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A3s (8) 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 (6) 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 »
THE END OF THE LINE FOR GM-TOYOTA JOINT VENTURE
By: Langfitt, Frank | March 28, 2010
LEI Founder and Chairman Jim Womack and Senior Advisor John Shook are among the key experts interviewed for this look at the success of the Toyota-GM joint venture and what prevented GM from quickly deploying lessons that may have prevented bankruptcy.    ("All Things Considered," March 26, 2010.  ) More »
Case Studies (33) 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 (323) Show All »
Jim Womack and Dan Jones on the Evolution and Future of Lean
By: Roberto Priolo | December 23, 2014
At the UK Lean Summit last month, Roberto Priolo caught up with Jim Womack and Dan Jones to talk about the current and future state of the lean movement. Watch the full interview or read key insights from Womack and Jones. More »
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 »
Events (11) 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 (1) 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 »
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 (19) 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 (391) Show All »
Lean Practitioners Gather to Share Ideas that Grow the Bottom Line by Growing People’s Knowledge
By: Chet Marchwinski | December 11, 2014
We were among the nearly 2,000 lean thinkers attending the 2014 AME conference, organized around six value streams: Engaged People, Daily Improvement, Innovation, Extended Enterprise, Sustainability, Achieving Business Results.  The story offers a sample presentation from each value stream with an emphasis on providing practical ideas you can use in your lean journey. More »
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 »
Books (61) 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 (296) 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 (12) 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 (22) 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 »
Value-Stream Maps (4) 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 »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream (Maps from the Wiper Value Stream)
By: Jones, Dan and Jim Womack | October 25, 2011
Full size maps from Parts 1-5 of the workbook Seeing the Whole Value StreamWiper Value-Stream Map Current StateWiper Value-Stream Map Future State 1Wiper Value-Stream Map Future State 2Wiper Value-Stream Map Ideal StateAlpha Motors Assembly — Current StateAlpha Motors Assembly — Future StateBeta Wipers Assembly — Current StateBeta Wipers Assembly — Future StateGamma Stamping Assembly — Current StateGamma Stamping Assembly — Future State More »
Workshops (51) Show All »
5S - Visual Workplace
5S methodology helps organizations achieve more consistent operational results through maintaining an orderly workplace. This workshop will introduce you to the 5S methodology and help you learn basic implementation steps including evaluation and audit. More »
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 »