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Articles (584) Show All »
Think You Know Your Warehouse or Distribution Center? Think Again
By: Graham, David | October 16, 2014
The vast majority of warehouse or distribution center managers have nowhere near the level of detail about the business that’s needed for a lean transformation, according to David Graham, who for 20-plus years has been crawling through inadequate and bogus operational performance reports as part of his job helping warehouses and distribution centers become lean.  A big reason for the scarcity of detailed data, Graham explains, is that in traditionally managed operations, deep knowledge of the business isn’t needed to manage or solve problems.    When glitches arise, the first action often is to add waste to the process -- More »
"How to Lead with Respect" -- Follow-Up Q&A to the Webinar
By: Ballé, Michael | September 29, 2014
At the end of the lean management webinar “How to Lead with Respect,” we had a couple of hundred questions left over that presenter and author Michael Ballé didn’t have time to answer.  After reviewing the questions, several main themes emerged. We’ve selected your questions that best represent those themes and present them here with answers from Michael.  Q:Can you give examples of two improvements that can only happen within relationships to help me better understand this concept?A: Teaching lean thinking to the COO of a new company. In shipping, we start with a Truck Preparation Area --  the logistics More »
Columns (292) Show All »
Who is Fighting for Your Customer?
By: Durward Sobek | October 23, 2014
At the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange conference last month in North Carolina, Dave Pericak spoke about his experience as the Chief Nameplate Engineer of the 2015 Ford Mustang. Read how he put his job on the line to make sure his team created a car customers really wanted. More »
Keep It Simple: Value Stream Map at the Gemba
By: Dave LaHote | October 22, 2014
Sometimes we build value stream mapping up to be a much bigger process than it needs to be, forgetting to include key people in the mapping process. Dave LaHote shares a story of how powerful value stream mapping can be when it's used well. 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 did More »
Case Studies (40) Show All »
Lean Management Case Studies
By: Marchwinski, Chet | May 16, 2014
The following examples of lean management principles in action show how a variety of businesses and organizations applied lean principles to solve real business problems under diverse business conditions. We’ve arranged them in 16 categories to help you find the examples you need.  Be sure to read LEI’s complementary Senior Executive Series on Lean Leadership to find out how many of the executives who took part in these case studies changed who they managed and led. More »
Sustain Your Lean Business System with a “Golden Triangle”
By: Marchwinski, Chet | April 1, 2014
When medical device maker Phase 2 fought off an overseas challenge by meeting the global price, margins took a big hit. With help from customer Medtronic Advanced Energy, the company rebuilt margins by lifting its lean operating system to a higher level and keeping it there with a "golden triangle" of sustainability. More »
eLetters (347) Show All »
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 19, 2014
Columns; eLetters
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way? More »
How can I train technical experts who know more about the work than I do?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 6, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I understand I have to train people, but I work in a very technical area and they all know far more about their jobs than I ever will. How can I train them if they know more than I do? More »
Videos and Webinars (33) 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 »