I recently came across a great video on Mark Graban’s Lean Blog from Erik Hager, a former manager at Toyota in Canada. Graban writes, "This story gets right to the core of the difference in traditional management and Lean management. Traditional management sticks its head in the sand and doesn’t see problems, or they have too much pride to admit them. Or, they’re afraid (often rightfully) of the “help” they might get."

The video got me thinking about the various projects we cover at HEALTHCARE DESIGN that boast Lean-designed operations or Lean construction methods. In most of them, you hear about how the projects have been streamlined and the efficiencies gained, but I can’t recall a single project that discussed such an explicit “problem meeting”.

So I was wondering: When you design a facility with Lean principles, do you ever sit down your design team or the end users and ask them to tell you about problems in the system?