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Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Shop Floor Thinking?
By: Jacob Stoller | January 16, 2019
Columns
How does lean thinking help understand whether AI could replace shop floor thinking? Jacob Stoller argues that whether or not one attributes this to an Eastern outlook, much of the wisdom passed on from lean’s original pioneers highlights the importance of direct experience, and the view that workplace situations cannot be understood with purely rational thought. More »
Ask Art: How is Lean A Time-Based Strategy?
By: Art Byrne | January 14, 2019
Columns
Operating lean is the best way to compete on time, says Art Byrne, who notes that every time you remove waste you shorten the time and resources to do something. Lean is not a cost reduction program. Although you’ll get plenty of that as a side benefit, it is strategic, and over time creates unfair competitive advantage for you. More »
I'm all in on our lean effort but how do I get my managers to be more supportive?
By: Michael Ballé | January 14, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,As a business unit director, I am fully on board with lean, do gemba walks and support kaizen projects. But I find my managers are slow to take an interest and often defend the rules of the company against new ideas from their teams. I try hard to lead by example but it doesn’t seem to work so well – what am I missing? More »
3 Steps We Took to Change the Company Culture
By: Bruno Guicardi | January 11, 2019
Columns
The Lean Digital Transformation webinar with Bruno Guicardi, co-founder and president of technology services company CI&T, drew a global audience that submitted hundreds of questions, many more than he could answer during the hour-long presentation. We selected questions that represented the main issues you wanted to know more about for this follow-up Q&A with Bruno. More »
People Are Not Cars
By: Tyson Ortiz | January 9, 2019
Columns
Tyson Ortiz's challenge in helping his son through a heart transplant clarified to him what a healthcare provider said: "People are not cars.  " And yet he learned that the key to better outcomes, in both business and health, can be found in growing the ability to think and act with a PDSA mindset. More »
Should producing products with zero defects be my top goal?
By: Michael Ballé | January 7, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Is zero defects really the first goal? The number of defects doesn’t necessarily relate to the user’s experience with a product, does it? More »
Take Baby Steps Towards Improvement
By: Mark Graban | January 7, 2019
Columns
As you think about your 2019 resolutions, ask yourself if you’re making the change too big and, therefore, too scary, suggests Mark Graban. Instead of feeling dejected, take the “kaizen” advice of making the change small. More »
Lean Production Begins with LPPD
By: John Y. Shook | January 4, 2019
Columns
To create a "turbo-charged product-creating machine, start by designing clear processes with useful tools and a “people first” culture--which form a socio-technical system underpinned by deep principles. More »
Are You Building High-Performing Teams?
By: Jim Morgan | January 2, 2019
Columns
It is important to work hard at building a high-performance team. Not only does it lead to better performance outcomes, but it is also a tremendous personal experience. Pay, benefits, and personal growth opportunities have to be competitive, but all else being equal, most people will choose to be part of a high-performance team. More »
What do you do when your advice is wrong?
By: Michael Ballé | December 24, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do you handle it when you find out you’ve been wrong; when you’ve advised people to do something that you later discover wasn’t right? More »
Why We Believe People-Free Plants and Services Prevent Learning
By: Lean Sensei Women | December 19, 2018
Columns
We (Lean Sensei Women) are a group of women from different continents, horizons, and professions who share a commitment to the development of people. We believe that people-free services and plant floors prevent meaningful learning from happening, and that digital systems will always require people and the capacity for human learning. More »
Soliciting Suggestions in Ways That Don't Backfire
By: Cheryl Jekiel | December 17, 2018
Columns
Sometimes well-intentioned lean activities like asking for suggestions can backfire; Cheryl Jekiel shares specific ways to prevent mishandling ideas from your people. More »
We get good results with kaizen, but why don't they stick?
By: Michael Ballé | December 17, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Our teams have good results with kaizen, but nothing seems to stick for long – any advice? More »
Transformative Steering
By: Eric Ethington | December 14, 2018
Columns
After three years of working with learning partner companies, LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development group observed that the companies most successful in starting and sustaining lean principles in product development all had one thing in common – an effective steering team. Program Manager Eric Ethington reports on four foundational elements your steering team must have. More »
Standardized Work or Kaizen? Yes
By: John Y. Shook | December 12, 2018
Columns
Some lean folks LOVE to quote the Taiichi Ohno observation that “there is no kaizen without standards," notes John Shook, adding that it is less noted but equally true that “there is no maintenance of standards without kaizen.  ” More »
Ask Art: How Do I Get the Senior Management Team On Board with Lean?
By: Art Byrne | December 10, 2018
Columns
Lean requires teamwork, and so getting your senior management team on board requires a great deal of work, including new mindsets, exposure to lean practice, and shifts in everything from how sales are conducted to how team leaders lead at the gemba, says Art Byrne. More »
How can I make sure my teams do kaizen the right way?
By: Michael Ballé | December 10, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How can I make sure my teams do kaizen the right way? More »
"What Did I Transform Today?"
By: Josh Howell | December 7, 2018
Columns
A lean approach to coaching is incomplete if nothing has changed for the better, says Josh Howell, who shares how he learned that it is not enough to only think, talk, write, and draw. Best to conclude each day by asking yourself, "What did I transform today?" More »
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
By: Richard Vellante | December 5, 2018
Columns
The executive chef at Legal Sea Foods explains how the restaurants are cutting lead times from fishing boat to your belly. More »
LPPD Under the Sea: Efficient Product Design with Subsea 2.0
By: Jeffrey Liker and Jim Morgan | December 4, 2018
Columns
In this excerpt from the new book Designing the Future, authors Jim Morgan and Jeff Liker share the case study of TechnipFMC's work on a new seafloor production system that realized tremendous gains through applying LPPD principles More »
An Innovative Framework for Designing Better Products and Services – and a Better Future
By: Chet Marchwinski and Jim Morgan | December 3, 2018
Columns
Because of the enormous “shadow” it casts over the entire enterprise for years, product development literally designs the future of companies, employees, customers, and suppliers. In this Q&A, product development expert Jim Morgan, co-author of Designing the Future, describes a fundamentally different – and much better – way to develop new products and services. More »
How do you apply takt time to service work?
By: Michael Ballé | December 3, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,How do you apply takt time in fields like services where customer demand is not known? More »
"Roll"-ing Out Lean at Kura Sushi
By: Katie Anderson | November 29, 2018
Columns
Self-professed "lean geek" Katie Anderson has eaten several meals at Kura Sushi restaurants and shares her observations on what she sees as lean principles at play More »
Putting Passion on Your Dashboard
By: Lean Leaper | November 27, 2018
Columns
Understanding what customers value requires more than a marketing approach, says Dave Pericak, explaining how he learned about customer value from the Mustang owners who More »
Review: Designing the Future
By: Michael Ballé | November 27, 2018
Columns; eLetters
In his review of the new book Designing The Future, Michael Ballé points out that it “makes clear the central lean concept in product development: distinguishing what is fixed and what is flexible in new product design.  ” More »
Review: Designing the Future
By: Michael Ballé | November 26, 2018
Columns
Forget frameworks, processes, rote step methods. Read this book and think back to the “Why?” before the “What?” and “How?”: companies live or die on whether their products and services better help customers to do whatever they want to get done, at a better value-for-money deal. More »
Lean Gratitude
By: Thomas Richert | November 21, 2018
Columns
As Thanksgiving approaches, Tom Richert notes that powering the TPS scientific mindset is a great deal of emotional energy. At this time of year, he reminds us of Sakichi Toyoda's precept: Be reverent, and show gratitude for things great and small in thought and deed. More »
What Problems Do You See?
By: Joshua Rapoza | November 20, 2018
Columns
Take a minute or two think about the problems you see everyday at your work. It can be quite daunting when you think about everything that needs attention. But knowing what type of problem you are dealing with makes countermeasures much easier to figure out. What problems do you see most? More »
The Art of Work
By: Jean Cunningham | November 16, 2018
Columns
A visit to the Grohmann Museum helped remind Jean Cunningham that when done correctly and consistently, lean starts to reconnect people to work and work to people. Using lean principles and tools helps recreate worker ownership of the work, connection to the customer need, and value creation. More »
"We Are Unique"
By: Darril Wilburn | November 15, 2018
Columns
While many people see Lean as applicable only in limited industries and situations and therefore can’t work in their unique situation, Darril Wilburn argues that through experience we know that Lean concepts are applicable in every organization that produces something that is valued by others. More »
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