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Two Lean Management Systems, One That Improves Our Business, One That Saved My Life

Tom Raidna, MBB, LSS Training Manager, PNC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Keywords: Lean, Management, System

Industry: All

Level: Basic


This presentation will cover the principles, objectives, systems and tools in two lean management systems and the impact of these two systems on my career and personal life as an active member in delivering and operating within them. The first system is “Better Way” the self-branded system the PNC Financial Systems has implemented over the past three years to the over 5,000 employees in Bank and Lending Operations. The system has been developed and deployed to provide a standard way of, managing the business, identifying and solving problems, engaging the workforce to lead and contribute to their fullest potential. My role within this system is to help deploy and sustain the system, which means the program team I am a member of operates within the system. The second system, in which I also operate under is Weight Watchers. Through operating in this system since January 31st 2016 I have lost 120 pounds, reduced my waist size by 12 inches and have significantly improved health. There is significant professional and personal tie between the two systems that help me be successful in each. In order to present this story in the session the participants will learn at an overview Level:

A. The Better Way Management system, which is a management system that improves customer experience and business outcomes by empowering employees to improve how work gets done.

B. The principles of the Better Way Lean Management system which guide the behaviors within the system.

1. Create consistency of purpose

2. Create Value for Customer

3. Flow and Pull Value

4. Focus on process

5. Respect every individual

6. Lead with humility

7. Seek Perfection

8. Embrace scientific thinking

9. Think systemically

10. Assure quality at the source

C. The four management system objectives and associated tools

a. Connecting strategy, goals and meaningful purpose

i. KPI’s and target setting

b. Delivering value efficiently to the customer i. Customer Needs

ii. Capacity management

c. Discovering better ways of working i. Root cause problem solving ii. Leader Standard Work

d. Enabling people to lead and contribute to their fullest potential i. Standard work ii. Daily huddle iii. Process confirmation iv. One on one coaching v. Skills matrix

D. How the Better Way has been deployed over the past three years

a. Pre deployment activities

b. four month tactical deployment

c. Four months of ongoing coaching

d. System sustainability And now the rest of the story…

In October 2015, while at a local pub in downtown Pittsburgh, a good friend of my introduced me to some people, and in good humor compared me to Andy Reid, the robust man who is currently the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, and sadly he drew a fair comparison, because at the time I weighed 341 pounds, was in pants with a 50 inch waist, was on high blood pressure mediation and surely on the verge of diabetes. The following month my doctor asked me to consider gastric bypass surgery after spending the previous two years trying to coach me to get healthier. With these two situations lingering in my head, when it came time to set annual goals and development plans, I landed on improving my presence and health as my number one goal for 2016. This is when I embarked upon Weight Watchers, another lean management system. (Please note that I pay for my Weight Watchers services and my intent is not to sell Weight Watchers, but to explain how it is a lean management system and how my in depth knowledge of PNC’s Better Way, and application to my weight loss journey has empowered me to lose 120 pounds as of October 3, 2016) In this section of the session I will help the attendees understand the Weight Watchers System, including

A. Root Cause / requirements to generate weight loss a. Input – Food intake as guided by the Smart Points system, which provides targets for daily and weekly food intake, and assigned Smart Point Values to each food b. Output – Fit points, guidance or exercise and how the system allows for tracking

B. Weekly meetings – aka huddles, and leader lead and peer to peer problem solving a. Tying Weight Watcher leader behavior to Better Way Principles b. My behavior as a Better Way leader to Weight Watcher engaged member

C. Weight Loss tools a. Daily tracker b. Smart Points dictionary

D. My tying Better Way Principles and tools to improve my weight loss success

a. How did I lose weight for 32 consecutive weeks

b. How did I double the .5 to 2 pounds per week target

E. Social media support

a. Peer to peer support – what can be learned from Weight Watchers that can be applied F. My results presented in data a. Leading indicators, smart points fit points, in control charts

b. Result measures, weekly weight loss, distribution, capability analysis, control chart c. My learnings as a participant in one system and it’s impact on me as a leader in the other In closing this session there are some key points to draw upon:

1. PNC having a standard way to run the business was the biggest problem to be solved for 3 years ago, for me losing weight and improving my presence was the biggest problem, and significant focus and attention is needed on both to be successful

2. Personally I have learned a new level of humility as a leader (of Better Way), by understanding the struggles as an engaged participant (of Weight Watchers)

3. While the deployment phase of Better Way, and Losing Weight of Weight Watchers is the high visibility exciting part, the sustainment phase of Better Way and maintenance phase (holding weight of Weight Watchers) is what will be most important going forward

4. That my weight loss by using a lean management system allows me to role model both systems, to help others succeed in running the business and getting more healthy

5. That regardless of which system we work in, by default we are role modeling, inspiring and influencing others

Participating Organizations at the Lean & Six Sigma  World Conference

Government Agencies

  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health & Human Svcs.
  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • Pentagon
  • U.S. Air Force

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Veterans Affairs
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers


  • AIG
  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America Corp
  • BASF Corporation
  • Bayer Corporation
  • BMW
  • The Boeing Company
  • Bose Corporation
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Cardinal Health
  • Caterpillar
  • Chrysler Corporation
  • Chevron
  • Cisco Systems
  • Coca-Cola
  • Comcast
  • Daimler Chrysler
  • Disney
  • Dow Chemical

  • Dr Pepper 
  • Duracell
  • Dupont
  • Eastman Kodak
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Fedex
  • Ford Motor
  • General Electric 
  • General Motors
  • Gillette
  • Goodyear Tire
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Honeywell
  • Humana
  • IBM
  • Kohler
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Macy’s
  • M&M/Mars
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Maytag Appliances
  • Mercedes
  • Merck
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mobil Chemical
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Nestle 
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris International
  • PNC Financial Services Group
  • Pfizer
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Prudential
  • Raytheon
  • Rolls Royce Allison
  • Target
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Schindler Elevator Corporation
  • Schneider Electric
  • Shell
  • Siemens
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Staples
  • Tesla
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Qualcomm
  • Underwriter Laboratories
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • United Technologies
  • Union Pacific
  • UPS
  • USAA
  • Verizon
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo
  • Westinghouse
  • Whirlpool
  • Xerox


Lean & Six Sigma World Conference




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