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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Yamazumi Board:   Yamazumi is Japanese for “pile” or “stack.  ” More »
Standard Work Operator Balance Chart(OBC)
December 6, 2012
Forms and Templates
The operator balance chart helps create continuous flow in a multistep, multioperator process by distributing operator work elements in relation to takt time. (Also called an operator loading diagram or a yamazumi board.  )Kaizen Express, from which this example is taken, is a concise, precise illustrated guide to the fundamentals of the Toyota Production System and how to implement them. It is ideal for individuals or teams starting a lean transformation or in need of a quick refresher on the fundamental concepts of lean manufacturing.   Other Resources:WorkshopsStandardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen »Management Standard Work »ArticlesFive Missing Pieces in Your More »
The Art of Silent Observation
By: Andrew Quibell | August 9, 2017
Silent observation is not as intuitive as it may sound. Andrew Quibell often meets people who think it's as simple as standing and watching the work in silence. But there's much more to it than that - learn more in his new sketch and animation. More »
Encouraging signs on lean leadership
By: Shook, John | December 13, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Exploring the world of "lean coaching" with over 200 of our closest friends last week at the Lean Coaching Summit in Orlando, there is no questioning the essential nature of coaching as a core skill of lean leadership. If lean is a matter of learning new skills and even mental models, learning lean is a "learn by doing" or experiential learning process. 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 »
Why haven't lean tools changed our culture?
By: Michael Ballé | July 30, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m part of a team that has been tasked to implement lean tools across the company to drive continuous improvement actions, and yet I see little overall change in our culture. I read about cases where lean works and wonder what we could be doing wrong. More »
Emerging Stronger
By: John Y. Shook | April 30, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Learn how GE Appliances and Herman Miller leverage lean practice to design new standardized work for assembly to ensure a safe working environment for employees. More »
How Do You Spread a Lean Transformation from One Site to Many?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 2, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My CEO has asked me to spread lean to 30 other sites. How should I go about it? More »
Why does no one ask about production flow anymore?
By: Michael Balle | May 7, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: As I read lean posts and papers, no one seems to have problems like this anymore, but I am trying to convince my manager that we have a bottleneck in the production process and that we should have two work stations in parallel to improve the flow. What would be the lean argument for doing that? More »
Lean WX – An Rx for Making Things Better
By: Josh Howell | November 17, 2020
As someone whose understanding of lean/TPS grew exponentially by working on the line, Josh Howell encourages every would-be lean enterprise out there, even those who have “only” created a model line, to try this approach to capability development. More »
Are lean principles universal?
By: Balle, Michael | October 3, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Can we really consider Lean principles as Universal? I am currently working on a case study about the tea industry. What we have is a very seasonal, perishable product supposed to be available in various format (tea bags, caddies, pouches). The suppliers being all in Asia the lead times are what they are and I do not even talk about EU regulations imposing all kind of constraints. More »
Product and Process Lean
By: Ballé, Michael | October 8, 2013
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Lean product development guys tout the gospel of product focus as core to lean success. No argument from me. But … how, if the customers are famously wrong about what they really want, do we focus on the product and still give them what they really need? It feels like we're running on two different tracks. More »
Herman Miller’s Experiment in Excellence
By: Drickhamer, David | September 4, 2009
Case Studies
With initial support from the Toyota Supplier Support Center, Herman Miller cultivates experimental thinkers who make process improvements every day. Their work has yielded dramatic floorspace and inventory reductions, and improved operational flexibility, which is helping the company manage the global economic downturn. More »