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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Set-Based Concurrent Engineering:   An approach to the design of products and services in which developers consider sets of ideas rather than single ideas. To do this, developers:Use trade-off curves and design guidelines to characterize (or describe) known feasible design sets, and thus focus the search for designs.  Identify and develop multiple alternatives, and eliminate alternatives only when proven inferior or infeasible.  Start with design targets, and allow the actual specifications and tolerances to emerge through analysis and testing.  Delay selecting the final design or establishing the final specifications until the team knows enough to make a good decision.  This approach yields substantial organizational More »
The Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering
By: Katrina Appell and John Drogosz | August 9, 2019
One of the fastest ways to reduce development lead time from concept to market is to work concurrently. But as product development coaches Katrina Appell and John Drogosz point out, many managers and engineers jump into concurrent engineering without the requisite understanding and planning of the work to be successful, leading them to the dreaded “Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering.  ” More »
Exploring the Technical and Nontechnical Challenges of Being a Chief Engineer, A Candid Conversation with Two CEs
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 31, 2020
Chief engineers typically have strong technical skills to effectively lead and manage the work of engineers, designers, and other developers. But perhaps their greatest talent needs to be nontechnical, an observation that emerged in this interview with two chief engineers from TechnipFMC, conducted by LEI Communications Director Chet Marchwinski at last year’s Designing the Future Summit. More »
2020 Designing the Future Summit
June 21, 2019
2020 Designing the Future Summit. June 17-18, 2020 - Traverse City, Michigan. A unique event for designers, product, process, and quality engineers, supply chain professionals, and development leaders as well as thought leaders to come together, learn from each other. More »
2019 Designing the Future Summit
September 26, 2018
2019 Designing the Future Summit. June 27-28, 2019 - Traverse City, Michigan. A unique event for designers, product, process, and quality engineers, supply chain professionals, and development leaders as well as thought leaders to come together, learn from each other. More »
2018 Designing the Future Summit
January 25, 2018
2018 Designing the Future Summit. June 19-20, 2018 - Traverse City, Michigan. A unique event for designers, product, process, and quality engineers, supply chain professionals, and development leaders as well as thought leaders to come together, learn from each other. More »
Engineering Checklists
By: Balle, Michael | October 20, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba CoachHow do I apply standardized work to product development? More »
A3 Template
By: Sobek, Durward | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Thanks to Associate Professor Durward Sobek, Mechanical and Engineering Dept.  , Montana State Univ.  , for sharing this A3 template and illustration of an improvement cycle for using it. 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 for a Flat World
By: Womack, Jim | May 22, 2007
a 2007 presentation by Jim Womack to the Institute of Industrial Engineers More »
Lean Inroads Into Alabama Academia
By: George Taninecz | March 30, 2007
Case Studies
Despite business’s declared need for graduates experienced with lean concepts, most colleges and universities offer only a lean module or course here and there. But at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, faculty of the Industrial Systems and Engineering and Engineering Management department understand that their graduates should have knowledge of and experience with these concepts when they enter the marketplace, and they’re making sure that happens. (A Lean Enterprise Institute Case Study.  ) More »
From Lean Tools to Lean Management
By: Womack, Jim | November 21, 2006
Columns; eLetters
I’ve been thinking about the challenge of lean transformation for 27 years now, since I started studying Toyota as part of the MIT global automotive project in 1979. That’s a long time and during this period I’ve watched lean thinking progress through a series of stages.  In the early years much of the focus was on sorting out what was specific to a culture. Could anyone outside of Japan embrace lean thinking? Could anyone outside of Toyota? And there was much confusion about the elements of a lean business system. Was it just in the factory? Or did it apply 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 Development
By: Ballé, Freddy and Michael Ballé | October 1, 2005
 Freddy and Michael Ballé, co-authors of the lean novel The Gold Mine, pull together their experiences with Toyota suppliers, contacts with Toyota engineers, and existing research to discern the four keys to the company's product development system and how it has evolved in recent years. More »
Jim Womack on how lean compares with Six Sigma, Re-engineering, TOC, TPM, etc., etc.
By: Womack, Jim | July 14, 2003
Columns; eLetters
It amazes me, but I still get lots of questions about how “lean” compares with Six Sigma, Total Productive Maintenance, Business Process Re-engineering, Demand-Flow, the Theory of Constraints, and other approaches to improvement.    And I always give the same answer: At the end of the day we are all trying to achieve the same thing: The perfect value stream.    Here’s how I think about it. More »
Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Flow
By: Harris, Rick | December 1, 2001
Lean Enterprise Institute Author Rick Harris shares his insights for spotting "fake flow" and replacing it with real continuous flow. Reprinted with permission from December 2001 IIE Solutions magazine. Copyright 2001, Institute of Industrial Engineers. Follow-up resources: Read about the Creating Continuous Flow workbook. Check the Creating Continuous Flow workshop schedule. More »
Role of Management in a Lean Manufacturing Environment
By: Convis, Gary | July 2, 2001
Gary Convis, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, explains that the critical role of management in a lean company is to motivate and engage large numbers of people to work together toward a common goal. Defining and explaining the goal, how to achieve it, and helping people achieve it by removing obstacles "are management's reason for being," he tells SAE International. More »
Study of the Toyota Production System from an Industrial Eng. Viewpoint
By: Shigeo Shingo | March 1, 1989
Reading the original translation of this book was a right of passage for early lean thinkers, who referred to the language of the choppy Japanese translation as “Janglish.  ” Mercifully, this more recent translation is in English. More »
Designing the Future / Lean Product & Process Development, 2 Edition Book Set
A lean product and process development book set. More »