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kaizen on the Lean Post
A Week of Kaizen in Just One Day
"Often when I hear people talk about kaizen, they are under the impression that this is some huge event with dozens of people fixing loads of things over a week," writes Andrew Quibell. But the reality is much simpler - find out how in the latest installment in his visual-lean series.… More »
Looking for split seconds, it can mean a NASCAR race WIN!
Tracey and Ernie Richardson explore how NASCAR pit crews use visuals for safety and speed.… More »
Ask Art: How high is up with lean?
Art Byrne explains that continuous improvement really is continuous and that there is no limit to the “up” in lean.… More »
Getting to Sustainability
Sustaining gains from kaizen thinking is one of the hardest, and certainly most misunderstood, aspects of this work. It’s misunderstood because the actual change takes place at the beginning of the journey. Learn one of the best ways to Get to Sustainability from LEI faculty members Tracey and Ernie Richardson.… More »
From Chaos to Kaizen: The Visual Way
In another of his visual depictions of the fundamentals of lean, Andrew Quibell illustrates the process of transforming a chaos-plagued organization into one of continuous improvement.… More »
“Simple Ain’t Easy”
The essence of lean is simplicity, argues Orry Fiume, a theme that applies not only to great organizations, but great music and anything else important.… More »
Why Yoda Was Wrong
Aspects of lean can be found almost anywhere - even in a galaxy far, far away. Inspired by a new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars film "Rogue One," Aaron Hunt uses a lean mindset to debunk a very famous quote from the original trilogy.… More »
Ask Art: Is There More to Becoming Lean than Conducting Kaizen Events?
Kaizen events may be a key part of lean transformation, but they're certainly not the only aspect of it. They're just one step on the stairway to a culture of continuous improvement - but only if you build upon them. Art Byrne shares some great tips for getting the most out of your kaizen events.… 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 »
Kaizen Means You Care
"Lean leaders, and lean consultants (like me), often talk about the organizational benefits of kaizen: lower costs, bigger profits, shorter lead times, higher quality, etc.," writes Dan Markovitz. But at the same time, we never want to forget that there is a human element of kaizen. In his latest piece for the Lean Post, Dan shares a touching real-life story of this oft-overlooked side of kaizen.… More »
The Manufacturing Waste Series: Introduction
In the first installment of his new series on waste, Andrew Quibell's latest sketch introduces his take on why kaizen efforts often fail to achieve anything long-term. Read more to find out what he pegs as the culprit, and get a preview of the series to come!… More »
Kaizen Learning vs. Traditional Problem-Solving
"Lean offers a fundamentally different approach to problem-solving than most traditional companies practice," writes Art Byrne. "Most [traditional] companies delegate important problems to teams of experts that take months to create a plan and even longer to get lasting improvements." What would a problem-solving process look like at a lean company? Read this article and find out.… More »
The Terrible Quest for Best
It seems like everyone strives to be the best at what they do. But, Josh Rapoza wonders, why would you even want to be best? Isn't it better to always be improving, rather than settling for what we perceive as "best?" Read more.… More »
Coaches Need Improvement Too
"Whether you are a coaching client or a coach yourself," writes Brent Wahba, "you both have decided to pursue the world of continuous improvement, so why wouldn’t continuous improvement apply to continuous improvement itself? Just like everyone else, coaches need improvement too."… 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 »
How to Know If Your Team is Ready for Kaizen
"Do we even know what the Kaizen aim of “engaged employees” means, beyond the clichés?" asks lean coach Lesa Nichols. Read Lesa's tips for getting a read on your team and then genuinely involving all team members in meaningful work.… More »
Just-in-Time Roundup: Great Lean Reads Across the Web (Vol.10)
Our latest picks for great lean reads across the web, this time from 99u, strategy + business, a hotel app company's blog, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.… More »
Lean Thinking for Quicker Police Emergency Response Time
Bob Downing and Erin Magee reflect on the results of a collaborative project they worked on last year when their company was asked by the Newport News City Council to run a process improvement (kaizen) event for the Newport News Police Department.… More »
Kaizen Event “Malpractice” and What to Do About It
Performed properly, kaizen events create the technical and cultural foundation for daily continuous improvement. Performed improperly, they can get you nowhere fast. Learn more about the real purpose of kaizen events (and how to run effective ones) in this video interview with Chet Marchwinski and LEI faculty member Mark Hamel.… More »
Everyday Kaizen
"With the right teaching and guidance, a good process, and a target of one kaizen activity per day, team leaders should develop [problem solving] skills fast," writes Emmanuel Jallas. Team leaders then encourage these same problem skills in operators, Jallas says, which creates a culture of steady, everyday improvement that can make a big difference for your business.… 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 »
Too Busy to Improve
"The number of people I meet who tell me, 'I don’t have time to make improvements to my work,' amazes me," writes Mike Orzen. But staying under water, always behind on work, doesn’t work either. Learn more about how to think differently about overwhelm and get ahead of the game.… 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 »
GTS6 + E3 = DNA (Break the Code for Standardization, Sustainability, and Kaizen)
There's no "formula" for doing Lean well, but there are principles and practices that keep you on track. Read Tracey Richardson's (memorable) advice for leading effectively at work.… More »
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and not enough learning-by-doing. "They don’t trust that a rapid kaizen approach is still the most effective way to become a lean enterprise," he writes.… More »
Short Stories and Quick Kaizens
Lean coach Danielle Blais continues to see opportunities for lean thinking just about everywhere she goes.… More »
Ask Art: How Do We Prevent Backsliding?
Backsliding is inevitable. "The key is to anticipate the backslide and take early, aggressive, organized steps to prevent it from happening before it starts," writes former Wiremold executive Art Byrne.… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
Kaizen Power
In his latest piece for the Post, Michael Ballé explains why "humble 100x1% is better than 1x100% kaizen." This kind of kaizen impacts the bottom line of your company and can even change its strategic trajectory.… More »
Ask Art: How Should We Staff and Run Kaizen?
"Unless you have some lean knowledge before you launch any kaizen, your traditional ('batch' rather than 'flow') thinking will overwhelm you at every turn," writes lean leadership expert Art Byrne. So just how do run an effective kaizen? Read more.… More »
Lean Labor Relations and The Customer First Principle
Here’s the scene: A production line at a car and truck manufacturing plant is stalling several times a day resulting in serious workflow issues. Read the true story about how a union rep, labor rep, line worker, and team member from production control worked together to get to the bottom of the issue.… More »
kaizen on Lean.org
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 »
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 »
Lean Beyond Production
Read how Lean Thinkers, using the same lean tools that worked in production, now are making improvements and benefits off the plant floor, in environments as diverse as an insurance company, academia,… 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 »
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Getting to Everyday Improvement: How to Connect the Science and Culture of Problem Solving”
 The Lean Enterprise Institute's webinar on Getting to Everyday Improvement drew thousands of Lean Thinkers from around the world and hundreds of questions that we didn’t have time to answer during th… More »
The Lean Dentist Webinar Follow-Up Questions & Answers
After reviewing all the questions that we couldn’t get to during the webinar with Dr. Sami Bahri, several key themes emerged, such as lean leadership and how lean tools, such as one-piece flow (or in … More »
Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata
What is a Kata? A kata is a pattern you practice to learn a skill and mindset. Through practice the pattern of a kata becomes second nature - done with little conscious attention - and readily avail… 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 »
Managing to Learn: Using the A3 management process
Managing to Learn by Toyota veteran John Shook, reveals the thinking underlying the A3 management process found at the heart of lean management and leadership. Constructed as a dialogue between a mana… More »
Getting the Right Things Done
For companies to be competitive, leaders must engage people at all levels in order to focus their energy and enable them to apply lean principles to everything they do. Strategy deployment, called hos… More »
VSM Getting Started Set
We’ve combined 4 of our most popular products into 1 good deal on the essential materials for value-stream mapping.… 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 »
GTS6 + E3 = DNA (Break the Code for Standardization, Sustainability, and Kaizen)
There's no "formula" for doing Lean well, but there are principles and practices that keep you on track. Read Tracey Richardson's (memorable) advice for leading effectively at work.… More »
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and not enough learning-by-doing. "They don’t trust that a rapid kaizen approach is still the most effective way to become a lean enterprise," he writes.… More »
Short Stories and Quick Kaizens
Lean coach Danielle Blais continues to see opportunities for lean thinking just about everywhere she goes.… More »
Ask Art: How Do We Prevent Backsliding?
Backsliding is inevitable. "The key is to anticipate the backslide and take early, aggressive, organized steps to prevent it from happening before it starts," writes former Wiremold executive Art Byrne.… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
Kaizen Power
In his latest piece for the Post, Michael Ballé explains why "humble 100x1% is better than 1x100% kaizen." This kind of kaizen impacts the bottom line of your company and can even change its strategic trajectory.… More »
Ask Art: How Should We Staff and Run Kaizen?
"Unless you have some lean knowledge before you launch any kaizen, your traditional ('batch' rather than 'flow') thinking will overwhelm you at every turn," writes lean leadership expert Art Byrne. So just how do run an effective kaizen? Read more.… More »
Lean Labor Relations and The Customer First Principle
Here’s the scene: A production line at a car and truck manufacturing plant is stalling several times a day resulting in serious workflow issues. Read the true story about how a union rep, labor rep, line worker, and team member from production control worked together to get to the bottom of the issue.… More »