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What Do Managers Do?
After walking the gemba with sensei Hideshi Yokoi, Matt Savas learned three basic agreements between workers and management, and shared his discovery that a production analysis board is a figurative and literal social contract that binds management and workers together.… More »
Ask Art: Why Focus on Why When Doing A Lean Turnaround?
In switching to lean, understanding the WHY is the most important thing, argues Art Byrne. It helps people overcome their traditional beliefs about how something can be done. It is in essence the strategy of the business; removing the waste from your operations in order to deliver more value to the customer.… More »
Flaatnes Elektro-Mek Reveals How Double Loop Learning Supports Lean Thinking and Practice
Every experience is a learning experience. However, we tend to only experience single-loop learning where we reaffirm what we already think is true. Lean gives us a framework to challenge our beliefs and assumptions and create double-loop learning situations through concrete experiments, and often real-time feedback from the real world.… More »
What If Elon Musk Took Manufacturing Cars Seriously?
Jeff Liker asks of Tesla: What if it took Toyota’s help seriously in learning basic manufacturing before undertaking disruptive technology change? What if Tesla built in quality and did not have to rebuild most Model 3s to get quality right? What if Tesla took manufacturing and logistics seriously and was as good at execution as it was at product ideation?… More »
People First Leadership: A Conversation by Jim Morgan with Alan Mulally
Alan Mulally is a brilliant engineer who led historic transformations as CEO of Boeing Commercial and then Ford Motor Company. But just as important as what he accomplished, is how he accomplished it. His people first, inclusive approach to leadership not only created great products and successful companies, but also created an organization people wanted to be a part of.… More »
Ask Art: How Do I Get the Senior Management Team On Board with Lean?
Lean requires teamwork, and so getting your senior management team on board requires a great deal of work, including new mindsets, exposure to lean practice, and shifts in everything from how sales are conducted to how team leaders lead at the gemba, says Art Byrne.… More »
Workers Unite for Better
The local strike by hospitality workers in Boston has led Josh Howell to contrast this situation with the lean culture at Dreamplace Hotels and Resorts in Tenerife, where front-line workers produce and socialize beautifully messy A3-sized papers sharing ideas for improvements.… More »
The Escalator of Issues
A daily management system with daily performance metrics gives caregivers the sense that managers are really paying attention, that problems really are being addressed, and that over time this will mean stability and a lower level of stress for all staff, says Jim Womack.… More »
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 »
React Less and Improve More by Using SPC More Effectively
When we stop reacting to “noise” in a metric, we can better focus our improvement efforts, waste less time, and improve more, says Mark Graban. That should all be a core principle of Lean management that can help leaders in any setting.… More »
Operator #1
Getting around the lean community more is the summer job of Eric Buehrens, LEI’s CEO, including a stint as Operator #1, which turned out to be the season’s highlight.… 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 »
Ugly Babies, Silent Enemies and Other Short Stories from a Continuous Improvement Conference
Besides the lessons, challenges, and results that belong to a company’s lean transformation, there are personal journeys as well. Here’s a summary of some we heard at a recent conference.… More »
The Formula for a Successful Management System: LB * OS = MS
In order to reap the benefits of an effective management system it is important that the operating system and leadership behaviors be aligned and consistent, argues Jim Morgan.… More »
Are You Managing By The Right Numbers?
Knowing the key metrics to track will help you and your team start your learning journey, says Tracey Richardson. She shares the key figures that provide a foundation for growth and discovery.… More »
Rethinking the Model Line
The model line, once seen as the key to helping organizations learn and share lean thinking, has served a critical purpose, says Jim Womack: to raise awareness of fundamental management problems.… More »
Seeing the Work of a Daily Management System
Daily management systems tap visual elements that expose problems, and also use obeyas as thinking spaces for reflecting on broader challenges, says Michael Balle.… More »
“People who can’t change their minds can’t change anything else”
Many people argue that if lean management really was a powerful strategy, rather than an operational tactic, then more companies would be doing it, says former Wiremold Vice President of Finance Orry Fiume. He sees it the other way around.… More »
Follow-up Q&A for Jim Lancaster's Work of Management Webinar
“The Real Work of Management” webinar drew very engaged attendees who submitted hundreds of questions. We now present some of the most-frequently asked questions (plus Jim Lancaster's answers) today on the Lean Post.… 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 »
Working on the Management
Effective daily management is still hard to achieve for most organizations, says Jim Womack. But until line managers start tackling problems first hand as they emerge, rather than deferring and delegating them, basic stability will remain a mirage. Read more in this column from our sister publication, Planet Lean.… More »
Research, Reflections, and Challenges: John Shook's Closing Keynote of 2016
At the end of every Lean Transformation Summit, Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman and CEO John Shook gives his traditional closing keynote. He shares his observations and thoughts on the lean community plus learnings and advice to keep our lean efforts strong until the next Summit. Here's what he shared with us last year - has it helped you since?… More »
A Deeper Dive into Visual Management at Toyota
"In a previous sketch I introduced Toyota’s approach to visual management, or Floor Management Display Systems (FMDS), including the six elements of creating FMDS," writes Andrew Quibell. "Now it’s time for a deeper dive into those six elements and explore how their approach guarantees an effective floor display will present compelling messages."… More »
Is there “mudagement” in your organization?
"Mudagement." What a strange word. But to Tony Lamberton, the concept behind that word has made all the difference in identifying invisible waste in his organization - and by extension, eliminating it through targeted coaching. Lean Post editor Cam Ford recently sat down with Tony to learn more about the concept of mudagement and the value it holds for all organizations: here is their interview.… More »
Governance Matters
"The very term “governance” seems somewhat antithetical to lean," writes Mark Hamel. "Yet...over my 20-plus years of lean learning, I’ve witnessed a lot of implementation failures (heck, I may have even caused some of them). More than a few of these were due, at least partly, to a vacuum of good governance."… More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 3)
A roundup of the best recent articles and interviews from our friends at Planet Lean, this time from Spain, Israel and France.… More »
Three Core Capabilities in Any Lean Product and Process Development System
"Good development leaders work in earnest to create a 'safe culture' for people to share issues. Working to [drive out fear] is both important and necessary," writes Jim Morgan. "But it is not nearly sufficient for identifying and eliminating technical issues at the optimal time in a development program." Read more.… More »
Tried and True Strategies for Leading Lean Practice
"In my 30 plus years of leading Lean in a wide range of companies, I’ve learned common practices that work in virtually every setting," writes Art Byrne. "For an informal list such as this to have any value, you must first organize for Lean. This means changing your organizational structure from a functional batch approach to a lean value stream approach."… More »
How to Develop Lean Leaders and Still Get Work Done
Three years ago the leadership team at Cardinal Health asked LEI to help them create a program specifically designed to develop lean leaders within the company. Coach Eric Ethington shares a bit about how the program works.… More »
What's Your Lean Elevator Pitch?
How do you describe Lean to others? To beginners, your team members, your boss? What's your quick definition or elevator pitch?… More »
Long Live Process Improvement?
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught well, Lean can be exactly this. In his first article for The Lean Post, LEI faculty member Greg Lane offers specific recommendations on how to avoid this pitfall and make Lean accessible and useful to all.… More »
What's Really Underlying the Protests in Brazil?
The world looked on as protests and subsequent violence swept Brazil earlier in June. José Ferro explains the state's response and asks us to think more deeply about the real problems Brazil is facing.… More »
Leading and Learning the Toyota Way
Lean coach and LEI faculty member, Tracey Richardson, tells us why a learner's attitude is essential for effective leadership and in creating a lean management system.… More »
management system on Lean.org
Pull Systems Must Fit Your Production Needs
Managers often stumble implementing a pull system because they don't realize there are three different kinds meant for very different production enviornments. LEI faculty member Art Smalley, author of… More »
Role of Management in a Lean Manufacturing Environment
Gary Convis, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, explains that the critical role of management in a lean company is to motivate and engage large numbers of people to work together toward a… More »
Womack on Lean Management (DVD)
In this two-hour seminar recorded live, lean management thought leader James Womack explains how to manage and lead in a lean management system, the successor to obsolete “modern management” methods.… 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 »
Continuous Improvement Using Personal Kanban
A simple, effective management system for digging out of work -- and staying dug out -- to achieve higher quality, better productivity, greater job satisfaction, and peace of mind.… More »
The Evolution of a Manufacturing System at Toyota
How did the Toyota Production System become the Toyota Production System – luck, manufacturing genius, trial and error, deliberate contemplation? Fujimoto explores and answers this dynamic and fascina… More »
Working on the Management
Effective daily management is still hard to achieve for most organizations, says Jim Womack. But until line managers start tackling problems first hand as they emerge, rather than deferring and delegating them, basic stability will remain a mirage. Read more in this column from our sister publication, Planet Lean.… More »
Research, Reflections, and Challenges: John Shook's Closing Keynote of 2016
At the end of every Lean Transformation Summit, Lean Enterprise Institute Chairman and CEO John Shook gives his traditional closing keynote. He shares his observations and thoughts on the lean community plus learnings and advice to keep our lean efforts strong until the next Summit. Here's what he shared with us last year - has it helped you since?… More »
A Deeper Dive into Visual Management at Toyota
"In a previous sketch I introduced Toyota’s approach to visual management, or Floor Management Display Systems (FMDS), including the six elements of creating FMDS," writes Andrew Quibell. "Now it’s time for a deeper dive into those six elements and explore how their approach guarantees an effective floor display will present compelling messages."… More »
Is there “mudagement” in your organization?
"Mudagement." What a strange word. But to Tony Lamberton, the concept behind that word has made all the difference in identifying invisible waste in his organization - and by extension, eliminating it through targeted coaching. Lean Post editor Cam Ford recently sat down with Tony to learn more about the concept of mudagement and the value it holds for all organizations: here is their interview.… More »
Governance Matters
"The very term “governance” seems somewhat antithetical to lean," writes Mark Hamel. "Yet...over my 20-plus years of lean learning, I’ve witnessed a lot of implementation failures (heck, I may have even caused some of them). More than a few of these were due, at least partly, to a vacuum of good governance."… More »
Small Batch: Hand-Picked Articles from the Global Lean Community (Vol. 3)
A roundup of the best recent articles and interviews from our friends at Planet Lean, this time from Spain, Israel and France.… More »
Three Core Capabilities in Any Lean Product and Process Development System
"Good development leaders work in earnest to create a 'safe culture' for people to share issues. Working to [drive out fear] is both important and necessary," writes Jim Morgan. "But it is not nearly sufficient for identifying and eliminating technical issues at the optimal time in a development program." Read more.… More »
Tried and True Strategies for Leading Lean Practice
"In my 30 plus years of leading Lean in a wide range of companies, I’ve learned common practices that work in virtually every setting," writes Art Byrne. "For an informal list such as this to have any value, you must first organize for Lean. This means changing your organizational structure from a functional batch approach to a lean value stream approach."… More »
How to Develop Lean Leaders and Still Get Work Done
Three years ago the leadership team at Cardinal Health asked LEI to help them create a program specifically designed to develop lean leaders within the company. Coach Eric Ethington shares a bit about how the program works.… More »
What's Your Lean Elevator Pitch?
How do you describe Lean to others? To beginners, your team members, your boss? What's your quick definition or elevator pitch?… More »
Long Live Process Improvement?
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught well, Lean can be exactly this. In his first article for The Lean Post, LEI faculty member Greg Lane offers specific recommendations on how to avoid this pitfall and make Lean accessible and useful to all.… More »
What's Really Underlying the Protests in Brazil?
The world looked on as protests and subsequent violence swept Brazil earlier in June. José Ferro explains the state's response and asks us to think more deeply about the real problems Brazil is facing.… More »
Leading and Learning the Toyota Way
Lean coach and LEI faculty member, Tracey Richardson, tells us why a learner's attitude is essential for effective leadership and in creating a lean management system.… More »