Article

Why are there so many different opinions about what lean management is and isn't?

Dear Gemba Coach: I have attended several lean conferences and am deeply interested in the topic, but puzzled about the diversity of viewpoints. Any advice…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Article

How do I introduce kaizen to IT?

Dear Gemba Coach: Based on your experience, what is the best strategy to introduce kaizen as social, ongoing events without start and end dates in…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Case Study

Seasoned Lean Effort Avoids "Flavor-of-the-Month" Pitfall

What comes first in a lean transformation? What comes next? Where do tools like six sigma fit? Here's an overview about how Freudenberg-NOK answered these…

View case study
Case study graphic image with repeating icons

Case Study

Linking Lean Thinking to the Classroom

As team members sat down to discuss hiring a new production employee, the conversation gradually centered on the need to determine if operations could be…

View case study
Case study graphic image with repeating icons

Article

Lean Roundup: Respect for People

Respect for People is one of the most abstract and yet most concrete tenets of lean, a guiding principle that informs how people work, coach,…

View article

Article

PDCA, Fitness Apps, and Using Social Media to Improve Our Health

"Health isn't about always being perfect," writes lean coach Tracey Richardson. "Just like in our organizations, we all have imperfect days. It’s how we change…

View article

Article

When the Toyota Way Meets Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is not a disruptive force that makes TPS irrelevant, but rather can be an enabler that builds on TPS culture and thinking, argues…

View article

Podcast

Handling the Heat of the Kitchen: A WLEI Podcast

Hear how LEI coaches helped a flagship restaurant's kitchen staff find and eliminate waste in their work processes, which led to better performance outcomes in…

Listen to podcast
Handling the Heat of the Kitchen

Article

Why Is Failure Key to Lean Success?

Dear Gemba Coach: I am a LSS black belt working with a sensei to improve our performance. We conduct many workshops that get results, but…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Article

Standardize Locally

A few weeks ago, during a day-long meeting with an executive management team, the topic of standardized work came up … again. It’s been popping up in…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Article

Learning the Hard and Soft Skills of Lean Coaching

While lean is often associated with process improvement, error reduction, and greater efficiency in a wide range of numbers; most veterans argue that above all…

View article

Article

5 Missing Pieces in Your Standardized Work (Part 1 of 3)

John Shook offers an overview of the five most frequent misunderstandings about this fundamental lean practice and expands on three of them.

View article
two types of kaizen

Article

Mapping a Reading List to Lean

We humans want to see what is happening, understand how we and our colleagues best collaborate, solve problems, make good decisions, and have an insatiable…

View article

Article

Leaning Healthcare

Healthcare is the next great industry to begin the Lean journey. The existing model in which the hospital doctor acting as a skilled craftsperson effectively…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Article

GTS6 + E3 = DNA (Break the Code for Standardization, Sustainability, and Kaizen)

There's no "formula" for doing Lean well, but there are principles and practices that keep you on track. Read Tracey Richardson's (memorable) advice for leading…

View article

Article

How do we get started with standard work?

How do we get started with standard work? The literature seems to say there can’t be meaningful kaizen without standards, but although we have procedures…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons

Article

Learning Through Struggle

LEI coach Danielle Blais reflects on one of the most frustrating (and ultimately, most rewarding) coaching moments she's experienced so far in her career.

View article
text, letter

Article

Standardized Work for Kaizen: Define, Achieve, Maintain, Improve

We can all agree that kaizen (continuous improvement to create more value with less waste) is important, but do you have standardized work for kaizen?…

View article

Article

So, what are you going to do about it?

What a year for global supply chains! It started quietly, with a few leading firms taking the lead in reintegrating hopelessly disintegrated supply lines. Then…

View article
Article graphic image with repeating icons