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Articles (523) Show All »
Lean Practitioners Gather to Share Ideas that Grow the Bottom Line by Growing People’s Knowledge
By: Chet Marchwinski | December 11, 2014
We were among the nearly 2,000 lean thinkers attending the 2014 AME conference, organized around six value streams: Engaged People, Daily Improvement, Innovation, Extended Enterprise, Sustainability, Achieving Business Results.  The story offers a sample presentation from each value stream with an emphasis on providing practical ideas you can use in your lean journey. More »
Not a High-Volume Widget Manufacturer? Lean Still Makes Sense for High-Mix, Low-Volume Production
By: Greg Lane | November 12, 2014
If your organization deals with a wide variety of products that incur fluctuating demand and your customers are ever increasing the product range while demanding shorter lead times, you need to continuously experiment and adapt lean methodologies. But if you’ve read the lean management literature, most of which is based on high-volume production examples, you’ve probably decided lean principles don’t fit.  Actually they do. Principals, such as pull production, remain the same, though the methods are adjusted to fit high-mix, low-volume environments. Here’s an example.  Let’s assume you have fluctuating demand across a wide range of products, (displayed by the More »
Columns (322) Show All »
The Agile Leader's Dashboard
By: Alex Brown | December 18, 2014
What does a leadership team really need to know in order to do their job well, and how can teams provide that information without wasting valuable time preparing reports? More »
JIT Roundup: Great Lean Reads from Across the Web (Vol. 3)
By: Lean Leaper | December 17, 2014
LEI editors have gathered another five articles that either teach us something new about lean practice or show us where lean thinking is being applied (or might be applied) today. This edition features picks from Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, Fortune, The Atlantic, and Planet Lean. 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 (353) Show All »
How Do Lean Concepts Apply in an Office Environment?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 15, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How does lean apply in an office environment? I’m excited by the ideas but can’t figure out learning to see when there’s nothing to see. More »
Is lean just another word for productivity?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 8, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach Isn’t lean about productivity before all else? More »
Videos and Webinars (34) 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 »