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Articles (517) Show All »
Maximizing People Systems in a Lean Transformation
By: Bartholomew, Doug | January 22, 2015
Don't make the mistake of overlooking the important role of that human resources plays in a lean transformation. Learn how to align HR policies and practices with your effort to create a lean culture of continuous improvement. More »
Kata Konfusion
By: Chet Marchwinski | January 20, 2015
Author and LEI faculty member Drew Locher explains why it is important when using the kata improvement methodology to not focus solely on key performance indicators. More »
Columns (371) Show All »
Value Stream Maps and Battle Plans - Are They Worth Nothing?
By: Chet Marchwinski and Judy Worth | March 27, 2015
“I’m reluctant to say maps are nothing, but there’s a difference between maps and mapping," Judy Worth says, paraphrasing Eisenhower’s insight that battle plans meant nothing, but PLANNING for battle was indispensable. “An awful lot of lot of the benefit that comes out of value-stream maps comes from the process of mapping with other people.  " More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
By: Brent Hostler | March 26, 2015
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants. 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 (364) Show All »
What does customer focus really mean?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 16, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We’re discussing improving our customer focus, but we’ve realized we’re not quite sure what the phrase really means. Any pointers? More »
How demanding can a lean leader be while remaining respectful of staff?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 9, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How demanding can a lean leader be while remaining respectful of staff?  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 »