Another year has come and gone, and now it's time for our annual look back on the Lean Post over the past 12 months. We've featured terrific pieces from writers in countless industries and from all over the world, discussing topics from cutting-edge trends in modern lean thinking, to the back-to-basics fundamentals that we first built our knowledge and expertise on. Here are the 10 most-viewed articles of 2016:
- Malpractice in the New England Journal of Medicine, by John Shook
Several weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by two physicians bashing lean and questioning its effectiveness. LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook found the piece full of holes and misconceptions and now shares his thoughts on the piece in the form of a rebuttal.
- The Tesla Way vs. The Toyota Way, by Mark Donovan and James Womack
Does Tesla offer a Way of working that can challenge TPS? Perhaps a bit more time, and the development of a complete Tesla Business System, will get us closer to an answer.
- What Too Many Value Stream Maps Completely Miss, by Drew Locher
Believe it or not, up to half of all the value-stream maps that cross Drew Locher's desk are missing something extremely important. In his first piece for The Lean Post, Drew reflects on what that "missing link" is and a technique to help you include it on your next VSM.
- To A3 or Not to A3, by Norbert Majerus
"Not every tool is a hammer, and not every problem is a nail," writes Norbert Majerus of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. "Not every situation warrants the use of an A3." Read more to learn Norbert's preferred approach to gauging whether or not an A3 will help in a given situation.
- A3 Thinking Roundup, by Tom Ehrenfeld
Following last week's immensely popular Posts on the origins of A3 thinking, LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld compiles a collection of the very best reads on A3 thinking, from the Lean Post and beyond.
- The Value of Key Performance Indicators in a Lean Transformation, by Tracey and Ernie Richardson
We all know to watch out for key performance indicators (KPIs) in the workplace - but are you tracking the RIGHT KPIs? Ernie and Tracey Richardson share their thoughts on the two categories of KPIs, how they can help you, and how to identify them.
- How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work, by Isao Yoshino and John Shook
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking was created at Toyota, how did it become so firmly entrenched in the organization’s culture? Retired Toyota leader Mr. Isao Yoshino spearheaded a special program that made A3s Toyota’s foremost means of problem-solving. Read more.
- Let's Stop Being Hypocrites: Work is Work, by Dan Markovitz
"We often talk about knowledge workers as though they need to be treated differently from shop floor workers," writes Dan Markovitz, "...but the truth is that they’re still production workers. And that means that we can approach their work, and solve their problems, in the same way that we approach the work and the problems on the shop floor." Read more.
- Accountability: Not What You Think it is..., by Mike Orzen
"When managers and associates hear the term [accountability], they often flinch!" writes Mike Orzen. "This is a major problem for any organization that is serious about creating and sustaining a lean transformation." Read more to hear Mike's tips for tackling the stigma around this key aspect of leadership.
- Ask Art: What to Look for in a Lean Team Leader, by Art Byrne
One of Art Byrne's most-asked questions is, "What are the key traits for a lean team leader?" His recommendation might surprise you - take a look and find out Art's take on this critical position in any lean organization.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Lean Post, along with the greater Lean Enterprise Institute, will be taking its annual holiday break until January 2nd, 2017. We hope you've enjoyed this year of content, and learned much that has helped you improve your organization, or your practice, or your life. We look forward to welcoming you back from the holidays with another terrific year of learning and sharing knowledge, right here at lean.org.