Frank asked Phil if he had a way of measuring the leading indicator
At present? Heck no,” replied Phil. “Can we? Maybe, but that’s more
Gus’s bailiwick. Right now Ive got my hands full with month-end and
end of quarter.
Dale looked at Gus. “Actually, it’s something I can help you with. Could
you give me access to the labor and material les?” Dale asked, turning
“Sorry, my friend. No can do. I can’t have you tinkering with folks’ pay
rates and supplier invoices and our invoices to customers.
Frank looked at me while saying, “So, Phil, let me get this straight. You
can but wont help develop this daily number, and, you won’t give anyone
else access to the data so they can do it? Does that about summarize your
Phil turned to me as well and said, “Jim, you need to understand, I’ve got
a small sta and keeping up with this data would consume them. Ihope
Imade it clear why I can’t let other people go mucking around in that data.
I frowned. “Actually, Phil, I can see you making an argument for one
or the other, but not both. I’m not a computer genius by any means, but
Iknow enough to know that you could write a program that could produce
this gure on a daily basis with minimal oversight.
“So, I’ll let you make the choice. Do you pay one of your people some
overtime to write the program on a one-time basis, or do you give access
to someone else who will?”
Phil hung his head and said, “I’ll do it.
I looked at Frank. “OK, can we move on?”
“Last step for today is to dene who will do what by when. We’ve got
all the responsible parties lled in, but not when the metric will begin

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