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Embrace DBS. Learn. Experiment. Evolve. Learn more. Doing so may take your career in ways you never expected.

by Felix Pentzlin, Project Manager Operations

I joined Leica Biosystems three years ago to be part of an organization that applied lean business process principles and tools better than any company in the world. I’m glad I did. I credit the Danaher Business System (DBS) with helping me advance my career in unexpected ways -- from joining Leica Biosystems as a DBS Leader to my transition to serve as a project manager for a Microtome manufacturing initiative.


Starting out lean. Early in my career I learned about and began applying lean tools in my daily work. When I joined Leica Biosystems and Danaher, I discovered that DBS distinguishes itself from other companies’ use of lean tools in two important ways. First, DBS is embraced at every level of the organization. With leadership support, associates have broad access to world-class education and are encouraged to continuously learn. Second, DBS is ingrained in our culture, which results in iterative improvement of the tools and their application in new and exciting ways.

An ‘aha’ moment. The DBS Visual Project Management (VPM) tool is one of my favorite tools for its ease of use and the positive results clients experience almost immediately. As a project manager, I put it into practice for every project I work on. Most recently I had the opportunity to work on a two-year-long investment project in Nussloch, Germany. At the outset of the project, my teammates and I put together a massive VPM board--covered in colorful sticky notes and spanning two walls. This board would align the team over the next two years as we completed tasks in each of our swim lanes. 


The project team was split among two sites three hours apart, so the typical practice of gathering the team in front of the board for a weekly in-person meeting was not feasible. We introduced digital approaches to evolve VPM while maintaining the integrity of the tool.

In September, when I begin my new role as Focus Factory Manager, the DBS toolset will continue to help me take on new challenges.

The take-away. DBS is a powerful set of tools. Start your learning at a kaizen, especially if a Japanese Shin master is attending. Then, put DBS to work. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Engage. Learn. Experiment. Evolve. Learn more. I hope DBS makes life easier for you as it has for so many colleagues -- and my family.

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