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Articles (474) Show All »
Why Learning is Central to Sustained Innovation
By: Michael Ballé, James Morgan, Durward Sobek II | May 12, 2016
Skilled people, not processes or new tools, create great products, according to an article on innovation by Lean Enterprise Institute researchers appearing in the Spring 2016 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review. “Why Learning is Central to Sustained Innovation,” by Michael Ballé, James Morgan, and Durward Sobek II, is part of a special report on product development.    More »
“The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had in an Accounting Class!” -- Student Reacts to Learning Lean Accounting
By: Chet Marchwinski | February 10, 2016
Since 2008, the cost for a student and professor to attend the annual Lean Accounting Summit has been offset by the Lean Enterprise Institute’s sponsorship of the Excellence in Lean Accounting Award. LEI talks to  past award winners to see what -- if any -- impact the scholarship has had.    More »
Columns (545) Show All »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | June 28, 2016
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called.  ..  our J-O-B. More »
Take Your Product Testing to the Extreme
By: Lean Leaper and Larry Navarre | June 23, 2016
Many of the principles of lean product and process development can seem counterproductive at first glance. For example, what if someone told you that the best way to see if a product will truly work.  ..  is to break it? That's exactly what Professor Larry Navarre of Kettering University tells his students, as part of his unlikely yet invaluable "Extreme Testing" concept. Read more. More »
Forms and Templates (18) Show All »
Problem Definition Worksheet
By: Lean Transformations Group | June 17, 2013
In order to continuously improve, you must be able to find problems in order to solve them.  Once you have found a problem, the first step you must take is to make sure you have properly defined the problem. One way to look at problems (i.  e.  , gaps) is to think in terms of standards. A gap can exist between current performance and an established standard or a new standard that you are attempting to achieve. A problem also can be unwanted variation in performance even when average performance appears acceptable. When even a single out-of-specification event is a More »
Root Cause Template
By: Shook, John and David Verble | June 13, 2013
When trying to solve a problem, you want to identify underlying causes, which will help you to prevent fires rather than just extinguish them. By identifying the underlying causes down to the root causes, you can reduce the likelihood that a given problem will recur. The most common root-cause analysis technique in lean is the "Five Why's.  " This is practice of asking why repeatedly whenever a problem is encountered in order to get beyond the obvious symptoms to discover the root cause. For instance, Taiichi Ohno gives this example about a machine that stopped working (Ohno 1988, p. 17): Why More »
Case Studies (46) Show All »
Lean + Circular Principals = a New True North for Manufacturer
By: Doug Bartholomew | June 15, 2016
SunPower's lean journey resembled most others until it defined a new mission, a new True North.    The mission statement changed from the business-like “install 10 gigawatts of solar panels by 2016" to the inspirational “change the way our world is powered.  " To achieve it, SunPower melded lean principals with those of the “circular economy” to launch what it is calling a CLean Transformation. Instead of following the traditional linear economic model of take, make, dispose, it would abide by a circular model of reuse, remanufacture, and recycle. Read the case study about the business and environmental payoffs of More »
View from the Hospital Floor: How to Build a Culture of Improvement One Unit at a Time
By: David Drickhamer | April 25, 2016
In this follow-up to our earlier case study "Transforming Healthcare: What Matters Most?", we examine how the Cleveland Clinic is accelerating a lean transformation with a methodology for building a "culture of improvement.  " Here's how it works according to the people making the changes.   More »
eLetters (406) Show All »
Why does kaizen feel like chaos?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 27, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Why does kaizen always feel so destabilizing? More »
How can I keep our lean management effort from becoming bureaucratic?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 14, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Isn’t there a risk that all these lean tools in the workplace turn into yet more bureaucracy More »
Videos and Webinars (32) Show All »
Webinar: How to Lead With Respect
September 9, 2014
How to Lead With Respect webinar featuring Michael Ballé More »
Webinar: The Two Basic Forms of Coaching for Lean
May 22, 2014
The Two Basic Forms of Coaching for Lean with David Verble More »