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Articles (585) Show All »
For Distribution Managers, Lean Means a Sea Change in Roles
By: Graham, David | October 29, 2014
Making the leap to lean management in the warehouse or the supply chain requires the same kind of cultural shift and change in management behaviors as other operational areas. For a successful lean transformation, distribution management needs to take the lead in creating a strong sense of ownership at the operational level, and then provide people on the warehouse floor with the need for change, strategy, and support. Here's how to do it from lean thinker and distribution professional Dave Graham. More »
Think You Know Your Warehouse or Distribution Center? Think Again
By: Graham, David | October 16, 2014
The vast majority of warehouse or distribution center managers have nowhere near the level of detail about the business that’s needed for a lean transformation, according to David Graham, who for 20-plus years has been crawling through inadequate and bogus operational performance reports as part of his job helping warehouses and distribution centers become lean.  A big reason for the scarcity of detailed data, Graham explains, is that in traditionally managed operations, deep knowledge of the business isn’t needed to manage or solve problems.    When glitches arise, the first action often is to add waste to the process -- More »
Columns (296) Show All »
Lean Thinking and Information Flow
By: Mary Morgan | October 30, 2014
"Most of my career has been spent on making the production floor more efficient, i.  e. the delivery of a product," writes Mary Morgan. "I remember how relieved I felt when I could finally spend time learning and teaching methodologies to improve the delivery of information.  " More »
Lean & Scrum: Complementary Methods with a Shared Lineage
By: Steve Bell | October 29, 2014
Lean coach Steve Bell shares his thoughts on Jeff Sutherland's presentation at the Lean IT Summit earlier this month in Paris. 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 (348) Show All »
My boss has asked me to take on the sensei role for the company. What does that mean?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 28, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How do I become a sensei? My boss has asked me to act in the sensei role for the company but I’m not sure what that means – any advice? More »
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 19, 2014
Columns; eLetters
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way? More »
Videos and Webinars (33) 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 »