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Jean Cunningham's eLetters

Jean Cunningham has been a frequent LEI contributor and will continue in the future with a monthly eletter on all things lean. Her special interest is lean business management. Continue to follow her letters and writing to learn more.
  • 5S Is a Way of Thinking and Practice
    October 29, 2019

    It would be impossible to find a valid description of lean that does not include the importance of 5S for organization, standardization, and continuous improvement. Originally applied in manufacturing, 5S is now being applied broadly in many industries including healthcare, government, and software. As Taiichi Ohno said, “Without standards there can be no improvement.” I have been a lean practitioner since the early 1990s and my niche as been focusing on developing the lean management system beyond manufacturing. I understood the importance of 5S early on. But it took a series of personal insights for me to fully appreciate 5S application beyond manufacturing and the need for deep 5S thinking. read more »

  • Reducing Waste and Ignorance
    September 17, 2019

    Process and value stream mapping are two of the most effective lean tools—in addition to going to the gemba to see work happen—that I use to try to combat ignorance and see the true state of the matter at hand. read more »

  • Membership, Mission and Money 
    August 20, 2019

    I was recently inspired by Sylvia’s Freakonomics Radio podcast (No. 385, July 17), where she talks about today’s Girl Scouts. It continues to resonate with me, and in particular, the personal, role-focusing mnemonic she uses: Membership, Mission, and Money.  read more »

Other Jean Cunningham Related Content

Books

Articles

  • Lean Accounting Is Simpler, Faster, Cheaper, and More Accurate Than Traditional Management Accounting, so Why Don’t More Companies Use It?
    Five thought leaders of the movement recently held a special conversation about what lean accounting is and isn’t, why it is vital to sustaining a culture of continuous improvement, how it relates to GAAP, and why it provides a truer picture of how your company is performing. As long-time lean accounting practitioners, they also liberally share practical, real-world examples of how traditional accounting can mislead and misinform decision-makers.
  • Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
    There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the business. In this summary of key points from The Birth of Lean, LEI Chair Jean Cunningham shares insights from her reading of the book, and invites you to share thoughts as well.
  • Profit and Cost At Toyota
    Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds."