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getting started on the Lean Post
ASK ART: Can poetry be used as a tool for implementing lean?
“Inventory is evil,” said King Arthur of kaizen. So he came to Dame Barbie with his plan. “You must make these horrid racks go away Or February 25 is your banishment day.”… 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 »
The Concept Paper for a New Product: The Kickstart of a LPPD Project
Lean product and process development is not an easy undertaking, neither to understand nor execute. Luckily, there is a tool that can help remedy this ever-common problem: the Concept Paper.… 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 »
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 Quotes from "The Work of Management" to Inspire You and Your Team
For this special bonus content, check out these quotes from the new book, The Work of Management. We've included links for easy tweeting, so share away and get inspired to hone your own management systems.… More »
Lean Roundup: Pull
A pull system links all production activity to actual customer demand--and creates what one lean thinker calls "an architecture for kaizen." Read more about this key lean principle.… More »
Lean in One Drawing
LEI faculty member, Dave Lahote, shares his concept of thinking about lean as a system and to demonstrate the linkage between lean tools and how the system can create organizational advantage.… More »
What's a good "small step" to start off my LPPD transformation? A Q&A with Katrina Appell
A lean product and process development transformation may seem daunting, but all you really need to get started is a series of simple yet effective "small steps." Here's Katrina Appell on her favorite.… More »
Ask Art: Why Is Something As Simple As Lean So Difficult to Do?
"Recently my good friend Paul Akers of FastCap and lean blogging fame asked me why lean, which appears to be so simple, ends up being so hard for people to do," writes Art Byrne. "In my decades of leading lean, in fact, this has proven to be perhaps the most important challenge."… 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 »
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 »
Why Value-Stream Mapping is So Difficult in the Public Sector
Identifying value in an organization isn't the easiest task to accomplish. If you happen to work in the public sector, that fact goes double. Public-sector consultant Gavin Martin has seen his clients struggle to identify value many times - sometimes to the point that their frustration puts their lean transformation at risk of stalling.… 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 »
It's Not All About the Data on Value-Stream Maps: An Interview with Judy Worth
Data is a critical component of value-stream mapping. But it's not the only component you should be concerned about. All too often we find mappers getting caught up in their efforts to gather data, which can lead to overload and inaccurate mapping. LEI faculty member Judy Worth has seen this many times - here are her perspectives on the root causes and possible countermeasures.… More »
Value Stream Mapping in a Product Development Context: A Q&A with John Drogosz
Lean Product and Process Development Senior Coach John Drogosz answers countless questions about LPPD every day. Now, in his first piece for the Lean Post, he answers one of his most-asked questions: about how to create a value stream map for a PD environment. Read more.… More »
Narrowing the Scope of Kaizen Activities
Are you having trouble implementing kaizen activities? If so, the solution could be as simple as narrowing down your targets for improvement. Andy Quibell shares his thoughts on what should be the real focus, plus his favorite sketch for planning and executing kaizen activities.… More »
Three Lean Healthcare Success Stories From Across the Globe
Read a summary of 3 lean healthcare stories from the Lean Global Network, including reflections on what seems to make lean work in a healthcare setting. We've gathered stories from two hospitals in China and Spain, and another from a large, multi-organization public healthcare system the New York.… More »
The Obstacle is the Path
Deborah McGee, LEI's Learning Activities Manager, reflects on the most common obstacles she sees people facing when they first try to introduce lean ideas in their organization. McGee offers guidance on how to skillfully persevere despite resistance.… More »
Make Broccoli (Or Lean) Taste Better Through Experiments
"Whether it’s eating healthy, saving for retirement, or pursuing Lean, we are all biased towards maximizing the here and now as opposed to working towards a better future payout," writes Brent Wahba. "We’ve got a lot work to do to make Lean simpler, easier, and more successful for the masses."… More »
You Can't Kaizen Chaos
LEI coach Danielle Blais shares why she believes lean thinking means little without practice, explains the importance of stable work processes, and offers guidance on how to keep your improvement efforts focused on what really matters.… More »
Testing the Lean Transformation Model in India
Dhirendra Kumar Dubey of Lean Management Institute of India (LMII) shares what he's learned about the effectiveness of the Lean Transformation Model through institute projects.… More »
8 Tips for “Passing the Baton” with Suppliers and Customers
In a relay, the winning team isn’t the one that runs the fastest leg, but the one that runs fastest start to finish without dropping the baton. In business, the winning supply chain isn’t the one with the most efficient operational silos, but the one that is most efficient end to end, especially at the handoffs.… More »
Teaching Lean Concepts to Future STEM Professionals in New Philadelphia Ohio
Joe Pry, Intro to Engineering teacher at New Philadelphia High School in Ohio, is bringing lean training for STEM professions to his students with a grant from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. Here's a story of four organizations working together to teach lean engineering concepts and connect students with manufacturing and engineering jobs in their communities.… More »
Lean Talks: Learning Proactive Versus Reactive Management
At our Summit, lean practitioners shared stories of meaningful organizational change in about 10 minutes or less. Here's a powerful story from Brenda Kenefick, change agent at University Health Network in Toronto.… More »
Transforming Healthcare is Complex, Start with a Model Cell
John Toussaint from the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value explains what he's learned about how meaningful organizational change happens from visiting and working with over 130 healthcare organizations in 12 different countries, all with their own unique problems and challenges.… More »
Why Mass Training In Anything Doesn't Work
So you’re excited about Lean and want to show your commitment by training all of your people. LEI’s Director of Education Olga Flory says there are more effective ways to teach lean thinking and practice than gathering everyone together in the same room for mass training.… More »
Adopt or Adapt? When Modifying Lean Makes Sense
One of the key decisions every lean coach, consultant, practitioner, and leader makes is when to fully adopt a particular lean practice or when to adapt it. But how do you make this decision? Author and coach Karen Martin draws from her experience to share her thoughts on the matter.… More »
A Total Shift in Mindset
Lean thinking isn't easy to put into practice, particularly for beginners. Ghassan Saleh, lean engineer at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine, shares his advice for what to keep in mind when you're just getting started.… More »
Public-Private Partnerships Lead To More Effective Government in WA
Since 2012, Washington state government has received more than 2,000 hours of volunteer advice, training, coaching, and/or facility tours from 132 lean experts representing 51 organizations. Darrell Damron shares the story of this unique collaborative learning partnership.… More »
Why Starting With a Model Area is Key to Lean Transformation
Lean coach Danielle Blais explains why starting small, with one team in one area, is so important to leading an effective lean transformation.… More »
getting started on Lean.org
The Value Stream Manager
Read about and discuss the role of this cross-functional manager.… 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 »
Leadership Q&A: Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Co.
From the LEI senior executive series on lean leadership: In the late 1990s, Ariens Co.faced a blizzard of problems. The iconic maker of snow blowers, mowers, and string trimmers faced a cash-flow cri… More »
What is the Theory of Constraints, and How Does it Compare to Lean Thinking?
Read about and discuss this topic.… 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 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 »
Where Lean Leadership Begins
As with all lean practice, leadership begins with grasping the current state. For lean leaders that means understanding the external business environment, the organization's internal environment, and … 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 »
Basic Techniques for Humble Inquiry Questioning
Learn how to switch from trying to be the person out front leading the charge to being someone who utilizes his/her knowledge and experience to coach employees when needed. In other words, try the sen… More »
Lean Solutions
In their bestselling business classic Lean Thinking, James Womack and Daniel Jones introduced the world to the principles of lean production—principles for eliminating waste during production. Now, in… More »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream
For the tens of thousands of users of value-stream mapping at the facility level, Seeing the Whole Value Stream provides the logical next step, extending the field of view all the way up and down the … More »
Making Materials Flow
Making Materials Flow describes in plain language another step in implementing a complete lean business system by explaining how to supply purchased parts to the value stream in order to support conti… More »
You Can't Kaizen Chaos
LEI coach Danielle Blais shares why she believes lean thinking means little without practice, explains the importance of stable work processes, and offers guidance on how to keep your improvement efforts focused on what really matters.… More »
Testing the Lean Transformation Model in India
Dhirendra Kumar Dubey of Lean Management Institute of India (LMII) shares what he's learned about the effectiveness of the Lean Transformation Model through institute projects.… More »
8 Tips for “Passing the Baton” with Suppliers and Customers
In a relay, the winning team isn’t the one that runs the fastest leg, but the one that runs fastest start to finish without dropping the baton. In business, the winning supply chain isn’t the one with the most efficient operational silos, but the one that is most efficient end to end, especially at the handoffs.… More »
Teaching Lean Concepts to Future STEM Professionals in New Philadelphia Ohio
Joe Pry, Intro to Engineering teacher at New Philadelphia High School in Ohio, is bringing lean training for STEM professions to his students with a grant from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. Here's a story of four organizations working together to teach lean engineering concepts and connect students with manufacturing and engineering jobs in their communities.… More »
Lean Talks: Learning Proactive Versus Reactive Management
At our Summit, lean practitioners shared stories of meaningful organizational change in about 10 minutes or less. Here's a powerful story from Brenda Kenefick, change agent at University Health Network in Toronto.… More »
Transforming Healthcare is Complex, Start with a Model Cell
John Toussaint from the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value explains what he's learned about how meaningful organizational change happens from visiting and working with over 130 healthcare organizations in 12 different countries, all with their own unique problems and challenges.… More »
Why Mass Training In Anything Doesn't Work
So you’re excited about Lean and want to show your commitment by training all of your people. LEI’s Director of Education Olga Flory says there are more effective ways to teach lean thinking and practice than gathering everyone together in the same room for mass training.… More »
Adopt or Adapt? When Modifying Lean Makes Sense
One of the key decisions every lean coach, consultant, practitioner, and leader makes is when to fully adopt a particular lean practice or when to adapt it. But how do you make this decision? Author and coach Karen Martin draws from her experience to share her thoughts on the matter.… More »
A Total Shift in Mindset
Lean thinking isn't easy to put into practice, particularly for beginners. Ghassan Saleh, lean engineer at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine, shares his advice for what to keep in mind when you're just getting started.… More »
Public-Private Partnerships Lead To More Effective Government in WA
Since 2012, Washington state government has received more than 2,000 hours of volunteer advice, training, coaching, and/or facility tours from 132 lean experts representing 51 organizations. Darrell Damron shares the story of this unique collaborative learning partnership.… More »
Why Starting With a Model Area is Key to Lean Transformation
Lean coach Danielle Blais explains why starting small, with one team in one area, is so important to leading an effective lean transformation.… More »