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fundamentals on the Lean Post
Avoiding Dashboard Wallpaper
Build a system of dashboards up and down the organization, says Leslie Barker. Connect them so ideas flow upward and support flows to the idea. It’s a bit tricky setting up dashboards that summarize the performance and capture the critical ideas of many departments below, but it can be done through trial and error.… More »
Real Leaders Think and Act Differently
Are your management routines and Gemba Walks suffering from the superficial observations of the day-tripper? Or are your leaders adding real value to your employees, the organisation and your customers?… More »
PD C+ A+ In the Classroom
Looking back on her time as a teacher through a lean lens, Allison O'Neill suggests way in which the process of education might be improved by examining topics such as rework and "reteaching"… More »
Lean Lessons from Tesla
This piece throws no shade at Tesla, a company that serves as a highly-charged conduit for many a heated debate about the future of manufacturing, mobility, innovation, modern business models, and, what, space travel. Rather, here are a few lean principles that Tesla's tale calls to mind.… More »
Ask Art: Why Should I Be Able to Make Every Product Every Day?
Working on the goal of "every product every day" helps all companies realize the benefits of lean as a strategy, says Art Byrne, by developing flexibility and responsiveness that ultimately delivers far more value to the customer.… More »
Yes, Lean is About Cost Reduction
Why focus on cost reduction? Because many of the cost-saving kaizens of are simpler and require less engineering resources, and this type of kaizen motivates the production teams to try things on their own and develops their capability. This is an outcome of cost reduction activity, says Mark Reich… More »
The Magnificent 7 of Lean Manufacturing
How do you establish stability on a shop floor that’s chaotic? Andrew Quibell recommends “7 manufacturing basics,” his personal selection of lean improvement tools, methodologies, and techniques. And they also boost people’s confidence, helping them sustain improvements.… More »
Thinking Fast and Slow and Lean with John Shook
On the 20th anniversary of Lean Thinking, John Shook delivered this Lean Talk on the principles the book introduced, how they developed over time, and the invaluable lessons the book still holds today. He also explores the concept of lean as a mindset and connects it to the models of thinking introduced by Daniel Kahneman in his book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow."… More »
Your Favorite Lean Posts of 2017: A Lean Post Holiday Special
2017 has seen another terrific year of content on the Lean Post. Over the past 12 months we've released dozens of articles on the latest news, research, stories and tips from all of you, the members of the lean community. Today we share the top 10 most popular.… More »
Don't Start with Tools!
Starting off your lean transformation with one of the various tools at your disposal is certainly tempting. But according to Craig Stritar and Mark Rosenthal, that's a temptation you need to resist. Drawing on examples from Toyota and their own experiences, Stritar and Rosenthal explain their preferred gateway to lean transformation.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!) II
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Today we feature two experienced lean educators with the most frustrating types of waste they've encountered, plus their favorite tips for eliminating them.… More »
When A3s Get Personal
Think A3s are just for organizational problems? Think again. Katie Anderson discusses how to adapt A3 thinking to guide our personal development.… More »
Ask Art: “Do lean conversions actually go smoothly, like in the books?”
Art Byrne receives many inquiries from people wondering whether lean transformations really are as smooth as they seem in books, or if the way is pockmarked with problems. He sets the record straight in this latest installment of "Ask Art."… More »
The Art of Productive Inquiry
Last month Andrew Quibell released a sketch outlining a process for effective silent observation. His new sketch shares what to do next -- productive inquiry! Read more.… More »
Back-to-School Lean: Lunchbox Kanban
Lean thinking is just as impactful on the home front as it is at work. In honor of back-to-school season, LEI Learning Activities Manager Deb McGee shares her experimentations and learnings from transferring the work to the front line, freeing up time and building capability through lean thinking and practice -- her family's lunchbox kanban!… More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why You Should Never Create an A3 Alone
In this eletter from 2008, Jim Womack (in honor of the then-recent publication of "Managing to Learn") shares invaluable advice for a problem that too many A3 writers get hung up on. Read more to learn why you should never be a hero and try to write an A3 alone.… More »
Back to Basics: John Shook on the Role of Questions in Coaching
In this throwback to the classic John Shook eletter "Coaching and Questions; Questions and Coaching," we learn the impacts of asking coachees the right questions, as opposed to giving them the answers.… More »
Why You Should Think of Lean Tools as Frames
Michael Ballé, co-author of the recent book "The Lean Strategy" with Dan Jones, Orry Fiume, and Jacques Chaize; discusses why it's time to think of lean tools as frames for learning.… More »
It's All About the Mindset on Gemba Walks
Darren Walsh believes that there are few things more critical to a successful gemba walk than the right mindset. Do you have the right one when you Go and See? Read more and find out.… More »
The "Dimensions" of Lean
In this exclusive interview from the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit, LEI Director of Education Karen Gaudet shares her own take on the ages-old question, "Why do so many lean transformations fail?"… More »
Book Value: The Mental ABC's of Pitching
"With both the All-Star Game and our Lean Coaching Summit approaching, I got to thinking about ways that non-lean books offer insights into coaching and mastery," writes LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook. Read more… More »
Your Gemba Isn't the Only Gemba to Walk
We all know the critical importance of gemba walks in our organization. But what many of us forget is that sometimes visiting OTHER gembas can be just as value add as visiting our own. Aaron Hunt knows this well - in his latest Post, he shares two stories of how visiting someone else's gemba inspired him to improve his own.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Personal Kanbans for Lean Beginners
Kanban boards. For many of us, they were the first visual management tools we used that taught us the benefits of lean. They're simple, effective and easily customizable to suit your own unique work and challenges. Today, three of LEI's relative newcomers to lean share their own personal kanban boards and the impact they've had on their work.… More »
"Too Busy to Walk the Gemba"
Chris Weisbrod of Catalysis explains why healthcare leaders often claim they're too busy to walk the gemba and shares a strategy for reversing that mindset.… More »
Ask Art: Why do so few companies that implement lean do it successfully?
We've all heard the stories of failed lean implementations, as well as the hotly debated question of "Why did it fail?" In his many years as a lean leader, Art Byrne has seen quite a few possible reasons for a lean failure - read more.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet easily avoidable mistakes made by lean leaders, as well as the countermeasures that can help resolve them.… More »
What Too Many Lean Leaders Forget about Gemba Walks
Lean Coach Darren Walsh of the UK's Lean Enterprise Academy has seen many lean leaders make a troubling, yet highly avoidable, mistake on their gemba walks. Are you making that same mistake? Read his article and find out what it is and how to avoid it!… More »
Lean Roundup: 5S
LEI's Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld provides an engaging insight into the web's best resources on 5S, a fundamental lean tool that was the first many of us ever used when we started our lean journeys.… More »
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product have the means and mindset to be constantly vigilant for what is okay and what is not. By attacking waste at the source, jidoka starkly contrasts with an unfortunately-too-common approach of hiding flaws, passing them down the line, and relying on someone else to fix problems far from their source."… More »
An Overview of Visual Management at Toyota
"Implementing visual management (VM) is a cornerstone of any lean transformation," writes Andrew Quibell. "And few companies know that better than Toyota." In this first of two sketches on visual management at Toyota, Andrew illustrates the fundamentals of the process as Toyota practices itself and teaches its suppliers.… More »
Lean Thinking at 20, Part 2: A Q&A with Jim Womack and Dan Jones
Twenty years ago Jim Womack and Dan Jones helped launch the lean movement as we know it today with their key book Lean Thinking. Now, for a second day, we have the opportunity to ask the two authors to reflect on how lean thinking and lean practice have evolved since the book appeared. LEI senior editor Tom Ehrenfeld has asked Jim and Dan for their thoughts on a range of topics; please feel free to add your thoughts, comments, and questions.… More »
Lean Thinking: A Roundup
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Lean Thinking, by Jim Womack and Dan Jones, Lean Post Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld presents a roundup of the book, its history and its impact on the lean community.… More »
Succeeding by Failing
People often wonder what exactly constitutes "success" in a lean journey - it's a longstanding question. Cam Ford has a different thought entirely. Inspired by two recent articles and a takeaway from visiting a manufacturing plant, Cam shares his take on the true measure of lean success.… More »
Standard Work Roundup
Several terrific articles have appeared recently, emphasizing the importance and complexity of a key lean practice: standard (or standardized) work, which we’ll call SW. So we decided to bundle them into a broader roundup of key pieces about this essential practice.… More »
You Are Not Different: Make universal lean principles work locally
Lean principles are universal, argues Orry Fiume, but the application of them is always local. Don't use this challenge as an excuse to avoid Lean.… More »
Ask Art: What’s So Important About Standard Work?
Standard work is one of the cornerstones of a lean transformation. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's fully appreciated. "People often have a hard time with the idea of standard work," writes Art Byrne. "They complain that they are not robots, that everyone is different with different capabilities." In his latest installment of "Ask Art," Art revisits standard work and its critical importance in lean.… More »
Ask Art: What Lean Books Should I Start With?
Art Byrne shares with us his book recommendations to newcomers on insights into the philosophy and general approach behind lean.… More »
Why Lean Fails in Job Shops... and What to Do to Succeed
Like many job shop owners, LEI faculty member Greg Lane struggled with implementing lean principles early on. The experiences and books he had been exposed to were based on repetitive manufacturing. Job shops with their high-mix, low-volume product lineup present a challenge to lean thinkers -- but not an insurmountable one. Read why.… More »
Standardized Work for Kaizen: Define, Achieve, Maintain, Improve
We can all agree that kaizen (continuous improvement to create more value with less waste) is important, but do you have standardized work for kaizen? What are the actual process steps for kaizen?… More »
fundamentals on Lean.org
Value-Stream Mapping in a Make-to-Order Environment
Tips from LEI author Mike Rother on applying value-stream mapping and continuous flow in high-variety, custom manufacturing environments.… More »
Lean Consumption
"Lean Consumption" is the lead article in the March 2005 issue of the Harvard Business Review. It previews the breakthrough ideas in the forthcoming book from Jim Womack and Dan Jones to be published … More »
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… More »
Building a Lean Operating & Management System
A hands-on, mind engaging simulation-based workshop that will help you achieve a deeper understanding of lean principles and tools by developing your problem solving skills to meet critical business c… More »
Creating Continuous Flow
This workbook explains in simple, step-by-step terms how to introduce and sustain lean flows of material and information in pacemaker cells and lines, a prerequisite for achieving a lean value stream.… More »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, … More »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade (eBook)
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, … More »
"Too Busy to Walk the Gemba"
Chris Weisbrod of Catalysis explains why healthcare leaders often claim they're too busy to walk the gemba and shares a strategy for reversing that mindset.… More »
Ask Art: Why do so few companies that implement lean do it successfully?
We've all heard the stories of failed lean implementations, as well as the hotly debated question of "Why did it fail?" In his many years as a lean leader, Art Byrne has seen quite a few possible reasons for a lean failure - read more.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet easily avoidable mistakes made by lean leaders, as well as the countermeasures that can help resolve them.… More »
What Too Many Lean Leaders Forget about Gemba Walks
Lean Coach Darren Walsh of the UK's Lean Enterprise Academy has seen many lean leaders make a troubling, yet highly avoidable, mistake on their gemba walks. Are you making that same mistake? Read his article and find out what it is and how to avoid it!… More »
Lean Roundup: 5S
LEI's Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld provides an engaging insight into the web's best resources on 5S, a fundamental lean tool that was the first many of us ever used when we started our lean journeys.… More »
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product have the means and mindset to be constantly vigilant for what is okay and what is not. By attacking waste at the source, jidoka starkly contrasts with an unfortunately-too-common approach of hiding flaws, passing them down the line, and relying on someone else to fix problems far from their source."… More »
An Overview of Visual Management at Toyota
"Implementing visual management (VM) is a cornerstone of any lean transformation," writes Andrew Quibell. "And few companies know that better than Toyota." In this first of two sketches on visual management at Toyota, Andrew illustrates the fundamentals of the process as Toyota practices itself and teaches its suppliers.… More »
Lean Thinking at 20, Part 2: A Q&A with Jim Womack and Dan Jones
Twenty years ago Jim Womack and Dan Jones helped launch the lean movement as we know it today with their key book Lean Thinking. Now, for a second day, we have the opportunity to ask the two authors to reflect on how lean thinking and lean practice have evolved since the book appeared. LEI senior editor Tom Ehrenfeld has asked Jim and Dan for their thoughts on a range of topics; please feel free to add your thoughts, comments, and questions.… More »
Lean Thinking: A Roundup
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Lean Thinking, by Jim Womack and Dan Jones, Lean Post Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld presents a roundup of the book, its history and its impact on the lean community.… More »
Succeeding by Failing
People often wonder what exactly constitutes "success" in a lean journey - it's a longstanding question. Cam Ford has a different thought entirely. Inspired by two recent articles and a takeaway from visiting a manufacturing plant, Cam shares his take on the true measure of lean success.… More »
Standard Work Roundup
Several terrific articles have appeared recently, emphasizing the importance and complexity of a key lean practice: standard (or standardized) work, which we’ll call SW. So we decided to bundle them into a broader roundup of key pieces about this essential practice.… More »
You Are Not Different: Make universal lean principles work locally
Lean principles are universal, argues Orry Fiume, but the application of them is always local. Don't use this challenge as an excuse to avoid Lean.… More »
Ask Art: What’s So Important About Standard Work?
Standard work is one of the cornerstones of a lean transformation. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's fully appreciated. "People often have a hard time with the idea of standard work," writes Art Byrne. "They complain that they are not robots, that everyone is different with different capabilities." In his latest installment of "Ask Art," Art revisits standard work and its critical importance in lean.… More »
Ask Art: What Lean Books Should I Start With?
Art Byrne shares with us his book recommendations to newcomers on insights into the philosophy and general approach behind lean.… More »
Why Lean Fails in Job Shops... and What to Do to Succeed
Like many job shop owners, LEI faculty member Greg Lane struggled with implementing lean principles early on. The experiences and books he had been exposed to were based on repetitive manufacturing. Job shops with their high-mix, low-volume product lineup present a challenge to lean thinkers -- but not an insurmountable one. Read why.… More »
Standardized Work for Kaizen: Define, Achieve, Maintain, Improve
We can all agree that kaizen (continuous improvement to create more value with less waste) is important, but do you have standardized work for kaizen? What are the actual process steps for kaizen?… More »
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