the marketing team must pull

In A Kaizen Event for the Holidays Joe Ely gives us the nutshell version of (what sounds like) a very effective process improvement exercise in his plant. But his main point is much deeper:

“… our marketing team is central to achieving kaizen success. Why? By keeping a growing backlog of work for our team. […] If the business isn’t growing, kaizen won’t work.”

(Joe goes on to suggest that hugging a marketing person might be a good thing to do today. Can I pass…?)

The ‘pull’ from downstream is essential in so many ways. Without it, many upstream activities are simply guesses as to what might be needed. And when workers see their managers guessing, low morale and low productivity are going to follow. (I mused about the very same thing for software development in the product owner must pull and the product owner must pull (revisited) last Spring.)

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