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Articles (476) 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 (533) Show All »
How do I keep visual management from becoming “wallpaper?" A Q&A with John Drogosz
By: John Drogosz | May 31, 2016
"Many managers try to convince everyone (including themselves) that they are visually managing their projects or departments," writes John Drogosz, "but during the gemba walk we see static, outdated displays. Are we just communicating information or really working with what is in front of us?" Read more. More »
It's Not All About the Data on Value-Stream Maps: An Interview with Judy Worth
By: Cameron Ford and Judy Worth | May 26, 2016
Data is a critical component of value-stream mapping. But it's not the only component you should be concerned about. All too often we find mappers getting caught up in their efforts to gather data, which can lead to overload and inaccurate mapping. LEI faculty member Judy Worth has seen this many times - here are her perspectives on the root causes and possible countermeasures. 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 (45) Show All »
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 »
Book Clubs Help Agricultural Company Cultivate Lean Culture
By: Chet Marchwinski | February 5, 2016
Two continuous improvement leaders explain how they successfully use book clubs to spread and align understanding of lean management at a large company with multiple sites. They describe their club process and offer startup tips to CI professionals or other leaders who want to organize business book clubs. More »
eLetters (402) Show All »
Our technical guys are really resisting the idea of standard work. What should we do?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 16, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Our technical guys are really resisting the idea of standard work. They believe they each have their own way of working and don’t want to share. What should we do? More »
Any step forward in a lean transformation is a good step -- right?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 2, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Surely a step forward in a lean transformation is a good thing, even if it’s not completely in the right direction? 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 »