Home > Knowledge Center

Knowledge Center

Sort by:  Relevance | Date
Fighting Poverty with Lean Product & Process Design at MIT D-Lab
By: Lean Leaper | April 24, 2018
D-Lab at MIT is using lean product and process design to help solve problems in the developing world, and are truly making the world a better place for all those involved More »
As CEO, how do I get my management team to support the lean effort?
By: Michael Ballé | April 23, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,As a CEO, lean has enabled me to renew our company’s profitable growth, so I love it. But getting my management team on board is a daily struggle. Thoughts? More »
Learning to Teach the Soft Side of Lean
By: Tracey Richardson | April 23, 2018
If there’s one common theme among virtually any failed effort, it boils to a failure to engage people in the purpose, says Tracey Richardson. That's why before any industry or functional area attempts (beyond manufacturing) to learn lean thinking, the people leading the work must gain the mutual trust and respect from your workers by walking the walk. More »
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 »
WLEI: Ep. 5: The Lean Farm and Sharing Your Gift Live from the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | April 10, 2018
Live from the 2018 Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville, Jim Womack interviews Ben Hartman, author of the Lean Farm, Joel Daly General Manager Veada Industries, and Aluminum Trailer CEO/Owner Steve Brenneman.  You’ll hear how lean thinking was shared from one person to another in very different industries, and the amazing changes that took place. 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 »
Toyota Kata at Zingerman's Mail Order
By: Mike Rother | April 1, 2018
This month's Toyota Kata video is about the early days of TK practice at Zingerman's Mail Order. Decision-making can be moved more to the teams in an organization, if that's combined with teaching people a scientific way of making decisions and navigating. Practicing the starter routines of TK helps develop scientific-thinking skills and mindset. 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 »
WLEI: Ep. 4: Tracey and Ernie Richardson with John Shook Live at the Lean Transformation Summit
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 28, 2018
Tracey and Ernie Richardson, authors of the Toyota Engagement Equation join John Shook on the main stage at the Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville. 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 »
WLEI: Ep. 3: Amazon and Buffet Tackle the Healthcare Tapeworm with Eric Buehrens and Chet Marchwinski
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 22, 2018
A few weeks ago Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced that they are forming their own company to combat the costs and issues with healthcare in the US.   LEI's CEO Eric Buehrens sat down with LEI's Communications Director, Chet Marchwinski to discuss this new organization, and talk about some of the challenges they may face and offering some advice.  Eric Buehrens is the former deputy provost for administration at Harvard University, executive vice president, COO, and interim CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and as EVP and COO of 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 »
Show More »