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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 »
Lean Thinking, Second Edition (Audiobook - CD)
By: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones | March 2, 2003
Audio; Books
Are the calls for making the lean leap falling on deaf ears in the boardroom? Just slip this audio CD of the Lean Thinking onto the boss’s home stereo to get the message across subliminally. Then get out of the way when the boss comes to work and rushes onto the shop floor to lead kaizen workshops. More »
Lean Solutions (Audiobook - CD)
By: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
Audio; Books
An abridged version on CD of Lean Solutions, read by author James P. Womack.  A massive disconnect exists between consumers and providers today. Consumers have a greater selection of higher quality goods to choose from and can obtain these items from a growing number of sources. Computers, cars, and even big-box retail sites promise to solve our every need. So why aren’t consumers any happier? Because everything surrounding the process of obtaining and using all these products causes us frustration and disappointment. Why is it that, when our computers or our cell phones fail to satisfy our needs, virtually every interaction 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 »
Columns (309) Show All »
GTS6 + E3 = DNA (Break the Code for Standardization, Sustainability, and Kaizen)
By: Tracey Richardson | November 21, 2014
There's no "formula" for doing Lean well, but there are principles and practices that keep you on track. Read Tracey Richardson's (memorable) advice for leading effectively at work. More »
Why Creating Products Customers Actually Want Requires a Great Process
By: Matt Zayko | November 20, 2014
80% of the cost (and hence, waste) is committed for a new product or service by the time product designs get locked-in during development. Still, most PD leaders focus their improvement efforts where 80% of cost is incurred—the operational value stream, post-launch. Learn why your focus should be on lean process design. 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 »
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 »
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 (556) Show All »
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 »
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 »
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 (350) 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 »
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 »
Standardized Work Combination Table
December 6, 2012
The standardized work combination table shows the combination of manual work time, walk time, and machine processing time for each operation in a production sequence. This form is a more precise process design tool than the Operator Balance Chart. It can be very helpful to identify the waste of waiting and overburden, and to confirm standard work―in―process.  The standardized work combination table is one of three basic forms for creating standardized work, along with the standardized work chart and job instruction sheet. The purpose of standardized work, according to Kaizen Express from which this form is taken, is to provide More »
Value-Stream Maps (8) Show All »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream (Maps from Applying Value-Stream Analysis to Retailing — The Tesco Case)
By: Jones, Dan and David Brunt | October 25, 2011
Full size maps from the essay "Applying Value-Stream Analysis to Retailing — The Tesco Case" in Seeing the Whole Value Stream More »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream (Maps from Seeing a Whole Supply System Across the Globe)
By: Jones, Dan | October 25, 2011
Full size maps from the essay "Seeing a Whole Supply System Across the Globe" in Seeing the Whole Value Stream More »
Workshops (61) 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 »