Dear Professor, Am I Ever Glad You Covered Lean in Class!
By: Chet Marchwinski | August 24, 2016
Since 2008, the Lean Enterprise Institute has sponsored the Excellence in Lean Accounting Award to fund scholarships helping pairs of students and professors attend the annual Lean Accounting Summit. In this series, we talk to past award winners to learn what impact the scholarship and award has had on the teaching and practice of accounting. More »
Accounting for the Lean Accounting Award
By: Chet Marchwinski | August 18, 2016
In this series, we talk to past winners of the Excellence in Lean Accounting Award to learn what impact the award and the scholarship it supports has had on the teaching and practice of accounting. More »
Manufacturing Balancing Act: Pull Versus ERP
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 23, 2016
In this follow-up story to our case study about Phase 2 Medical Manufacturing, Inc. , the company faces an enviable dilemma: because the lean transformation has spurred strong sales growth, Phase 2 needs a new or expanded parts warehouse. Instead, it expands the pull system by connecting the plan-for-every-part database that underpins one-piece flow production with the enterprise resource planning system, typically associated with big batch production. More »
Lean + Circular Principals = a New True North for Manufacturer
By: Doug Bartholomew | June 15, 2016
SunPower's lean journey resembled most others until it defined a new mission, a new True North. The mission statement changed from the business-like “install 10 gigawatts of solar panels by 2016" to the inspirational “change the way our world is powered. " To achieve it, SunPower melded lean principals with those of the “circular economy” to launch what it called a CLean Transformation. Instead of following the traditional linear economic model of take, make, dispose, it follows a circular model of reuse, remanufacture, and recycle. Learn the business and environmental payoffs of linking lean and clean. More »
An Overview of Visual Management at Toyota
By: Andrew Quibell | October 20, 2016
"Implementing visual management (VM) is a cornerstone of any lean transformation," writes Andrew Quibell. "And few companies know that better than Toyota. " In this first of two sketches on visual management at Toyota, Andrew illustrates the fundamentals of the process as Toyota practices itself and teaches its suppliers. More »
How Do You Know If You’ve Created a Meaningful Challenge?
By: Mike Orzen | October 19, 2016
"Have you ever issued what you thought was an inspiring challenge for your team, only to discover they were underwhelmed and far from motivated?" asks Mike Orzen. If so, you may have missed one of the core practices of leading with respect - creating a meaningful challenge. Read more. More »
Our new boss doesn’t 'get' lean; what can I do to convince him?
By: Michael Ballè | October 6, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach, We’ve had spectacular lean results with our old boss, but our new boss doesn’t get it. He’s already cut his gemba walks from weekly to monthly and doesn’t see the point of kanban. What can I do to convince him? More »
How can kanban or lean possibly apply in an office?
By: Michael Ballè | October 3, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach, You often say that one can’t do lean without kanban, and that continuous improvement without kanban is fine, but not lean. My team works on projects in an office, I fail to see how kanban applies. Are we barred from lean forever? More »
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 »
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