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A3s (18) Show All »
Welcome to the MTL A3 Dojo
By: Shook, John | February 9, 2011
A3s; Columns
Welcome to this MTL-mini site within www.  lean.  org a destination for thought leadership in lean management in general, "managing to learn" and the A3 process in particular.  The goal of this site is to narrow the gap between reading about how to create an A3 and actually doing A3 management. This site within a site is meant to be a shared space for A3 thinking, a place for you to engage with others on the nitty-gritty daily challenges of your specific problems. Even for you to create an A3 and own it in the process.  This mini-site emerged out More »
A3 Template
By: Sobek, Durward | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Thanks to Associate Professor Durward Sobek, Mechanical and Engineering Dept.  , Montana State Univ.  , for sharing this A3 template and illustration of an improvement cycle for using it. More »
Audio (13) Show All »
The Gold Mine (Audiobook - CD)
By: Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé | November 9, 2010
Audio; Books
An unabridged audio version of The Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround, a Shingo Research Prize recipient in 2006.    More »
Forward to Fundamentals Webinar with Jim Womack and John Shook
By: Shook, John; Jim Womack | April 23, 2009
Audio; Videos and Webinars
In recent years, most discussions around lean transformation have understandably evolved toward more managerial and strategic matters. Yet there remains an alarming lack of solid implementation of the fundamentals! In this current economic crisis we can actually move our lean journeys forward faster by looking back to the lessons that led to the creation of TPS in the weakened Japanese economy following World War II. This webinar is designed to uncover the deep roots of the original lean thinking and tools and how you can better focus your own lean implementation plans and execution.  This webinar features Jim Womack, Chairman 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 »
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 »
Columns (311) Show All »
Book Value: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | November 26, 2014
Is clutter at work or at home getting you down? LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld reviews Marie Kondo's new book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and reflects on what it can teach us about lean practice. "The point is not to be tidy as endgame," he writes. "The point is to tidy up in order to get to where you want to go.  " More »
The Angry Team Member and the Changing Organization
By: Lesa Nichols | November 25, 2014
Toyota veteran and lean coach Lesa Nichols reflects on one of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding conversations she had with a team member. More »
Events (12) Show All »
2014 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
January 10, 2014
June 4-5, 2014 - Los Angeles, California. Two days when you can learn directly from the lean healthcare leaders who are making real change and getting real results in how we deliver and pay for healthcare. More »
2014 Transformation Summit
October 21, 2013
March 5-6, 2014 - Orlando, Florida. Improve the work, develop the people - the building blocks for continuous innovation. More »
Outside Resources (3) Show All »
Lean Initiatives at State Environmental Agencies
January 1, 2003
Environmental agencies in several states, including Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nebraska are applying lean and six sigma principles to cut permitting time and complexity. This page at the federal EPA summarizes what's going on in the states. Scroll to the bottom for links to presentations and more information. More »
Videos and Webinars (35) 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 »
Articles (558) Show All »
Products, People, Profits
By: Ballé, Michael | October 30, 2014
Lean Management is about “seeking the customer’s smile,” writes author and lean practitioner Michael Ballé in Industrial Engineering's International Issue, October 2014. To do that, managers have to seek employees' smiles. 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 »
Books (183) Show All »
Lead With Respect: A Novel of Lean Practice
By: Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé | July 28, 2014
"Lead With Respect is a terrific book that puts the elements of genuine motivation into a broader context and helps leaders translate those principles into action.  "—Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE"The Ballé books are a great way to get started or to speed up your pace of transformation, personal and organizational.  "—Jim Womack, Founder of Lean Enterprise InstituteIn 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 More »
Lead With Respect: A Novel of Lean Practice
By: Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé | July 28, 2014
"Lead With Respect is a terrific book that puts the elements of genuine motivation into a broader context and helps leaders translate those principles into action.  "—Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE"The Ballé books are a great way to get started or to speed up your pace of transformation, personal and organizational.  "—Jim Womack, Founder of Lean Enterprise InstituteIn 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 More »
Charts, Graphs and Diagrams (4) Show All »
Begin from Need
October 28, 2010
"Begin from need" is attributed Taiichi Ohno, a key developer of the Toyota Production System. It means, as shown on these charts, what does the customer (the organization, the worker, the gemba) need right now? It's  another way of articulating the principle of PDCA, plan-do-check-act.    It helps us begin problem solving by grasping the situation, and avoid jumping to conclusions. More »
Toyota Production System House
By: Marchwinski, Chet | June 5, 2009
The Toyota Production System "house" shows the elements of a lean system. Source: Lean Lexicon. More »
eLetters (351) Show All »
How do we solicit feedback from the shop floor without being overwhelmed by the enormous amount of ideas?
By: Ballé, Michael | November 19, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,My company is trying to implement a system for collecting, organizing, and maintaining visibility of employee suggestions and ideas.    I think we all know that the "suggestion box" has gone by the wayside.    How do we solicit feedback from the shop floor without being overwhelmed by the enormous amount of amazing ideas that we're asking for? More »
Can creative people, like product developers, follow such a structured method such as lean?
By: Ballé, Michael | November 7, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,For product development you need creative (maybe even chaotic) people. Are those people suited to follow such a structured method as lean? Like trying to achieve one-piece-flow in product development? More »
Forms and Templates (18) Show All »
Value Proposition Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
A lean value proposition is used in value-stream improvement projects. It will help you and your team:Align the stakeholders around what will be included in addressing the problem,Identify the stakeholders who will be added to the project team and actively engaged in creating the current- and future-state value-stream maps,Identify additional stakeholders necessary to drive the implementation of the future state,Serve as an agreement—a proof of consensus—on the specific problem to be solved, and with the problem statement serve as authorization for the entire project.  The value proposition is not just a document to record discussions. It should be used to drive More »
Standardized Work Chart
December 6, 2012
The standardized work chart shows operator movement and material location in relation to the machine and overall process layout. It should show takt time, work sequence, and standard WIP.  The standardized work chart is one of the three basic forms for creating standardized work, along with the standardized work combination table and job instruction sheet. The purpose of standardized work, according to Kaizen Express from which this form is taken, is to provide a basis for continuous improvement through kaizen.  Kaizen Express, from which this example is taken, is a concise, precise illustrated guide to the fundamentals of the Toyota More »
Presentations (49) Show All »
Lean Startup: From Toyota City to Fremont to You
By: Shook, John | February 10, 2014
Speaking at the 2013 Lean Startup Conference, John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, used his slides to give the audience some background on lean’s development and its key concepts. But he also noted that whether a company is a startup or an established company, lean thinking and practice means:Engage Everyone in Problem Finding and Continuous ExperimentationGive Everyone Permission to Fail and Ability to Succeed More »
Managing on Purpose
By: Shook, John | February 10, 2014
John Shook, CEO of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, introduces a lean transformation “house” or model that uses five key questions to customize the transformation to a company’s business situation.   Shook believes too many companies defaulted into a prescriptive transformation model by simply trying to copy the tools and techniques in the classic Toyota Production System house that has been around for 40+ years. John will talk about the model at the 2014 Lean Transformation Summit. More »
Workshops (60) Show All »
A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance
As lean moves out of the "tool age," leaders—managers, directors, executives— must invest more time in the critical work of lean leadership: going to the gemba to support value creators in their improvement work and coaching and mentoring teams to develop their problem solving capabilities. This ensures that all organizational processes continuously add value to customers. More »
A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance (Online Webcast)
This workshop will help leaders understand how three lean concepts – standard work, flow and visual management - can be applied to the gemba of an individual knowledge worker to make communication more effective and less burdensome. It will enable leaders at all levels to focus on value creation rather than becoming more efficient at Management of non-value-creating activities. The workshop will show leaders how they can do their work quicker and with better quality so that they can spend more time at the gemba coaching and mentoring those who work in value—creating roles. More »