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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Andon:   A visual management tool that highlights the status of operations in an area at a single glance and that signals whenever an abnormality occurs.  An andon can indicate production status (for example, which machines are operating), an abnormality (for example, machine downtime, a quality problem, tooling faults, operator delays, and materials shortages), and needed actions, such as changeovers. An andon also can be used to display the status of production in terms of the number of units planned versus actual output.  A typical andon, which is the Japanese term for "lamp," is an overhead signboard with rows of numbers corresponding More »
Andon Cues Service Center to Respond to Customer Queue
By: Chet Marchwinski | March 13, 2018
Columns
An Ohio Mutual service center has no andon cord to stop a production line but the principal is the same as in a factory -- an abnormality has occurred, take corrective action. More »
Mindset and the Andon Cord
By: Mike Rother | March 4, 2018
Presentations
When it comes to Andon, we like to talk about visual management, fast response, supporting employees, and other technical aspects. Yet a fundamental mindset underlying the Andon system may be an acceptance and even enjoyment of the unpredictable nature of everday life. With such a mindset it might actually seem odd to not have an Andon cord! More »
Do andons apply to software development?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 6, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, I work in software development, and I really don’t see how andon applies – what am I missing? More »
Autonomous Car Beta Version, Anyone? A Q&A with Jim Womack on Disruptive Innovation
By: Jim Womack | April 30, 2020
Articles
What may be ahead for carmakers, product developers, and the lean management movement in a disrupted world is the subject of this Q&A with Jim Womack, founding CEO of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). He talked with LEI Communications Director Chet Marchwinski at the Designing the Future Summit that showcases how companies are applying lean product and process development  (LPPD). 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 »
The Impact of Social Distancing on Assembly Operations
By: John Y. Shook | April 1, 2020
Articles
Take a deep-dive look at how GE Appliances and Herman Miller are working on designing a safe work environment for production employeesduring the Covid-19 pandemic. More »
Can lean management help with the start of production?
By: Michael Ballé | December 9, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Can lean management help with the start of production? More »
Where can I find information about visual management?
By: Michael Ballé | October 21, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I can’t find much written about visual management although it seems an important part of lean – any idea where to look? More »
Why implement lean when it fails so often?
By: Michael Ballé | September 16, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,Is it true that lean often fails? What’s the point then? More »
I don’t get kanban -- I don’t work in production so how would it apply to one-off work?
By: Michael Ballé | July 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would apply to one-off work. More »
Can lean be used to turn around a company?
By: Michael Ballé | July 22, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Can lean be used in a turnaround situation? Does a burning platform make it easier or harder? 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 »
What's your problem
By: John Shook | October 31, 2018
Columns; eLetters
There may be nothing more fundamental to lean thinking and practice than problem solving.   For that matter, there may be nothing more fundamental to being human than problem solving. We breathe, we eat, we create civilizations – we deal with (solve, tackle) problems every step of the way. More »
There are so many lean management principles to know and tools to master at the start – is there an easier way to begin?
By: Michael Balle' | October 22, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,Isn’t there an easier way to start lean? For a beginner, it seems like such a mountain to climb – all these things to know, tools to master, counter-intuitive principles to grapple with. Can’t we make access easier? More »
In TPM, Isn't it needlessly costly to replace parts that are working fine? What do you think?
By: Ballé, Michael | January 28, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, I have a question about Total Productive Maintenance. My management has hired a TPM consultant who makes us systematically replace certain parts in our equipment even though they’re working fine. This seems needlessly costly. What do you think? More »
Lean Lexicon 5th Edition
By: Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. | January 21, 2014
Books
The fifth edition of the Lexicon, first published in January 2003, is 140 pages, containing 60+ illustrations and 207 key terms from A3 Report to Yokoten. The Lexicon already covers such key lean enterprise terms as jidoka, kanban, kaizen, lean consumption, lean production, lean enterprise, pull production, standardized work, takt time, Toyota Production System, and value-stream mapping. It also has a simple, one-page guide to pronouncing Japanese terms. More »
Lean Lexicon 5th Edition (eBook)
By: Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. | January 21, 2014
Books
The fifth edition of the Lexicon, first published in January 2003, is 140 pages, containing 60+ illustrations and 207 key terms from A3 Report to Yokoten. The Lexicon already covers such key lean enterprise terms as jidoka, kanban, kaizen, lean consumption, lean production, lean enterprise, pull production, standardized work, takt time, Toyota Production System, and value-stream mapping. It also has a simple, one-page guide to pronouncing Japanese terms. More »
Lean Lexicon 5th Edition - PDF
January 21, 2014
Books
The fifth edition of the Lexicon, first published in January 2003, is 140 pages, containing 60+ illustrations and 207 key terms from A3 Report to Yokoten. The Lexicon already covers such key lean enterprise terms as jidoka, kanban, kaizen, lean consumption, lean production, lean enterprise, pull production, standardized work, takt time, Toyota Production System, and value-stream mapping. It also has a simple, one-page guide to pronouncing Japanese terms. More »
Should we have our own TPS "house"?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 21, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My management wants to build our own version of the TPS (Toyota Production System) house in order to standardize our lean approach. Do you have any advice on how to do this?   More »
Kaizen or Rework?
By: Womack, Jim | August 22, 2007
Columns; eLetters
I recently visited a contract electronics manufacturer with a striking capacity for kaizen – the steady improvement of every step along its key value streams. Dozens of kaizen events were being performed across the company to eliminate wasted steps and to remedy quality, availability, adequacy, and flexibility problems in each value stream. At the same time, kaizen teams were trying to speed continuous flow and to perfect pull systems when flow was not possible.  The managers were pleased with their work and I had to admire both their technical skills and their enthusiasm for rapid improvement involving the employees touching More »
Lean Thinking: A Look Back and a Look Forward
By: Womack, Jim | September 8, 2006
Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
The meaning of lean thinking, how lean got its name, and an example of how it improved a grinding process By LEI President Jim Womack. More »
Build Your “House” of Production on a Stable Foundation
By: Chet Marchwinski | February 14, 2006
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
Faced with downtime on key pieces of sophisticated equipment in a machine-intensive environment, Delphi's Plant 1 launched a successful improvement effort by focusing on rigorous problem solving to create basic stability. This Lean Enterprise Institute case study shows you what plant management, staff and employees did. More »
Lean Beyond Production
By: Taninecz, George | January 4, 2005
Articles
Read how Lean Thinkers, using the same lean tools that worked in production, now are making improvements and benefits off the plant floor, in environments as diverse as an insurance company, academia, or the front offices of the world's largest automaker. More »
Following Four Steps to a Lean Material-Handling System Leads to a Leap in Performance
By: Chet Marchwinski | October 21, 2003
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Research
The Delphi Delco Electronics facility in Kokomo, IN, followed a methodical four-step implementation process to replace a traditional material-handling system for purchased parts with a lean one. Some of the key steps covered during  implementation  included creating a Plan for Every Part, developing a central purchased parts market, installing precisely timed delivery routes, establishing pull signals, and instituting standard work for the system. More »
Leader Standard Work
Workshops
There is lots of information out there on how to improve processes in industrial, office, and healthcare settings, but very little practical information on how to manage new processes as they are put into place. This workshop will help you learn how to review your existing management systems, supplant them with more effective lean methods and practices, and become more effective at creating a sustainable lean culture moving forward. More »