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The Lean Post
Sharing how the world is making things better through lean.
Product Development Is Where to Cut Carbon Emissions; Here's How
Consumers want products updated more frequently, which is great for consumers and business but not so great for the environment because a third of man-made carbon emissions come from production processes, notes Katrina Appell, PhD, who explains how product developers can balance these competing forces. More »
Why We Believe Lean is Worth Our Unwavering Commitment
Lean provides a powerful alternative to short-term enterprise driven solely by the goal of maximizing profits while externalizing human and environmental costs, argues these leading Lean thinkings, who reveal why Lean promises a more humane, productive, meaningful, and ultimately, sustainable path forward. More »
The Power of Ma in Creating Cognitive Space
The Power of Ma in Creating Cognitive Space
When we lead with respect for people, we need to truly understand that people work in different ways, argues Jim Benson in this piece about the power of More »
The Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering
One of the fastest ways to reduce development lead time from concept to market is to work concurrently. But as product development coaches Katrina Appell and John Drogosz point out, many managers and engineers jump into concurrent engineering without the requisite understanding and planning of the work to be successful, leading them to the dreaded “Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering.” More »
Lean Thinkers Are Systems Thinkers
Lean Thinkers Are Systems Thinkers
Lean thinkers are systems thinkers, argues Rich Sheridan: "Intentional cultures thrive when the simple systems put in place reinforce every cultural intention and that systems thinkers will always start with the attitude that improving the systems is the best route to improvement, success, and ultimately joy." More »
Dear Gemba Coach, I’m in a service job and I struggle with the idea of standards. I read that there can be no kaizen without standards but how can you have standards when no two… More »
Dear Gemba Coach, I’m in a service job and I struggle with the idea of standards. I read that there can be no kaizen without standards but how can you have standards when no two… More »
12 Wastes of Product & Process Development
The wastes found in manufacturing are well known and relatively visible. But as you move upstream into the very different realm of product development, wastes become harder to see but are just as prevalent. This list of a "dirty dozen" PD wastes, courtesy of Katrina Appell and John Drogosz, will open your eyes. More »
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the business. In this summary of key points from The Birth of Lean, LEI Chair Jean Cunningham shares insights from her reading of the book, and invites you to share thoughts as well. More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would apply to one-off work. More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would apply to one-off work. More »
How Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?
When someone in our organization complains about something we hand them a Kaizen card, shares Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic. Perhaps the same approach could apply to the broader challenge of improving the organizational ability to frame problems productively? More »
4 Core Principles of Lean Product and Process Development Explained
The ability to consistently create “insanely great” products, as Steve Jobs would say, is the ultimate competitive advantage. But many companies struggle to develop profitable products and services on time with the best quality and least waste. Lean product and process development (LPPD), a powerful and proven set of principles and practices, will help any company dramatically improve its development capability. LPPD practitioners John Drogosz and Katrina Appell summarize its 4 core principles. More »
Good introduction to what Toyota Kata is about, to share with anyone who needs it. Captured at the 5th annual North American KataCon conference in Savannah, GA on February 18,… More »
Good introduction to what Toyota Kata is about, to share with anyone who needs it. Captured at the 5th annual North American KataCon conference in Savannah, GA on February 18,… More »
Can lean be used to turn around a company?
Dear Gemba Coach, Can lean be used in a turnaround situation? Does a burning platform make it easier or harder? More »
Can lean be used to turn around a company?
Dear Gemba Coach, Can lean be used in a turnaround situation? Does a burning platform make it easier or harder? More »
Feeling the Gemba Magic
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier realized the true source of the recurring problems: himself. More »
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing where the biggest resistance will come from, however should help you focus your early efforts and smooth your Lean turnaround. More »
Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems? More »
Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems?
Dear Gemba Coach,  Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems? More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
Profit and Cost At Toyota
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds." More »
Calling a Time-Out for Coaches
What's the most effective approach to coaching? Lean coaches Mark Reich and Laura Mottola share practical approaches that include methods such as invoking struggle, providing support, and giving direction; while suggesting ways to consider when each approach might be optimal for the situation. More »