We love highlighting the great work of our KaiNexus customers. Today, we share a Q&A with Jonathan M. Bykowski, AIA, Principal and and Practice Area Leader, Continuous Improvement for Array Architects. From his bio:
Jonathan has dedicated his architectural career to the design of healthcare facilities. He has experience in a wide range of architectural disciplines, including conceptual design, master planning, schematic design and the interface of design development with construction documents. As a Lean facilitator, Jonathan infuses process improvement into each step of the design process. Jonathan’s passion for process-led design drives him to challenge traditional design solutions and approaches.
"We want to be a culture of structured experimentation every day."
- Can you tell us about Array Architects and your role in leading Lean and continuous improvement?
Focusing solely on the healthcare market, Array Architects offers a full complement of knowledge-based services including planning, architecture, interior design, and advisory services from our six offices across the country. The firm has been committed to Lean education for our employees for several years. Recently, we decided to formalize our internal improvement efforts and create a dedicated Practice Area devoted to Continuous Improvement. I lead that area of focus and am responsible for empowering everyone at Array to seek and implement improvement in all facets of our work.
- What prompted your interest in Lean for your firm? What problems are you solving and what goals will Lean help you accomplish?
We became interested in Lean as our clients were beginning to explore its application in the healthcare industry. First, we wanted to be able to work with them and assist them in the creation of new facilities based on ideal future states. As we learned more, we discovered great applications for Lean improvement and problem solving to our work. Our early initiatives are concentrated on resource deployment, aligning staffs’ goals with their work, and driving waste out of our most basic processes.
- How do you bridge the gap between “Lean Manufacturing” and a professional services firm, helping people understand why they should understand Lean?
We are focusing on the two core ideas of defining the actual problem and identifying its root causes. Moving to a problem solving culture is applicable to any organization. This fundamental shift in reacting to problems by understanding before solving is our most important strategy for developing a firm of improvement experts. The PDSA cycle is a simple, structured way for teams to approach problems. We are also developing examples of rework, waste and defects in our practice to help staff understand that the Lean tools we are using attack those issues regardless of the industry.
- With your multiple offices, how is KaiNexus helping you collaborate and share ideas?
KaiNexus has allowed teams to work across offices on improvement projects and have one common repository for their work. It also allows everyone in the firm, even if not directly working on the project, to follow the efforts and participate. The engagement and transparency of the improvement work is crucial as we start out. Not everyone is working on a project yet, but with KaiNexus everyone can participate.
- What is your longer-term ideal state for how Lean thinking will have transformed Array Architects, five or ten years down the road?
It is my goal that everyone at Array will think in terms of the PDSA cycle without realizing it. It's a goal that everyone feels empowered and prepared to question their work processes and implement change. We want to be a culture of structured experimentation every day.
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