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Is kanban relevant to office work?
Dear Gemba Coach,I understand that kanban is an important part of lean, but I work in an office environment, and it’s hard to see how production orders on cardboard cards relate… More »
The Battle for the Soul of Lean
The Battle for the Soul of Lean
When elements of lean management began to infiltrate management ranks decades ago, a “great divide” quickly formed, according to author and lean practitioner Michael Ballé. Some managers looked at it as a radically different, disruptive, but complete business system. Others saw it as a set of tools for operational excellence. The gulf endures and determines what results you get. More »
Lean Principles Apply to Fuzzy R&D Too
Lean principles work not only for incremental innovation and repetitive R&D work but for the “fuzzy” or disruptive part of developing new products and services, where the biggest benefits reside. Here are some tips for venturing into the fuzzy side of innovation from Norbert Majerus, a former lean champion in research and development at Goodyear. More »
An Ohio Mutual service center has no andon cord to stop a production line but the principal is the same as in a factory -- an abnormality has occurred, take corrective action. More »
Dear Gemba Coach,I read everywhere that in lean we should focus on process over results – does that mean that we need to ignore budgets altogether More »
Despite an expert’s exhortations to “do more kaizen, develop kaizen mind” this lean transformation failed. Find out why from someone who saw it happen and the lessons he never forgot. More »
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 »
Dear Gemba CoachLean thinkers say it’s all about people, but the debates are then all so cold and rational. Where are the emotions and the effects that real people have at work? More »
Mindset and the Andon Cord
When it comes to Andon, we like to talk about visual management, fast response, supporting employees, and other technical aspects. Yet a fundamental mindset underlying the Andon… More »
While Tesla has excited customers and drawn praise for innovative design and bold thinking, author Jeff Liker believes that it faces tough challenges in its approach to ramping up production that challenge its mechanistic vision of manufacturing. More »
Inspired by a true story from his tenure at the Toyota Production System Support Center, LEI Senior Coach Mark in a Lean Talks video explains a critical misconception about the roles of consultants and leaders. More »
Any advice for someone (me) in sales who fails to see how lean can help?
Dear Gemba Coach,Our company has a long history of lean in manufacturing, but I work in the sales department. We have our own sales improvement method, and I fail to see how lean… More »
A Reflection on Competition
A Reflection on Competition
A meta-analysis of research shows that among the three main ways of achieving business goals, collaboration beats competition and individualism a little more than 50% of the time. Lynn Kelley, PhD, and a continuous improvement VP, discusses the research on achieving goals and personal career reflections about intense competition with co-workers. More »
Of the many aspects of lean accounting, one that has proven especially useful is the principle of “cost avoidance.” Today on the Lean Post, lean accounting pioneer Jean Cunningham explains what this is and why it’s a must-know for any finance professional. More »
How do I fix our main delivery processes -- again?
Dear Gemba Coach,I’m part of a large logistics organization and our on-time-delivery is simply disastrous. We’ve done a first value-stream map to improve our main delivery… More »
A key first step for any CEO leading a lean conversion is to call 1-800-lean-consultant to find an expert to train the VP of operations and keep the boss informed. While this makes perfect sense in traditional management thinking, lean thinking is virtually the exact opposite, writes former CEO Art Byrne. That’s why the CEO must become a lean expert to successfully lead the transformation. Here, Art describes how he came to deeply understand and lead lean transformations. More »
The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book. It’s about their “lean” marriage. More »
But when should we use design thinking or lean thinking?
Dear Gemba CoachI read your latest and very interesting Gemba Coach column comparing design thinking and lean thinking. But when should we use each? More »