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About Er Ralston

Er Ralston is an accomplished coach, trainer, and advisor, specializing in business process excellence, strategic and tactical business planning, Lean and Six Sigma improvement methodologies, and the Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Framework.

Applying Lean Principles in a Sudden Work-From-Home Environment

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00March 30th, 2020|Lean, Operational Excellence|

The Coronavirus crisis has disrupted the lives of nearly everyone in the world at this point. It has caused us to change how we interact and how we go about living our daily lives. It also has changed how we work. Community lockdowns and shelter in place directives have resulted in a sudden shift [...]

Conducting Virtual Daily Huddles

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00March 28th, 2020|Lean, Operational Excellence|

Checking in with work teams is even more important when working remotely. It’s essential to pull everyone together to make sure everyone understands plans and expectations and to communicate any changes in the plan. This is a best practice for both departmental work teams and cross-functional process teams. Here are some tips to make [...]

Lean Care Paths

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00August 15th, 2018|Healthcare, Lean, Lean Six Sigma|

Challenges in the healthcare industry are immense.  Hospitals and other healthcare providers are faced with growing demand, shortages of staff, and immense pressure to reduce costs while improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.  Many healthcare providers have turned to the concepts of Lean thinking to facilitate improved performance.  While numerous good results have been attained [...]

The Questions Effective Process Excellence Coaches Should Be Asking

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00August 8th, 2018|Coaching, Improvement Tools, Operational Excellence|

  The job of the process excellence coach is to help develop skills for problem solving and continuous improvement.  Coaches can play a critical role in developing capability of both individuals and organizations to pursue and achieve excellence.  Training alone is not enough.  People need coaching when they are learning and practicing new skills [...]

Alignment of Process Management and Digital Transformation

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00June 20th, 2018|Improvement Tools, Operational Excellence|

  Nearly all businesses are continuously looking for ways to become more efficient and more productive.  Many organizations are looking to digital transformation to help with this. To get the full benefit from digital transformation, automation initiatives should be built on the foundation of a sound process management system.  Process Management refers to aligning [...]

Collaborative Assessments – Faster, Less Costly, More Efficient

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00January 15th, 2018|Baldrige, Improvement Tools, Operational Excellence|

  When conducting an assessment of the organization, two questions that leaders should be asking are: Do we really know how well our organization is performing? Is everyone on the same page with regards to organizational performance and priorities for improvement? For more than two decades, organizations have utilized the Collaborative Assessment process to [...]

Lean Transformation – A Five Phase Never Ending Journey to Excellence

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00June 12th, 2017|Lean, Operational Excellence|

A Lean Management System may be applied by any organization that wants to improve process performance in the eyes of customers, business leaders and employees. Lean is about creating customer value with a minimal amount of waste.  It is both a philosophy and a set of principles/tools.  It can be applied for the design [...]

The Simple Checklist – A Highly Effective Intervention for Quality and Safety

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00June 12th, 2017|Healthcare, Improvement Tools, Operational Excellence|

In a study published by Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2016, researchers discovered that nearly 9.5% of all deaths in the United States are directly caused by medical errors. Compared to other leading causes of deaths, this number ranks third, shadowed only by heart disease and cancer. This statistic is alarming, especially when considering that [...]

Six Principles for Process Excellence

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00June 5th, 2017|Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Operational Excellence, PDSA|

So you want to grow your business, become more efficient, and delight your customers with service excellence.  Want to know how?  Here is some important information to help make a dramatic difference in business performance. In all industry sectors, customers want to receive more value for their time and money.  Customers want shorter wait [...]

Six Reasons Why Voice of the Customer Analysis is Essential for Process Improvement

By |2021-09-20T20:36:14-04:00April 21st, 2017|Improvement Tools, Lean Six Sigma, VOC|

Clients often ask me why they should take time to collect and analyze Voice of the Customer (VOC) information.  If there’s a known need, why not go ahead and fix the problem? It may seem that analyzing the bigger picture is a waste of time when they could get right to work taking care [...]


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