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Articles (769) 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 (263) Show All »
Distilling Lean Ideas Down to Their Essence
By: Andrew Quibell | September 3, 2014
Andrew Quibbell, lean leader and VP of a global enterprise, loves teaching lean concepts. Finding PowerPoint wholly ineffective at communicating lean thinking, he's begun drawing lean concepts to spark conversations on the shopfloor. How do you share lean concepts with your team? More »
How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 2)
By: Lean Leaper | August 29, 2014
We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since then he's helped lead a lean transformation; and recently, in Lead With Respect, play sensei to Southcape Software CEO Jane Delaney as she aims to transform her people through the use of lean methods and practice. In this interview Ward shares what he has learned. More »
Forms and Templates (19) 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 (342) Show All »
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 »
I fail to see the difference between hoshin kanri and the strategic planning we used to do. What am I missing?
By: Ballé, Michael | August 18, 2014
Columns; eLetters
My boss has hired a consultant to take us through the Hoshin Kanri process. So far, I fail to see the difference with the strategic planning we used to do. What am I missing? More »
Videos and Webinars (37) 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 »