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Is your company or department struggling to engage employees? Then learn from LifeWay Christian Resources, which moved away from a top-down, tool-oriented approach to continuous improvement training to a focus on engaging and developing people with thematic events and instruction. More »
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 »
Dear Gemba Coach,  I’m in a company that is trying to implement lean but sees it simply as a series of rote steps to iterate without the sort of passion by leadership inherent in… More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  I’m in a company that is trying to implement lean but sees it simply as a series of rote steps to iterate without the sort of passion by leadership inherent in… More »
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich, noting that if done right, this practice should push everyone to do more and more, improving in cycles of intense, focused effort with something that leaves a strong residue of kaizen spirit behind and allows the company to sustain. More »
Jishuken, or self-learning, is a wet stone that grinds a worker's brain down to a start point, says Matt Savas--and is key to a disciplined management system of learning and improvement. More »
Workers Unite for Better
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 »
Dear Gemba Coach,  You seem to distinguish between agile and lean, but to my understanding, agile is simply lean thinking applied to software development. Am I missing something? More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  You seem to distinguish between agile and lean, but to my understanding, agile is simply lean thinking applied to software development. Am I missing something? More »
The opportunities and changes presented by digitization are issues for all lean practitioners not only those in IT. Here are some additional insights from a lean practitioner and product developer who participated in a panel discussion on what’s happening now -- and what could happen -- as digitization meets lean management principles and practices. More »
Learn how you can avoid the frustrating, ineffective, but widespread “hammer-and-nail” problem-solving pitfall by recognizing four main problem types so you apply the right problem-solving approach to the right problem. More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  What happened to factory physics? It used to be all the rage some years ago, but we hardly ever hear about it these days. Was it wrong? More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  What happened to factory physics? It used to be all the rage some years ago, but we hardly ever hear about it these days. Was it wrong? More »
Can Lean Know-How Come Home?
Can Lean Know-How Come Home?
When you decide to stop making things, you lose the ability to make things, argues Eric Buehrens: not just the displaced assembly workers who have had to seek employment elsewhere, but the design, production control, maintenance and quality engineers, the materials and logistics experts, all the technical know-how to manufacture effectively at scale, at world-class quality, and competitive cost. More »
Lean development is less about creating highly detailed plans based on things you can’t possibly know in the beginning of a development program (like conventional development attempts to do), and more about developing a deeper and shared understanding of the work to be done and increasing fidelity as you close knowledge gaps over time. More »
No Space to Think
No Space to Think
Tracey and Ernie Richardsons talk about "space to think," leadership by employers and employees, the state of the lean management movement, and being a “sponge” rather than an expert. More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  We have a standard gemba walk for supervisors to check their areas every morning. I’ve noticed that after a while, they tick the box without really looking.… More »
Dear Gemba Coach,  We have a standard gemba walk for supervisors to check their areas every morning. I’ve noticed that after a while, they tick the box without really looking.… More »
After teeing up a problem in the Baptist Memorial Memphis Hospital ED using a Kata routine, Nursing Manager Melanie Mays now sees the need to experiment with a new process and allow it to surface obstacles before developing and testing a hypothesis. More »
Learners using the Kata routine approach every problem with the “skeleton” of the Kata routine, and understand that they are not experimenting to the solution, says Brandon Brown. They use experiments to find obstacles that prevent them from operating in the target condition. More »
Lean Transformation? Not Buying It
Lean Transformation? Not Buying It
Companies often describe their transformation efforts in terms of an end-state: focusing on targeted results. They see transformation as a noun--a specific target or condition they wish to attain at a point in time. This paradigm prevents them from viewing transformation as a verb - a way of being they need to live every day. More »
Does it matter if we call lean "lean"?
Dear Gemba Coach,If it works, why worry if it’s called lean, operational excellence, or the company’s excellence system? As long as we get results, what does it matter? More »
Does it matter if we call lean "lean"?
Dear Gemba Coach,If it works, why worry if it’s called lean, operational excellence, or the company’s excellence system? As long as we get results, what does it matter? More »
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