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The Remarkable Chief Engineer
By: John Y. Shook | May 22, 2019
Columns
How can a system in which "we are all connected and no one is in charge" support purposeful and productive work? Toyota's famed Chief Engineer system has much to offer in this regard. John Shook explores how the leadership styles of, and ways of working by, the CE might provide something of a roadmap for all of us. More »
Change Your “Pet” Problem Solving Method
By: Art Smalley | May 20, 2019
Columns
Got problems with your problem-solving method? This interview by LEI's Chet Marchwinski with Four Types of Problems author Art Smalley shares advice on how you can "change your 'pet' problem-solving method.  " More »
How Does LPPD Help Create a Lean Enterprise?
By: Lean Leaper | May 17, 2019
Columns
What is LPPD? As noted by Jim Morgan LPPD is a set of principles and practices that promote collaboration, transparency, and rapid learning, in the development of both process and product simultaneously, leading to the creation of really effective value streams. He shares thoughts with Jim Womack, Jeff Liker, and Eric Ethington on this topic. More »
Rebuilding Homes and Disaster Recovery Processes
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 15, 2019
Columns
When Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg left their careers to help desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild, they knew nothing about construction or lean management. Today, SBP, the disaster recovery nonprofit they founded, has cut rebuilding time by nearly 50% using lean concepts. Zack talks to LEI about the remarkable new recovery model they developed and detail in their new book, Getting Home. More »
As head of a lean office, what must I do to really walk the talk?
By: Michael Ballé | May 13, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I am the head of a lean office. I’d like to lead by example, but it occurs to me that we often make the very same mistakes we coach others not to do. What must I watch out for in order to really walk the talk? More »
How to Scale Up Positive Social Change
By: Ann Mei Chang | May 13, 2019
Columns
Far more households globally have access to a mobile phone than a toilet, notes Ann Mei Chang, a tech executive turned social innovator and author. And that’s despite the time and money spent for years by hundreds of nonprofits, social organizations, companies, and government agencies. Listen as she explains her radical idea of taking the scientific method she learned in tech and the lean startup movement to create radically great social good at scale. More »
Why We Believe A Strong Customer Focus Is Needed To Drive A Lean Strategy
By: Lean Sensei Women | May 10, 2019
Columns
Is there any principle more core to the heart of lean than relentlessly focusing on the customer? In this collection of thoughts on the topic, seven lean sensei women explore how and why customer focus is at the heart of lean strategy. More »
Join the Conversation and Stop the Rework
By: Jim Womack | May 9, 2019
Columns; eLetters
In the spring of 1997, as I was starting the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, I visited a company that I hoped would be a founding sponsor. I explained to the senior leadership that a lean enterprise was far more than a brilliant production organization, as had they assumed. It was also a brilliant product development organization including a brilliant production process design team. More »
Ask Art: What Incentives and Bonus Programs Best Support Lean?
By: Art Byrne | May 8, 2019
Columns
Bonus and incentive plans work best when they serve an underlying purpose, says Art Byrne, who advises that management design them to boost teamwork, learning, and strategic lean goals. More »
Got any recommendations for applying lean in the tool and die shop to stop our dies from crashing like crazy?
By: Michael Ballé | May 6, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We applied SMED to increase the flexibility in our production cells. Now our dies are crashing like crazy and disrupting production because maintenance can't keep up! Got any recommendations or experiences in applying lean in the tool and die shop? More »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
Columns
After seeing a great concert by blues legend Keb' Mo', Brent Wahba reflected on some lean principles embodied in the ways this event delivered such joy. More »
Stop Asking Your Leaders to "Support" Your Lean Transformation
By: Lisa Yerian | May 3, 2019
Columns
Helping others with shared work tied to broad improvement goals can be challenging for lean leaders. Continuous Improvement Director Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic shares key ways that have been found to help: make clear and specific asks, establish exactly how to engage towards that end, and; experience, understand, and critically evaluate the situation before stepping in with support. More »
Cutting Carbon Emissions and Product Costs Through Lean Product and Process Development
By: Katrina Appell | May 1, 2019
Columns
As the need to reduce carbon emissions becomes clearer, the need to understand the impact and consciously consider it during the design phase is ever more important, argues Katrina Appel. Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) principles, methodologies, and management behaviors are a system that enables the environmental impact of the entire product life-cycle to be consciously considered in the design phase. More »
Matched Pairs: To Improve Supplier Relationships, Start Inside Your Organization
By: Jim Morgan | April 30, 2019
Columns
Jim Morgan shares how adopting a Matched Pair strategy that teams supply chain and engineering leaders with a common plan, shared objectives and a powerful management system helps to not only improve cost, quality and delivery--but help create a superior working environment for everyone involved. More »
What should I look for so I don't get burned taking a lean director's job?
By: Michael Ballé | April 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I’ve been offered the job of a lean director in an industrial group. The offer sounds very attractive, and they tell me they’re serious about lean. But I’ve been burned before. What should I look for? More »
Show Respect, Psychological Safety, and Social Neuroscience
By: Mike Orzen and David Verble | April 26, 2019
Columns
Mike Orzen and David Verble examine the meaning and lean relevance of showing respect, creating psychological safety, and the links between these two. More »
A Little Bit of Lean Product and Process Development with Very Large Results
By: Jean Cunningham | April 24, 2019
Articles
Believing it had only enough land and budget for a badly needed new parking garage, a hospital was able to build not only the garage but a new trauma center that it needed by applying a principle of Lean Product and Process Development during the design phase, according to Jean Cunningham, executive chair, Lean Enterprise Institute.    More »
Lean Principles Speed Workflow in New Product Development
By: Howard Kinkade | April 24, 2019
Columns
After successfully implementing lean principals in manufacturing, Solar Turbines took them to product development processes, reducing firefighting and boosting development velocity. LEI’s Chet Marchwinski recently talked about the effort with Solar Products Manager Howard Kinkade. More »
Not So Simple: Pioneering Lean Product Development
By: Jean Cunningham | April 24, 2019
Articles
Jean Cunningham, LEI’s executive chair, offers lessons from her time as CFO of lean management pioneer Lantech when it successfully deployed lean principles to product development to accelerate growth, cut new product lead time, and increase profits. More »
How can I help middle managers handle contradictory instructions from top management?
By: Michael Ballé | April 22, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  As a lean coach, how can I help middle-managers who are faced with contradictory instructions from top management? More »
Process Excellence Means Developing New Processes Along with New Products
By: Eric Ethington | April 22, 2019
Columns
The traditional way of developing new products or services in isolation from the processes that must deliver them almost guarantees problem launches. In contrast, the lean product and process development methodology creates products customers love as well as profitable delivery processes in a far more integrated and simultaneous way. Eric Ethington, an experienced lean product and process coach, explains. More »
All Lean Is Local
By: Josh Howell | April 19, 2019
Columns
When I think about the idea of “all Lean is local,” I think about the fundamental entry point question for any Lean thinker in any situation, which is: “what's the problem to solve here? What's the problem to solve now?” More »
How Purpose Shapes Culture
By: Richard Sheridan | April 17, 2019
Columns
A purpose-driven culture is hard to build, says CEO Rich Sheridan of Menlo Innovations. It takes time. You will suffer setbacks, you will be mocked until everyone says what you do is just obvious, and some people will expect immediate results while you are rebuilding the airplane you’re flying in. Remember that you’re doing it for the right reasons. And it will result in joy. More »
As someone who is new to lean, is there something I’m not being told?
By: Michael Ballé | April 15, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, I’m new to lean, and I find it fascinating. Is there something I’m not being told? Is there an elephant in the room I should be aware of in my exploration of lean? More »
The Gift of Yokoten
By: James P. Womack | April 15, 2019
Columns
In this article originally published in Planet Lean, after a visit to Goshen, Indiana, Jim Womack shared thoughts on the gift of lean thinking and the obligation that individuals learning this way of thinking feel about sharing what they've learned with others. More »
The Lean Sensei (eBook)
April 15, 2019
Books
The Lean Sensei provides both a conceptual and hands-on toolkit for developing lean leaders—and becoming one yourself. It will challenge you to reflect on how you coach; share mindful questions that improve your awareness of what to look for; and keep both you and your students focused on the signs, symptoms, and syndromes that can slow your lean success. More »
VSM and Toyota Kata
By: Mike Rother | April 15, 2019
Presentations
Give us 20 years and we'll learn a lot! This month's Kata SlideShare features perspectives from Mike Rother and Jeff Liker on the 20th Anniversary of the 'Learning to See' book. Useful input for anyone who utilizes VSM. More »
Designing the Future Book Club Questions
April 12, 2019
Articles
Designing the Future shares real-world examples from a diverse set of industries including aerospace, energy, software, automotive, healthcare, heavy equipment, and more.  In its pages, globally recognized lean development expert James Morgan teams up with world-renowned lean management guru Jeffrey Liker to explain how these leading companies are using this powerful new Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) framework to create better futures for themselves and all their stakeholders.  Examples in the book show specifically how companies are redesigning product development systems to consistently design and deliver a progression of market-leading products and services.  LEI makes it easy to learn together, More »
Kaizen Express Book Club Questions
April 12, 2019
Articles
What should you do first when starting to implement lean manufacturing? What comes next, then next? With the raft of information now available about lean principles, it’s easy to get confused.  Kaizen Express clarifies the process using a rapid, nonstop style to explain the essential elements of the Toyota Production System (TPS) in a logical implementation sequence.  This succinct but comprehensive back-to-basics book offers lean novices and veterans alike a comprehensive primer on lean principles and implementation that returns to fundamentals and stresses the importance of learning by doing at the individual and team levels.  LEI makes it easy to learn together, More »
Learning to See Book Club Questions
April 12, 2019
Articles
Value-stream maps are the blueprints for lean transformations and Learning to See is an easy-to-read, step-by-step instruction manual that teaches this valuable tool to anyone, regardless of his or her background.  This groundbreaking workbook, which has introduced the value-stream mapping tool to thousands of people around the world, breaks down the important concepts of value-stream mapping into an easily grasped format.   To encourage you to become actively involved in the learning process, Learning to See contains a case study based on a fictional company, Acme Stamping. You begin by mapping the current state of the value stream, looking for all the sources of waste. After identifying More »
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