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Ask Art: Does Lean Really Work in A Non-manufacturing Company?
All companies and organizations, whether manufacturing or not, are nothing more than a group of people and a bunch of processes trying to deliver value to a set of customers, says Art Byrne. And lean principles apply to each. To become lean, every company must focus on removing the waste in their current processes in order to deliver more value to the customers.… More »
Ask Art: What's Wrong with Organizing By Function?
While you might be able to survive and be profitable using a traditional functional structure the fact is that you will be leaving a lot of money on the table. Moving to lean and flow eliminates structural problems, lowers cost, improves quality, shortens lead times and is more responsive to the customer.… More »
As Toast Kaizen Turns 20, Bruce Hamilton Shares How This Famous Video Came About
Watch this "director's cut" video by Bruce Hamilton sharing the backstory behind what has become a classic lean resource: Toast Kaizen.… More »
Thinking About Waste Helps Build A Learning Culture Everywhere
Developing people to reduce waste in everything from using toilets to saving one second of work is key to creating a learning platform, says Sammy Obara.… More »
Build Awareness Through Seeing How Eliminating Waste Reduces Costs
As we grow our people we must continue to add new dimensions of thinking to engage them in their work and to empower them to always be looking for or trying new ideas, says Tracey Richardson. Building awareness of how to reduce costs forms a foundation for continued improvement.… More »
Value Stream Walk, Management Walk or….Just Walking Around?
Gemba Walks can raise consciousness about problems and the possibilities for dramatic improvements, says Jim Womack. Or they can serve as a means of reinforcing the existing systems. He shares thoughts on how to walk--and see--with a lean mindset.… More »
Moving People Around as Key to Unlocking Financial Outcomes of Lean
As lean accounting pioneer Jean Cunningham will tell you, there’s much more to understanding lean’s financial benefits than looking at a balance sheet. In this Lean Talk, she takes a deeper dive into one of the ways you can use to reap the financial outcomes of lean.… More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
Farming may be the next industry ripe for disruption. For example, Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. Today, applying lean principles, Hartman has a one-acre farm that is more productive and profitable than a five-acre spread.… More »
A (Work) Pie in the Face to All Bad Jobs
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer… 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 »
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 »
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!)
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Some forms of waste are easier to eliminate - others are so hard that they start to blur the line between "challenging" and "enraging." Today we feature three experienced lean practitioners with the most frustrating types of waste they've encountered, plus their favorite tips for eliminating them.… More »
Ask Art: Is Lean Inward-Focused?
Art Byrne has been asked over and over if lean is inward-focused or customer-focused. There are aspects of lean that may suggest otherwise at a glance, but Art is firm in his belief that lean is far from inward-focused. Read more.… More »
Muda Corporation: Improving Your Suggestions System
Anyone who's had to implement a suggestions system in their organization knows it's not an easy task, especially from a cultural aspect. Marius Gil may have just the tool to help - a fun illustration featuring eight common, suggestion-suppressing behaviors to watch out for.… More »
Waste in Process: Squeeze Before You Lean
"It seems intuitive to start applying lean to our processes, right?" writes Andrew Quibell. "Maybe so, but all that says to me is that we're short-sighted when applying lean." How so, you ask? Read more.… More »
The Hidden Waste in Inspection
When looking for areas of muda, your inspection department probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. But you may be surprised to find out that inspection is waste by its very nature. In his third installment of his series on areas of waste in manufacturing, Andrew Quibell breaks down this problem and illustrates the true solution to eliminating defects.… 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 »
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 »
Conveyance: The Perfect Place for Waste
In the latest installment of his series of sketches and animations covering areas of waste in manufacturing, Andrew Quibell gives us a look at conveyance. "We all know that moving materials provides zero value to the customer or ourselves," he writes. "It's the perfect place for waste to hide." Read more.… More »
Inventory Waste: The "Hidden Killer" in Manufacturing
Andrew Quibell is back with the next sketch in his series on the four main areas of waste in manufacturing. Today's area: Inventory, the "hidden killer." Check out the sketch plus a fun animated video Andrew made to help illustrate the concept.… More »
Boatloads of Muda
Ken Eakin saw his fair share of waste during his 13 years in the ocean-shipping industry, especially in the transportation process. Now a lean coach, he looks back on some of the industry's most common wasteful practices and shares some lean tips and logic for avoiding them. If your lean work involves transportation, we're willing to bet you'll find something to relate to! Read more.… More »
3 Tips for Accurately Assessing Your Current State
"Just because everyone remembers to include the current state [on a value stream map] doesn’t mean it’s always done as well it could be," writes Drew Locher. And he's right. In his latest piece for the Lean Post, Drew shares three tips for avoiding common current-state problems on your value stream maps.… More »
The Snowstorm on Your Server
When looking for a place to implement 5S, your company's server or shared drive might not be the first to come to mind. And yet it's a major cause of waste for so many professionals who spend hours clicking through the sea of similar-looking files. This was the challenge that Eric Ethington faced at a previous job - 5S his company's SharePoint site and eliminate the waste. Here's how he did it.… 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 »
Small Chart, Big Impact: How a Simple Spaghetti Chart Led to Huge Wins at Thrustmaster of Texas
Sometimes the simplest lean concepts can make all the difference in ensuring a successful transformation. Marine-propulsion manufacturer Thrustmaster of Texas found this out after creating a spaghetti diagram to reveal possible waste in an assembly plant. Their findings were staggering - read more.… More »
My Lean Journey: The 5Ss
Do you remember the first time you realized the true potential of lean in improving work output? Lean newcomer Cam Ford does - here's his story of the very first lean concept he ever used and how it helped him almost from Day 1.… More »
6 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for More Effective Meetings
"Even in organizations working hard in pursuit of lean production systems [and] employee capability development – the failure to host effective meetings is all too common," writes Thomas Stratton. "It’s a drag on productivity and a key source of frustration." Read more.… More »
Serious Games
Boaz Tamir (President of Lean Institute Israel) and lean coach Smadar Cohen Isvoranu share their reflections on a recent lean product and process development workshop in Zikheron Ya’akov, Israel.… More »
Putting Financial Value on Lean Transformation
What is the ROI on a kaizen event? How does Lean stack up against other revenue generation or cost-saving initiatives? While Jean Cunningham says questions like these reflect an incomplete and superficial grasp of Lean, she's using them as the impetus for helping people understand the financial benefits of their lean efforts.… 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 »
What Does "Waste" in Government Processes Mean Anyway?
"It is commonplace in the US Federal Government to see placards and signs admonishing us to be on guard for instances of 'Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA)'... [Whole] offices are devoted to reporting FWA violations," write James Phillips and Willie Journigan. But what constitutes waste in government processes? How do you identify and tackle it?… More »
How to Make Your Supplier Your Lean Partner
Lean practitioner Randy Dobbs says working with suppliers to improve the extended value stream of his company has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. Read Dobbs' advice on how to work effectively with suppliers.… More »
The Biggest Waste of All
"We can fix [problem symptoms] with basic lean thinking and tools, but unless our strategy is good, we will still create tremendous amounts of waste for our customers, employees, suppliers, and investors," says Brent Wahba. Why? "Because everyone is running faster and faster… in the wrong direction."… More »
Lean on Steroids: Why We Should Rely On Physical Measures, Not Financial Ones
"Lean has led me to question core business models, period," writes Doc Hall. "But while Lean focuses on improving a company’s existing business model... I’m interested in how a company can help communities of people, in all their messiness, live better while using much less."… More »
Cost Reduction, Waste, and Purpose
"Eliminating waste makes it easier to see and find problems, which is the first step to solving them," writes Katrina Appell. "It removes frustrations, which improves worker and customer satisfaction."… More »
Beyond Lean: Towards Compression Thinking
"Lean thinkers make things better by framing issues as Problems," writes Doc Hall. "Yet today our great challenges transcend corporate Problems. The core Problems confronting the entire global community call for thinking that goes beyond what we consider 'Lean.'"… More »
Why One Startup Will Never "Change the World"
Nathan Rothstein, co-founder of Project Repat, calls for founders to stop pitching their companies as "world-changing" charitable organizations. Businesses should focus on solving customer problems, he says, not solving global poverty. Read why.… More »
Mura, Muri, Muda in the Kitchen
Emmanuel Jallas demonstrates variation, overburden, and waste through the simple/not-so-simple challenge of breaking an egg.… More »
Improvement for the Sake of Improvement Means Nothing
"We need to dig deep to understand why we do what we do and question whether it really provides value to anyone." Read the story of how one company found itself trying to improve a process that shouldn't have existed in the first place.… More »
Using Lean to Take Farming to the Next Level in Denmark
"When you start to think and work systematically with Lean (rather than just off the cuff), looking for waste becomes fun," writes Susanne Pejstrup. "You see opportunities for improvement everywhere." (Even on the farm).… More »
Reducing Wasted Motion at a Conference: Collaborative Note Taking
Mark Graban reflects on the pros and cons of collaborative note-taking at conferences and offers up an invitation/experiment to Lean Transformation Summit attendees.… More »
waste on Lean.org
Fisher Offers Nation’s First Master’s Degree in Lean Management
The Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University announced that it has developed the Master of Business Operational Excellence degree, the first master's degree in lean management in… More »
Interview: Lean Software Development
Lean software practitioners Mary and Tom Poppendieck, authors of Lean Software Development,  relate lean concepts to the practical work of software development in this video at InfoQ, a web site devot… 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 »
Integrating Visual Management Tools and Leader Standard Work
This course deals with designing and executing an implementation plan to migrate your company from one of “gather data, synthesize, meet, and react” to one of “see waste, manage exceptions, and improv… More »
Supporting Healthcare Leader Standard Work with Visual Management Tools
If you are involved in Lean healthcare, in any capacity, you have probably heard about Gemba Walks and Visual Management. By combining Visual Management and Leader Standard Work, you harness the … More »
Creating Continuous Flow (eBook)
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 »
My Lean Journey: The 5Ss
Do you remember the first time you realized the true potential of lean in improving work output? Lean newcomer Cam Ford does - here's his story of the very first lean concept he ever used and how it helped him almost from Day 1.… More »
6 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for More Effective Meetings
"Even in organizations working hard in pursuit of lean production systems [and] employee capability development – the failure to host effective meetings is all too common," writes Thomas Stratton. "It’s a drag on productivity and a key source of frustration." Read more.… More »
Serious Games
Boaz Tamir (President of Lean Institute Israel) and lean coach Smadar Cohen Isvoranu share their reflections on a recent lean product and process development workshop in Zikheron Ya’akov, Israel.… More »
Putting Financial Value on Lean Transformation
What is the ROI on a kaizen event? How does Lean stack up against other revenue generation or cost-saving initiatives? While Jean Cunningham says questions like these reflect an incomplete and superficial grasp of Lean, she's using them as the impetus for helping people understand the financial benefits of their lean efforts.… 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 »
What Does "Waste" in Government Processes Mean Anyway?
"It is commonplace in the US Federal Government to see placards and signs admonishing us to be on guard for instances of 'Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA)'... [Whole] offices are devoted to reporting FWA violations," write James Phillips and Willie Journigan. But what constitutes waste in government processes? How do you identify and tackle it?… More »
How to Make Your Supplier Your Lean Partner
Lean practitioner Randy Dobbs says working with suppliers to improve the extended value stream of his company has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. Read Dobbs' advice on how to work effectively with suppliers.… More »
The Biggest Waste of All
"We can fix [problem symptoms] with basic lean thinking and tools, but unless our strategy is good, we will still create tremendous amounts of waste for our customers, employees, suppliers, and investors," says Brent Wahba. Why? "Because everyone is running faster and faster… in the wrong direction."… More »
Lean on Steroids: Why We Should Rely On Physical Measures, Not Financial Ones
"Lean has led me to question core business models, period," writes Doc Hall. "But while Lean focuses on improving a company’s existing business model... I’m interested in how a company can help communities of people, in all their messiness, live better while using much less."… More »
Cost Reduction, Waste, and Purpose
"Eliminating waste makes it easier to see and find problems, which is the first step to solving them," writes Katrina Appell. "It removes frustrations, which improves worker and customer satisfaction."… More »
Beyond Lean: Towards Compression Thinking
"Lean thinkers make things better by framing issues as Problems," writes Doc Hall. "Yet today our great challenges transcend corporate Problems. The core Problems confronting the entire global community call for thinking that goes beyond what we consider 'Lean.'"… More »
Why One Startup Will Never "Change the World"
Nathan Rothstein, co-founder of Project Repat, calls for founders to stop pitching their companies as "world-changing" charitable organizations. Businesses should focus on solving customer problems, he says, not solving global poverty. Read why.… More »
Mura, Muri, Muda in the Kitchen
Emmanuel Jallas demonstrates variation, overburden, and waste through the simple/not-so-simple challenge of breaking an egg.… More »
Improvement for the Sake of Improvement Means Nothing
"We need to dig deep to understand why we do what we do and question whether it really provides value to anyone." Read the story of how one company found itself trying to improve a process that shouldn't have existed in the first place.… More »
Using Lean to Take Farming to the Next Level in Denmark
"When you start to think and work systematically with Lean (rather than just off the cuff), looking for waste becomes fun," writes Susanne Pejstrup. "You see opportunities for improvement everywhere." (Even on the farm).… More »
Reducing Wasted Motion at a Conference: Collaborative Note Taking
Mark Graban reflects on the pros and cons of collaborative note-taking at conferences and offers up an invitation/experiment to Lean Transformation Summit attendees.… More »
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