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"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I practice lean consistently when I don't feel a strong attachment to my team? We do "knowledge work" and are rarely together in the same… More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I practice lean consistently when I don't feel a strong attachment to my team? We do "knowledge work" and are rarely together in the same… More »
Toyota’s Kanban legacy—and its underlying ideas—have far more direct lineage with today’s digital economy than most folks realize; and capture the core elements of the disruptive lean strategy fueling many of today’s successes. More »
Designed In Quality
Designed In Quality
Extraordinary quality is not only designed into the product, it is designed into the development process itself, says Jim Morgan, who suggests that the next time you might be tempted to minimize Toyota’s quality performance, you will think about how Toyota’s principles and practices might help you design-in better quality in your products and processes. More »
Continuous improvement in a manufacturing environment has to happen at the spot where the work took place, shares Dave Westphal, whose mentor, Mr. Harada, once said: “No improvement can be made in the office...One must go to the job to see what is really happening—to see, to touch, and to investigate the problem first hand.” More »
Why do lean practitioners use so many Japanese terms?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Why do we use so many Japanese terms? I guess experts really want employees and students to think about these concepts.  They make me think about Japan though.… More »
Why do lean practitioners use so many Japanese terms?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Why do we use so many Japanese terms? I guess experts really want employees and students to think about these concepts.  They make me think about Japan though.… More »
While other functions are busy as beavers looking for waste during a lean transformation, your accounting staff is like a squirrel with its head stuck in a yogurt cup. They only see the traditional work right in front of them instead of digging into data for buried “nuts” of waste, says Jean Cunningham, LEI’s new executive chairman. More »
When you say “kaizen is old school” you may be seriously off track, argues Art Byrne. Focusing on tools like A3 might be popular and trendy, but companies that focus on tools have a hard time getting out of the tools stage of lean; and rarely become lean enterprises. They are taking the easy way out. More »
As I reflect on Emmanuel's proposed countermeasures to a key problem, I am encouraged with every new discovery, says General Manager Joel Daly of Veada. I need to get past the gulping and dread associated with someone responsibly reporting a problem to me, and instead embrace the opportunity therein. More »
Dear Gemba Coach, I am designing an MBA-level course to teach lean concepts.  What topics, tools, and techniques would you include in a 7-week, 14-session course? More »
Dear Gemba Coach, I am designing an MBA-level course to teach lean concepts.  What topics, tools, and techniques would you include in a 7-week, 14-session course? More »
Success in a VUCA world requires senior executives to engage thoughtfully and frequently with company operations across all levels and departments, argues HBS Professor Amy Edmondson. The people on the front line who create and deliver products and services are privy to the most important strategic data the company has available. More »
Hear the chairman and co-founder of an apparel manufacturer with global operations explain how and why it invests in its largely female workforce while also dealing with the challenges of a highly competitive industry obsessed with low-cost operations. More »
Anna was trained by NUMMI to identify and solve challenges via experiments with her team, notes Jeff Smith, sharing a story from NUMMI; she had been trained to set up jobs, build racks for parts, and more.Yet evidently what she needed to resolve the issue at hand was a little practical understanding/physical help and space to think while being relaxed and not emotionally wound up. More »
Is value engineering just about cutting costs?
Dear Gemba Coach,  My boss has hired a consultant to do value engineering, who has us looking for design opportunities to reduce the costs of components and materials – is that it? More »
Is value engineering just about cutting costs?
Dear Gemba Coach,  My boss has hired a consultant to do value engineering, who has us looking for design opportunities to reduce the costs of components and materials – is that it? More »
Supporting process owners includes stepping in for zoo keepers when their better idea for washing an elephant’s foot gets rejected as this Lean Talks video explains. More »
Lean Without Limits
Lean Without Limits
We come up with many different types of answers that sort Lean conveniently into categories for easy understanding and storage, says Renee Smith; but what if we were to embrace Lean as a human centered philosophy, the biggest category of all? More »
Lean veteran Orry Fiume shares the story how the leadership team at The Wiremold Company took on the challenging work of transitioning from being traditional, functional, independent executives to becoming a Lean leadership team. More »
Do standards make any sense in a creative industry?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Do standards make any sense in a creative industry, such as code development? More »
Do standards make any sense in a creative industry?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Do standards make any sense in a creative industry, such as code development? More »
Lean repeatedly pushes us to develop new competences (or recover lost know-hows) through kaizen and problem solving. This collection of short articles from seven leading lean sensei women from around the world expand on this topic, arguing that Lean requires a major shift in our behaviors. More »