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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 »
Example A3: Acme Stamping - Project Status Review (from Managing to Learn)
By: Sobek, Durward and Art Smalley | July 19, 2010
An example of an A3 from the book Understanding A3 Thinking by Durward K. Sobek II and Art Smalley, included as a sample in some printings of Managing to Learn. More »
Audio (16) 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 (39) Show All »
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 »
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 (289) Show All »
Lean Thinking for Warehousing and Distribution: How to Know Your Business
By: Chet Marchwinski | October 17, 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," says lean veteran David Graham. Learn what kind of knowledge and data you need and how to get it. More »
I Don't Know What I Don't Know, But Spread the Word
By: Lesa Nichols | October 16, 2014
In her first piece for the Post, Lesa Nichols reflects on one of her most powerful learning experiences while working as a powertrain manager at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant. 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 »
Research (5) Show All »
Mistake-proofing healthcare: Why stopping processes may be a good start
By: Grout, John; Toussaint, John | February 24, 2010
Professor John Grout and John Toussaint, M.  D.  , combine their lean experience to write a peer-reviewed journal article from Indiana University's "Business Horizons".  Grout teaches an LEI workshop called Mistake-Proofing Healthcare: Designing Processes to Reduce Medical Errors. Toussaint is CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, a partner in the Healthcare Value Leaders.  The link below is a PDF file of the article. More »
Value-Stream Maps (8) Show All »
Value-Stream Map Zones (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Developing a current-state map creates a common understanding of how things really work today in the value stream (not necessarily what the documentation says or some might believe) so that the stakeholders can work together to identify and address problems and make improvements. Remember, see together, learn together, act together.  All value-stream maps are laid out in a horizontal format. They capture major categories or zones of fact finding. We find it helpful to think about value-stream maps in terms of the following six zones: customer, supplier, processes, information flow, process data, and a timeline and summary.  Perfecting Patient Journeys, More »
Value-Stream Maps from Learning to See
By: Rother, Mike and John Shook | June 2, 2003
Value-stream map excerpts from Learning to See More »
Workshops (56) 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 »
Articles (585) Show All »
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 »
"How to Lead with Respect" -- Follow-Up Q&A to the Webinar
By: Ballé, Michael | September 29, 2014
At the end of the lean management webinar “How to Lead with Respect,” we had a couple of hundred questions left over that presenter and author Michael Ballé didn’t have time to answer.  After reviewing the questions, several main themes emerged. We’ve selected your questions that best represent those themes and present them here with answers from Michael.  Q:Can you give examples of two improvements that can only happen within relationships to help me better understand this concept?A: Teaching lean thinking to the COO of a new company. In shipping, we start with a Truck Preparation Area --  the logistics 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 »
Shingo Prize Transformation Model
By: Shingo Prize | December 8, 2009
A graphic of the Shingo Prize model for principle-centered operational excellence. More »
eLetters (347) Show All »
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 »
How can I train technical experts who know more about the work than I do?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 6, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I understand I have to train people, but I work in a very technical area and they all know far more about their jobs than I ever will. How can I train them if they know more than I do? More »
Forms and Templates (18) Show All »
Action Planning Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
When doing value-stream improvement, once there is a shared vision of a future state, you will still need to identify the specific changes that need to be made and translate those changes into clearly stated goals and actions (i.  e.  , the means) to achieve those goals.  Once you have agreed on the goals and targets, then you can identify the specific methods and action steps you think will help you achieve the goals. These action steps and targets constitute the action plan to achieve a specific goal.  If this type of planning is new to your team, the following suggestions and More »
End of Project Review Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
The end of your first round of value-stream improvement is a good time to step back and reflect on your project—what’s been done, what still needs to be done, and what it means for the value stream you targeted for improvement and for your entire organization. The end-of-project review and reflection brings your PDCA cycle of improvement full circle, and prepares you to start the PDCA cycle over again.  In contrast to reviews during a project, which enable a team to assess execution of the plan and progress toward outcomes, the end-of-project review and reflection is intended for all involved to More »
Presentations (48) 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 »
Software (1)
eVSM v7 - Electronic Value-Stream Mapping
March 10, 2014
Accessories; Software; Value-Stream Maps
Walking the shop or office floor with a paper and pencil to collect data and observe actual conditions is how value-stream mapping (VSM) is done. But for a long time, members of the Lean Community have been sharing these hand-drawn maps by creating their own electronic templates from scratch in various software programs. eVSM makes the process of turning hand-drawn maps into electronic ones easier and faster.  As a companion – not a substitute – to paper-and-pencil mapping, the software allows lean practitioners to easily create, modify, and disseminate electronic value-stream maps. 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 »