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customer focus on the Lean Post
The Lean Bakery: A Q&A with 365's Staff
In their first interview with The Lean Post, Leo and Agus Tena, children of the authors of the new LEI book "The Lean Bakery," describe some of the finer points of the transformation of their family's company Cafe365.… More »
How Do You Know What Your Product or Service Needs to Be?
What does it take to know what your product or service needs to be? The obvious answer, it would seem, is whatever the customer wants. Katrina Appell explains why there's more to it than that.… More »
When to Pull the Andon
Lost luggage is a traveler's nightmare. But for Kelly Moore, the nightmare got worse when her airline's baggage attendant couldn't pull the andon -- an action that could have fixed the problem on the spot. Kelly now reflects on this incident and how it made her reconsider the efficacy of her organization's andon systems.… More »
Are You Prioritizing Efficiency Over Value?
A major element of lean is efficiency, but it's certainly not the ONLY element. While it may seem logical that customers value efficiency, an overreliance on speed can cripple the experience for them. Inspired by a rather painful experience at an orthopedic clinic, Cam Ford explores this further.… More »
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
Nearly eight years ago, headteacher Tony Lamberton of Christleton High School was struggling with poor reviews of his school. After reading and studying The Toyota Way, he launched an initiative to bring something brand new into his school’s operations: lean coaching. This is the story of that remarkable turnaround.… More »
Ask Art: Is “We are customer-driven” a good lean strategy?
Art Byrne is often asked if "customer-driven" is a good lean strategy. The answer is yes - as long as it's done right. Read more.… More »
Question! Adapt? Question!
LEI's Customer Strategy Officer talks about his mistake of not asking enough questions and what he learned about passion overtaking reasonable thinking when it comes to the lean summit.… More »
Are Your Processes REALLY People-Centric?
A process might look people-centric on paper, but the reality is often much different. Inspired by a half funny, half bemusing experience at an airport, Kelly Moore reflects on how to ensure that your processes are people-centric from the get-go.… More »
How Do You REALLY Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes? A Q&A with Eric Ethington
The customer is king in lean. That's why it's critical to know their values, needs, interests, etc. in order to ensure your product has its niche. Some companies go further than others on this, often spending tens of millions of dollars to learn about their customers. Eric Ethington has a simpler way of getting to the root of your customer experience, and best of all, it doesn't have to break the bank.… More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility.… More »
Using the Agile Methodology to Develop Physical Products: An Interview with Alex Brown
Who says agile is just for developing software? It turns out that many of agile's elements can be used to improve physical product development too. It's a relatively new methodology that Alex Brown refers to as "agile product strategy." Read more to hear what Alex has to say about this unorthodox application of agile.… More »
The Value of a Day in Product Development
Lean product and process development is known for having principles that are somewhat counterintuitive: for example, slowing down your development cycles in an industry where every second counts? Absolutely! Bella Englebach and Susan Wendel of Janssen Pharmaceuticals share more on why this is so critical.… More »
Start Up By Diving Deep
"The important thing is answering some fairly core questions about your business before spending time and money developing solutions," write Jim Luckman and Durward Sobek. "It’s a totally different way of working, which is why it’s so rare."… More »
Lean Thinking in Construction: From “What” & “How” to “Why”?
"Construction is fraught with conditions of poor quality, cost overruns, and late projects," says Nick Masci of Lean Construction Institute. And in trying to improve, many people fall into the trap of an over-reliance on “tools of waste elimination” rather than a broader, principle-based approach. Read what Masci and his team are doing to shift the field's thinking.… More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants.… More »
Understanding the True Cost of Care
"Today, frontline clinicians are being asked to provide even more cost-efficient care to patients yet few understand how to do so," writes Jordan Harmon of the nonprofit Costs of Care. "There is a new focus on efficiency in treatment options and today’s patients are more cost savvy than their predecessors. We must ensure value while reducing costs and improving quality outcomes."… More »
Defining LEI’s Customer: Understanding Your Real Problems & Needs
"Our customer is part of everything we do, but defining them and their needs… well, it’s like describing the air you breathe," writes Josh Rapoza. "It requires stepping back from the day-to-day work and slowing down to [ask] who exactly our customer is now, if and how they’ve changed..." Read more.… More »
Look Around You, Find Your Lean Inspiration
After an awful experience with an online travel agency and way too much time spent trying to fix an error the company made, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo reflects on why experiences like these are all too commonplace. "There are many examples out there showing us that another way to deliver customer value is possible," writes Priolo, citing plenty of examples.… More »
The Case for Lean Thinking in Retail and Service Organizations
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, recently joined Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy for podcast conversation on coaching, lean thinking for retail and service organizations, and what respect for people really means. Check out some of the highlights here.… More »
Lessons Learned from My Lean Sensei about “Customer Service”
"To 'get' Lean we have to change our specs, and no longer see processes as sequences of dependent tasks, but as sequences of dependent CHOICES," writes Michael Ballé. Read more.… More »
customer focus on Lean.org
The Value Stream Manager
Read about and discuss the role of this cross-functional manager.… More »
Leadership Q&A: Dr. Jack Billi, associate dean and associate vice president for medical affairs
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: Jack Billi, M.D., associate dean for clinical affairs, University of Michigan Medical School, professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Educa… More »
Leadership Q&A: Robert Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc: “Guiding Principles of Leadership”
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: CEO Robert Chapman describes how the company's Guiding Principles of Leadership merge with lean thinking at this $1.1 billion global manufactu… More »
Lean Thinking: A Look Back and a Look Forward
The meaning of lean thinking, how lean got its name, and an example of how it improved a grinding process By LEI President Jim Womack.… More »
The Beginner’s Guide To Lean
Dan Jones, chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy and coauthor of Lean Thinking, explains that the challenge of lean is to advance beyond eliminating waste in broken processes to creating brilliant p… More »
Lean Transformational Leadership Webinar - Follow-up Q & A and Reading List
During the Transformational Leadership webinar, many of you asked for the list of related books and articles that presenter Jim Luckman cited. He has provided the list as a chart at the end of his ans… More »
Nun and the Bureaucrat (Book & DVD), The
The remarkable story of how healthcare professionals found a powerful but unlikely cure for what ails hospitals and healthcare is clearly and invitingly told in The Nun and the Bureaucrat/Good News…Ho… More »
Online - Introduction to Lean Thinking and Practice
This online course serves as an introduction to the key concepts, philosophies, and tools associated with lean thinking and practice. Designed through a joint effort between the Lean Enterprise Instit… More »
Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture: Connecting the “Product” and the “People” Value Streams
Process-improvement tools are important, but their ultimate effectiveness depends on the ability to develop the underlying culture of problem solving to support continuous growth and improvement. This… More »
Breaking Through to Flow
This is a pathway that helps people make a fundamental change in their thinking and working that is at the heart of lean - moving from batch to flow logic. The Sieve helps to identify the right value … More »
Lean Product and Process Development, 2nd Edition
Lean Product and Process Development, 2nd Edition (ebook)
Defining LEI’s Customer: Understanding Your Real Problems & Needs
"Our customer is part of everything we do, but defining them and their needs… well, it’s like describing the air you breathe," writes Josh Rapoza. "It requires stepping back from the day-to-day work and slowing down to [ask] who exactly our customer is now, if and how they’ve changed..." Read more.… More »
Look Around You, Find Your Lean Inspiration
After an awful experience with an online travel agency and way too much time spent trying to fix an error the company made, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo reflects on why experiences like these are all too commonplace. "There are many examples out there showing us that another way to deliver customer value is possible," writes Priolo, citing plenty of examples.… More »
The Case for Lean Thinking in Retail and Service Organizations
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, recently joined Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy for podcast conversation on coaching, lean thinking for retail and service organizations, and what respect for people really means. Check out some of the highlights here.… More »
Lessons Learned from My Lean Sensei about “Customer Service”
"To 'get' Lean we have to change our specs, and no longer see processes as sequences of dependent tasks, but as sequences of dependent CHOICES," writes Michael Ballé. Read more.… More »
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