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Articles (681) Show All »
Lead With Respect (Chapter 1)
By: Balle, Michael and Balle Freddy | July 28, 2014
Chapter 1 from Lead With RespectIn their new business novel Lead With Respect, authors Michael and Freddy Ballé reveal the true power of lean: developing people through a rigorous application of proven tools and methods. And, in the process, creating the only sustainable source of competitive advantage—a culture of continuous improvement. More »
Lead With Respect (Foreword)
By: Balle, Michael and Balle Freddy | July 28, 2014
Foreword from Lead With Respect In their new business novel Lead With Respect, authors Michael and Freddy Ballé reveal the true power of lean: developing people through a rigorous application of proven tools and methods. And, in the process, creating the only sustainable source of competitive advantage—a culture of continuous improvement. More »
Columns (272) Show All »
The Biggest Waste of All
By: Brent Wahba | September 18, 2014
"We can fix [problem symptoms] with basic lean thinking and tools, but unless our strategy is good, we will still create tremendous amounts of waste for our customers, employees, suppliers, and investors," says Brent Wahba. Why? "Because everyone is running faster and faster… in the wrong direction.  " More »
PDCA is the Breath of Lean
By: Mark Donovan | September 17, 2014
"PDCA is to Lean what breathing is to human beings," writes Mark Donovan. This is why it's important to practice PDCA continuously. So why is it so hard for some of us and how do we help instill PDCA thinking in our organizations? 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 did More »
Case Studies (39) Show All »
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 »
Cultivating a Lean Problem-Solving Culture at O.C. Tanner
By: Bartholomew, Doug | January 22, 2014
O.  C. Tanner is in the appreciation business. It develops employee reward and recognition programs and manufactures a wide variety of emblems, rings, trophies, and other custom products that complement the programs. And if you are in the appreciation business, you have to live it in your own workplace. For O.  C. Tanner that meant a lean transformation had to show the company appreciated and wanted people’s problem-solving ideas. Here’s a report on that effort, including what worked and what didn’t. More »
eLetters (343) Show All »
Would you have a fresh perspective on 5S to make it more motivating?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 10, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I’m the manager of a plant that has changed hands (again). The new corporate team finds my 5S insufficient (again) and want me to make a 5S drive (again). Would you have a fresh perspective on 5S to make it more motivating? More »
The Essence of Developing People and Yourself
By: John Shook | August 21, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Jane Delaney is the CEO of a medium sized software company in the UK. As her company faces crisis upon crisis she finds herself forced to reexamine everything. Herself. Her role as a leader. Her own learning throughout a career that has led her to this point successfully. As she faces the fact that she has much more to learn in order to solve her company’s messy problems, Delaney realizes that the nature of the learning she needs has more to do with her than with the company. Ouch – company crisis becomes personal crisis. More »
Videos and Webinars (36) Show All »
Kaizen vs. the Suggestion Box
October 25, 2012
Mark Graban’s new book, Healthcare Kaizen (Productivity Press), co-authored with Joe Swartz, has lots of examples and practical advice for involving front-line staff with installing and sustaining a continuous improvement system. More »
Lean Accounting Award Winner
By: Chet Marchwinski | October 25, 2012
Clay Moerland, a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, who won the 2012 Excellence in Lean Accounting Student Award, describes his winning project, a lean accounting simulation that he worked on with professors. The award is sponsored annually by Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI).  Lean Accounting Training Learn more about how to make the necessary changes in finance needed to support a lean transformation at LEI’s Lean Accounting Workshop.    More »