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Rethinking the Model Line
By: James P. Womack | April 19, 2018
The model line, once seen as the key to helping organizations learn and share lean thinking, has served a critical purpose, says Jim Womack: to raise awareness of fundamental management problems. More »
Seeing the Work of a Daily Management System
By: Michael Ballé | April 18, 2018
Daily management systems tap visual elements that expose problems, and also use obeyas as thinking spaces for reflecting on broader challenges, says Michael Balle. More »
Lean Management Meets Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of All Things
By: Andrew Quibell | April 16, 2018
What part, if any, will lean principles – or humans – play in a manufacturing future of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things? Andrew Quibell uses text and graphics as a crystal ball to illuminate 7 benefits of the "lights-out" factory. More »
What's wrong with taking a tools approach to lean management?
By: Michael Ballè | April 16, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I keep hearing that a tool approach to lean is wrong, but tools deliver results – how can that be wrong? More »
9 Tips for Better Design Reviews
By: Lean Leaper | April 13, 2018
Design reviews can be the heartbeat of a healthy operating system. Here are some tips are creating better design reviews. More »
Ask Art: Why Do I Need to Switch From Batch to Flow?
By: Art Byrne | April 12, 2018
Moving from batch to flow reveals the waste in your processes and simplifies your work at a systems level, says Art Byrne. It creates simplicity, and a productive tension to deal with problems as they occur, as well as other strategic benefits. More »
Valuing The Tradition of Learning and Sharing Lean: a new WLEI Podcast
By: Lean Leaper | April 11, 2018
This new WLEI podcast, recorded live at the 2018 summit, features a panel discussion with Jim Womack and three lean converts on the value of sharing and learning lean. More »
Expanding Our Perspective on Lean Management, Part 1: A Creative Ethic
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | April 10, 2018
To explore the idea that there may be other angles for understanding lean management principles than purely business or analytical perspectives, a group of lean management practitioners met with artists. Here’s what surprised them. More »
How effective is a book club?
By: Michael Ballé | April 9, 2018
Columns; eLetters
How effective is a book club?It really depends where you want to take your lean journey. What are you trying to achieve? A core part of kaizen is not just looking for the results of the physical improvement, but the opportunity to grow, develop people – or self-develop, so that the learning can be applied to every other work situation. More »
Developing People Not Robots Through Karakuri
By: Matthew Savas | April 5, 2018
"Karakuri demonstrates that Toyota’s working currency is brainpower, grown through rigorous problem-solving and mentors who challenge their students," writes Matt Savas, "The wallet takes a backseat to the brain.  " More »
Learning and Teaching Lean with Tracey and Ernie Richardson on the Lean Podcast WLEI
By: Lean Leaper | April 4, 2018
Hear Tracey and Ernie share how they learned lean while working together on our new podcast WLEI More »
Striking With The Zen Stick
By: Dan Prock | April 3, 2018
A key part of lean coaching is the practice of striking with a zen stick, says Dan Prock. This helps break people out of their habits and foster mindfulness, and "kaizen mind". More »
How do I know people are displaying the right visual information in an office?
By: Michael Balle | April 2, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,We’ve been quite successful with lean in our operations, and I’ve been tasked to bring it to headquarters. We’ve set up obeyas and stand-up meetings in all departments, and people are putting all sorts of information on the wall. However, I’m not sure we’re looking at the right things – any advice More »
Master the Meaning of "Giri"
By: Jim Morgan | March 30, 2018
"Giri" represents the profound obligation of the student has toward their teacher, the apprentice to the journeyman or the child to the parent, writes Jim Morgan. He thanks his own mentors and emphasizes the obligation that comes with the deep understanding that whatever you have accomplished in life, you have not really done on their own. More »
“People who can’t change their minds can’t change anything else”
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | March 29, 2018
Many people argue that if lean management really was a powerful strategy, rather than an operational tactic, then more companies would be doing it, says former Wiremold Vice President of Finance Orry Fiume. He sees it the other way around. More »
Eric Buehrens Keynote at the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit
By: Lean Leaper | March 27, 2018
LEI CEO Eric Buehrens looks at ways that lean thinkers can help contribute to the future of work. More »
Jim Womack's Keynote Address from the 2018 Lean Summit
By: Lean Leaper | March 26, 2018
Catch the presentation of Jim Womack on the topic of how to develop better employees by becoming a better employer. More »
Why do you keep referring to Toyota; does it still matter?
By: Michael Balle | March 26, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I’m very interested in lean, but fail to see why you guys keep referring to Toyota. What does a Toyota plant look like and why should it still matter? More »
Becoming My Own Gemba
By: Tracey Richardson | March 23, 2018
Like me, thousands of people suffer from undiagnosed or more complex medical conditions that mimic other conditions. And my TPS training in a way of thinking about making things better helped me approach this condition in a productive manner. More »
Ask Art: Why Should I Set Stretch Goals?
By: Art Byrne | March 22, 2018
Art Byrne urges you to take the lean leap and set stretch goals. Setting ambitious goals shows respect for your people. Use the lean tools and kaizen to get to the point where you can compete on your operational excellence targets. More »
HR Strategies for Successful and Sustainable Lean Transformations
By: Cheryl Jekiel | March 21, 2018
The interest in strengthening employee engagement is sometimes considered a separate topic from lean transformations. Cheryl Jekiel, who has over 25 years of experience in HR and lean implementations, offers practical tips on how to create engagement with lean activities. More »
The Magnificent 7 of Lean Manufacturing
By: Andrew Quibell | March 20, 2018
How do you establish stability on a shop floor that’s chaotic? Andrew Quibell recommends “7 manufacturing basics,” his personal selection of lean improvement tools, methodologies, and techniques. And they also boost people’s confidence, helping them sustain improvements. More »
Is kanban relevant to office work?
By: Michael Balle | March 19, 2018
Columns; eLetters
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 to improving project management – what am I missing? More »
The Battle for the Soul of Lean
By: Michael Ballé | March 16, 2018
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
By: Norbert Majerus | March 15, 2018
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 »
Andon Cues Service Center to Respond to Customer Queue
By: Chet Marchwinski | March 13, 2018
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 »
I read everywhere that in lean we should focus on process over results – does that mean we ignore budgets?
By: Michael Balle | March 12, 2018
Columns; eLetters
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 »
Human Resources and Lean; It Really Is About People
By: Joe Murli | March 8, 2018
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 »
Moving People Around as Key to Unlocking Financial Outcomes of Lean
By: Jean Cunningham | March 6, 2018
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 »
If lean is all about people, why are the discussions impersonally cold and rational?
By: Michael Ballé | March 5, 2018
Columns; eLetters
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 »
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