Article

Learning to Help Anna Elevate Her Game

Anna was trained by NUMMI to identify and solve challenges via experiments with her team, notes Jeff Smith, sharing a story from NUMMI; she had…

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Article

What is the lean approach to quality – is that what six sigma is all about?

Dear Gemba Coach: I’m a frequent reader of your columns and you always seem to emphasize quality first, but I can’t find many books detailing…

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Article

Are You Pulling?

Dear Gemba Coach:  We’ve made a substantial effort in training all our operators to standardized work (SW) by deploying Training Within Industry(TWI) principles across all our…

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Article

Lean WX – An Rx for Making Things Better

As someone whose understanding of lean/TPS grew exponentially by working on the line, Josh Howell encourages every would-be lean enterprise out there, even those who…

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Article

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…

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Article

I have years of experience in operational excellence but if I were to start lean where should I start?

Dear Gemba Coach: I have years of experience in operational excellence and have always assumed that lean is just a more gemba-focused way of improving…

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Article

Heijunka: Mastering the Peaks and Valleys

Struggling to run different types of products down one line? Lean coach Jeff Smith explains the lean manufacturing concept of Heijunka (or production leveling) by…

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Article

Performance versus costs, part 2

Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve read your recent column on performance versus cost with great interest, as I believe we’re currently having a similar discussion at management…

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How do I start to learn "real lean" when my company practices "fake lean"?

Dear Gemba Coach: I understand now there is “real lean” and “fake lean.” I suspect my company has been practicing fake lean all these years.…

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Article

You Are Not Different: Make universal lean principles work locally

Lean principles are universal, argues Orry Fiume, but the application of them is always local. Don't use this challenge as an excuse to avoid Lean.

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Article

Why you can't convince your boss to support lean activities, unless ...

Dear Gemba  Coach: I work as a deployment champion in a manufacturing company, but I don’t have the support of my managers because they don´t…

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Article

I don’t get kanban -- I don’t work in production so how would it apply to one-off work?

Dear Gemba Coach: I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would…

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Article

How Lean Tools Support the Principle of Respect (Part 1)

We first met Andy Ward when he was struggling to save his plant from closure in The Lean Manager. Since then he's helped lead a…

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Article

Cadence

What do the numbers 1/16, 4/04, 5/03, 5/30, 8/22, 10/23 and 12/20 have in common? They are the dates (day/month) that I sent out my…

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Case Study

Standardized Work Hangs Ten with San Diego’s Surfing Culture -- Meeting the Challenges of Leadership, Culture, and Resistance

Instead of wiping out with a Southern California surfing school, the lean management principle of standardized had a positive impact, helping it boost surfing time…

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Case Study

Lean Transformation Lives and Dies With Tools and Dies

The story of The Wiremold Company's lean transformation is familiar to many Lean Thinkers. But what isn't as well known is how the company transformed…

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Article

Why does no one ask about production flow anymore?

Dear Gemba Coach: As I read lean posts and papers, no one seems to have problems like this anymore, but I am trying to convince…

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Article

How Does Lean Apply In a Job Shop?

Dear Gemba Coach: In our job shop we make high precision modules and tools, work that involves a great deal of variety and very little…

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Article

How Can Lean Take Root in a Crappy Culture?

Dear Gemba Coach: I've done a lot of working with lean, and recently started my first coaching/consulting gig. And while I'd love to help by…

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Article

TPS, the Thinking People System

The twin pillars of just-in-time and jidoka help support a full model about how to achieve customer satisfaction from employee satisfaction, through teamwork and respect,…

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