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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 Strategy Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A strategy A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that helps us tell our strategy "story.  " Logic flows from top left to bottom right, and each box leads to the next one. Some people might look at a strategy A3 and find it too complicated or busy. This is a normal reaction; we're condensing a lot on to one page. But you'll find that good A3 stories have an intuitive flow and can be told in five to 10 minutes.   Getting the Right Things Done, from which this example is taken, Pascal Dennis outlines the nuts More »
Books (183) Show All »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade (eBook)
By: Robert Martichenko | July 5, 2012
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, and aids the reader in seeing lean for what it truly is: a way to create a learning and problem-solving culture. More »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade
By: Robert Martichenko | March 8, 2012
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, and aids the reader in seeing lean for what it truly is: a way to create a learning and problem-solving 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 »
eLetters (354) Show All »
I’m not sure I understand solving problems one by one.
By: Ballé, Michael | December 19, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I’m not sure I understand solving problems one by one. I thought listing problems and pushing hard to get them solved faster would improve my operations faster – am I missing something? More »
How Do Lean Concepts Apply in an Office Environment?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 15, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How does lean apply in an office environment? I’m excited by the ideas but can’t figure out learning to see when there’s nothing to see. 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 »
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 »
Workshops (57) 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 (523) 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 »
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 »
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 »
Creating the Course and Tools for a Lean Accounting System
By: Chet Marchwinski | June 25, 2003
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Value-Stream Maps
A unit of Parker Hannifin used a financial kaizen and other lean accounting techniques to bridge the gaps between shop-floor improvements and traditional financial statements. More »
Columns (324) Show All »
And the Best Articles from 2014 Are...
By: Lean Leaper | December 22, 2014
Two weeks ago we asked for your favorite Lean Post articles of 2014 and the results are in! More »
'Twas the Night Before Kaizen
By: Joshua Rapoza | December 19, 2014
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at the Lean Enterprise Institute! 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 (50) Show All »
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 »
ARE WE USING THE 5 WHYS INCORRECTLY?
By: By Mike Rother and Constantin May | October 17, 2013
FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION. Like several Lean concepts of the 20th Century, we should perhaps revisit our interpretation of this one. The 5 Whys may be more brainstorming technique than problem-solving technique. See also: http://goo.  gl/pVKilS More »
Videos and Webinars (34) 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 »