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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 »
Detailed A3 Template (from Managing to Learn)
By: Shook, John | July 19, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
A PDF of the A3 template provided in the book 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 »
James Hereford of Group Health interviewed on "The American Innovator" radio show
By: Akers, Paul | February 13, 2010
James Hereford, Executive Vice President, of Group Health was the featured guest on the February 13, 2010 edition of Paul Aker's "American Innovator" radio show from Washington State.  In the show, James talks about the applicability to lean in healthcare, problem solving, and "respect for people" by not using lean to drive layoffs. Group Health has improved processes to be more patient focused and to engage staff members in continuous improvement.  Group Health is a member of our Healthcare Value Leaders Network. 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 (293) Show All »
How To Get Out of the Habit of Telling
By: Katie Anderson | October 24, 2014
How do we get out of the habit of just “fixing” the immediate problem at hand ourselves (or telling others how we think they should do something), and replace it with the habit of developing others to solve a problem? Lean coach Katie Anderson weighs in. More »
Who is Fighting for Your Customer?
By: Durward Sobek | October 23, 2014
At the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange conference last month in North Carolina, Dave Pericak spoke about his experience as the Chief Nameplate Engineer of the 2015 Ford Mustang. Read how he put his job on the line to make sure his team created a car customers really wanted. 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 »
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 »
Articles (584) 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 »
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 (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 »
Problem Definition Worksheet
By: Lean Transformations Group | June 17, 2013
In order to continuously improve, you must be able to find problems in order to solve them.  Once you have found a problem, the first step you must take is to make sure you have properly defined the problem.  One way to look at problems (i.  e.  , gaps) is to think in terms of standards. A gap can exist between current performance and an established standard or a new standard that you are attempting to achieve. A problem also can be unwanted variation in performance even when average performance appears acceptable. When even a single out-of-specification event is a More »
Root Cause Template
By: Shook, John and David Verble | June 13, 2013
When trying to solve a problem, you want to identify underlying causes, which will help you to prevent fires rather than just extinguish them. By identifying the underlying causes down to the root causes, you can reduce the likelihood that a given problem will recur.  The most common root-cause analysis technique in lean is the "Five Why's.  " This is practice of asking why repeatedly whenever a problem is encountered in order to get beyond the obvious symptoms to discover the root cause.  For instance, Taiichi Ohno gives this example about a machine that stopped working (Ohno 1988, p. 17):Why did 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 »
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 (58) 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 »