Managing Workflow—the Lean Way
By: John Shook, Chairman and CEO, and Alice Lee, executive director, Lean Enterprise Institute | October 21, 2016
The main responsibility of CIOs and other information technology managers is to create an environment for work to flow, according to John Shook, CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and Alice Lee, LEI executive director, writing in CIO magazine. More »
Thrustmaster Comes Around
By: David Drickhamer | November 23, 2016
The following Lean Enterprise Institute case study reveals how Thrustmaster of Texas successfully adopted lean thinking and practices to make sustainable improvements in a short period of time, and how other manufacturers of highly engineered, low-volume products can follow their lead using the Lean Transformation Framework. More »
Manufacturing Balancing Act: Pull Versus ERP
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 23, 2016
In this follow-up story to our case study about Phase 2 Medical Manufacturing, Inc. , the company faces an enviable dilemma: because the lean transformation has spurred strong sales growth, Phase 2 needs a new or expanded parts warehouse. Instead, it expands the pull system by connecting the plan-for-every-part database that underpins one-piece flow production with the enterprise resource planning system, typically associated with big batch production. More »
Lean Roundup: Pull
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | March 30, 2017
A pull system links all production activity to actual customer demand--and creates what one lean thinker calls "an architecture for kaizen. " Read more about this key lean principle. More »
Do You Own Your Lean Learning?
By: Mark Reich | March 29, 2017
After a two-year hiatus from the Lean Post, LEI COO and Toyota veteran Mark Reich is back with a new series on the role of consultants and OpEx groups in a lean transformation. Today he shares a story of coaching a young coffee-plant manager facing a major challenge -- and what it taught him about lean leadership and problem-solving. More »
How do we deal with a command-and-control boss?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 27, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, Our boss always says, “It’s not my job to tell you how to do yours!” But then he tells us what to do all day long. How do we deal with this? More »
Is there a lean way of delegating?
By: Michael Ballè | March 3, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, I’m an entrepreneur and I used to micromanage everything, quite successfully. Now the firm has grown and I’m trying to delegate. How do I stop myself from cutting in when the actions my department heads want to take are plain silly, or not very creative? More »
Problem Definition Worksheet
By: Lean Transformations Group | June 17, 2013
In order to continuously improve, you must be able to find problems in order to solve them. Once you have found a problem, the first step you must take is to make sure you have properly defined the problem. One way to look at problems (i. e. , gaps) is to think in terms of standards. A gap can exist between current performance and an established standard or a new standard that you are attempting to achieve. A problem also can be unwanted variation in performance even when average performance appears acceptable. When even a single out-of-specification event is a More »
Root Cause Template
By: Shook, John and David Verble | June 13, 2013
When trying to solve a problem, you want to identify underlying causes, which will help you to prevent fires rather than just extinguish them. By identifying the underlying causes down to the root causes, you can reduce the likelihood that a given problem will recur. The most common root-cause analysis technique in lean is the "Five Why's. " This is practice of asking why repeatedly whenever a problem is encountered in order to get beyond the obvious symptoms to discover the root cause. For instance, Taiichi Ohno gives this example about a machine that stopped working (Ohno 1988, p. 17): Why More »
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