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Sector: Manufacturing
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
By: Art Byrne | July 17, 2019
Columns
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing where the biggest resistance will come from, however should help you focus your early efforts and smooth your Lean turnaround. More »
Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems?
By: Michael Ballé | July 15, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Should A3s be used for solving organizational or technical problems? More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
By: Jean Cunningham | July 12, 2019
Columns
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds.  " More »
Calling a Time-Out for Coaches
By: Masia Goodman, Laura Mottola and Mark Reich | July 10, 2019
Columns
What's the most effective approach to coaching? Lean coaches Mark Reich and Laura Mottola share practical approaches that include methods such as invoking struggle, providing support, and giving direction; while suggesting ways to consider when each approach might be optimal for the situation. More »
Any advice for a team with a new boss who doesn’t know lean but wants us to switch to agile instead?
By: Michael Ballé | July 8, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, We have a new boss who doesn’t know lean and is asking our lean team to switch to “agile” instead. Any advice? More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
Columns
Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Is farming, that ancient industry, ripe for disruption? Indiana farmer Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation. Watch now. More »
KAIZEN CHALLENGE: Lean Technical and Social Quiz
By: Jeff Smith | June 26, 2019
Columns
In this kaizen challenge, lean coach Jeff Smith invites you to help determine the optimal lot size to run through assembly. Please share your thoughts! More »
Should I bother reading lean management books or rely on experience implementing lean?
By: Michael Ballé | June 24, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Should I bother with reading lean books, or just work from experience? There are so many, and they seem to contradict each other. Which ones should I start with? More »
Tales Of Lean, Chapter One: Facing the Problem
By: Sandrine Olivencia | June 24, 2019
Columns
What is the best way for a lean coach to support and guide her team? In this fictional tale of a lean leader, Sandrine Olivencia tees up questions raised by this story of how a company founder can best lead her team through a key challenge for the company. More »
Talking Coaching with Lean Sensei Crystal Davis, Rich Vellante, Josh Howell, and John Shook
By: Lean Leaper | June 21, 2019
Columns
In advance of the Lean Coaching Summit, coaches Josh Howell, Crystal Davis, John Shook, and Rich Vellante discuss the finer points of coaching others, including a working definition for lean coaching. More »
Talking About Lean: How Leaders Support Improvement With Words and Actions
By: David Verble | June 20, 2019
Columns
In this comprehensive series of reflections, Lean Coach David Verble examines how the way managers and leaders talk to employees (and to each other) can contribute or be a barrier to, creating and sustaining a culture of engagement and continuous improvement. He explores healthy ways that managers can mindfully observe and improve how they lead employees. More »
Questions and Coaching on A3 Thinking
By: Deborah McGee | June 19, 2019
Columns
In this Q&A, LEI's Deborah McGee shares insights into A3 thinking and problem-solving: "The A3 Management process is really a way of thinking and a method of working with (using) problems as a vehicle for learning. The A3 process leads us to gain alignment across our teams and organization. It is a method through which we can coach and mentor others, leading by example and earning the authority to lead change, even when or if we’re not in a role with positional power.  " More »
How do I implement 5S when operators think everyone does things a little differently?
By: Michael Ballé | June 17, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I implement 5S  in our small but growing shop where operators have the belief that everyone does things a little differently? More »
How SBP Went From Intolerable Conditions to Constructive Discontent
By: Zack Rosenburg | June 14, 2019
Columns
In this keynote talk at the LEI summit, Zack Rosenburg of SBP talks about how this non-profit has evolved its thinking about defining and tackling problems, creating a culture of continuous improvement that views management as a noble profession. More »
Getting Home: Jacob and Claude Stoller Appreciate the Lean Lessons of this New Book
By: Claude Stoller and Jacob Stoller | June 12, 2019
Columns
"Getting Home is a terrific book that puts lean to work on a problem that’s really significant. Let’s hope it’s an inspiration for architects and non-architects who want to make a difference," says Jacob Stoller, in a conversation with his father Claude, an architect and teacher with a passion for applying lean to this work. More »
Ask Art: How Can I Engage All Our Leaders to Learn and Teach Lean?
By: Art Byrne | June 10, 2019
Columns
What's the best way to teach lean to your internal leaders? By forming teams who will learn by doing, shares Art Byrne. This will drive your gains, build great teamwork, and build the learning environment necessary to become a lean enterprise. More »
What are the key factors within an obeya room?
By: Michael Ballé | June 10, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, On YouTube and in books there is a lot about A3 storyboards. Did you ever see them used to share people's plans and check whether countermeasures were effective? Also, what do you think are the key ingredients/factors within an obeya? More »
Go and See: Where The Magic Is
By: Nicolas Chartier | June 7, 2019
Columns
To reconnect with the reality of your business, go to the gemba, advises CEO Nicolas Chartier of Aramisauto. But to really experience the magic that happens, be sure to ask your people to display and visualize their flow, and you will discover unexpected opportunities for growth. More »
Cost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!
By: Jean Cunningham | June 5, 2019
Columns
Lean affects financial outcomes--dramatically so in firms that incorporate widespread lean thinking over the long term, says LEI Chair Jean Cunningham. And yet she counsels you not to fixate on cost reduction or product cost. Look instead at the real numbers. More »
Cleveland Clinic’s Prescription for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
By: Lisa Yerian | June 3, 2019
Columns
Lisa Yerian, MD, medical director of continuous improvement at the Clinic, talks about a “model area” approach to improvement, how initial “islands” of improvement linked up, results so far, and how a continuous improvement transformation is transforming her as a leader. More »
Reflections from LEI’s New President, Josh Howell
By: Josh Howell | June 3, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Josh Howell, an experienced manager and lean management coach, is LEI’s new president and executive team leader. Read his note to the lean community and share your thoughts. More »
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
By: Daniel T. Jones | May 31, 2019
Columns
What do lean sensei do? Take you to the gemba, discuss what the real challenges are, prescribe exercises, teach PDCA, and push you to the next step, argue the authors of the new book The Lean Sensei. More »
Try These Lean Summer Reads
By: Lean Leaper | May 29, 2019
Columns
Summer is upon us and as you lean learners prepare for some decidedly non-value added time in your schedule, consider any number of these books for your summer reading. More »
How do I know if someone is really incompetent or just struggling?
By: Michael Ballé | May 27, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I recognize when someone is really incompetent? Sometimes people don’t have results because they’re put in a tough spot. More »
Practicing Constructive Discontent At SBP
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 24, 2019
Columns
To become an organization of problem solvers, talking about problems couldn’t merely be something that we did, shares Zack Rosenburg of St. Bernard Project. It had to be part of who we are; it had to be our identity. Being or living constructive discontent and adopting it as our identity would mean that problems were brought to the surface, not buried. More »
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
By: John Y. Shook | May 22, 2019
Columns
How can a system in which "we are all connected and no one is in charge" support purposeful and productive work? Toyota's famed Chief Engineer system has much to offer in this regard. John Shook explores how the leadership styles of, and ways of working by, the CE might provide something of a roadmap for all of us. More »
Change Your “Pet” Problem Solving Method
By: Art Smalley | May 20, 2019
Columns
Got problems with your problem-solving method? This interview by LEI's Chet Marchwinski with Four Types of Problems author Art Smalley shares advice on how you can "change your 'pet' problem-solving method.  " More »
How Does LPPD Help Create a Lean Enterprise?
By: Lean Leaper | May 17, 2019
Columns
What is LPPD? As noted by Jim Morgan LPPD is a set of principles and practices that promote collaboration, transparency, and rapid learning, in the development of both process and product simultaneously, leading to the creation of really effective value streams. He shares thoughts with Jim Womack, Jeff Liker, and Eric Ethington on this topic. More »
Rebuilding Homes and Disaster Recovery Processes
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 15, 2019
Columns
When Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg left their careers to help desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild, they knew nothing about construction or lean management. Today, SBP, the disaster recovery nonprofit they founded, has cut rebuilding time by nearly 50% using lean concepts. Zack talks to LEI about the remarkable new recovery model they developed and detail in their new book, Getting Home. More »
As head of a lean office, what must I do to really walk the talk?
By: Michael Ballé | May 13, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I am the head of a lean office. I’d like to lead by example, but it occurs to me that we often make the very same mistakes we coach others not to do. What must I watch out for in order to really walk the talk? More »
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