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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
Columns
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 »
Who Cares? How to Engage Your People in Sustained Lean
By: Joanna McGuffey and Thomas Richert | December 3, 2020
Columns
If we want people to adopt lean practices because they will then be able to be more effective at work, then we must show them how these practices help them with their journey and stop talking about our journey, argue Joanna McGuffey and Tom Richert. More »
Exploring the Technical and Nontechnical Challenges of Being a Chief Engineer, A Candid Conversation with Two CEs
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 31, 2020
Articles
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
Events
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 »
What's different about implementing lean in a low-volume, high-variety environment?
By: Michael Ballé | April 8, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I manage a plant that makes highly engineered, low-volume products. What do I have to do differently from the high-volume guys to implement lean management concepts? More »
Is value engineering just about cutting costs?
By: Michael Ballé | March 4, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My boss has hired a consultant to do value engineering, who has us looking for design opportunities to reduce the costs of components and materials – is that it? More »
2019 Designing the Future Summit
September 26, 2018
Events
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 »
Toyota chief engineers have no power? Really?
By: Michael Ballé | April 30, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We often hear that Toyota chief engineers have no power. Really? So how does that work? Why such an organization? What problem does it solve? More »
2018 Designing the Future Summit
January 25, 2018
Events
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 »
How important is it to consider differences in roles between our current project manager and a chief engineer?
By: Michael Ballè | June 6, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Management wants us to start lean in product development, but refuses to consider the difference in roles between our current project manager and a chief engineer – how important is that? More »
How do you introduce visual management into a product development facility?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 21, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: What steps do you start with to introduce visual management into a product development facility? More »
What do you actually do on the gemba?
By: Ballé, Michael | November 4, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: What is it you actually do on the gemba? More »
I want to apply lean to engineering. Any thoughts?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 4, 2014
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I am the regional manufacturing VP of a large industrial company. After the latest reorganization, engineering now comes under me. I’ve had good success with lean in manufacturing and want to apply it to engineering. I plan to get engineers to solve production problems faster. Any thoughts? More »
Is there such a thing as lean manufacturing engineering?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 4, 2013
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I keep reading about lean engineering and lean design. Is there lean manufacturing engineering? More »
Why isn’t there more emphasis on lean engineering?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 17, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Why isn’t there more emphasis on lean engineering? More »
Should I Use Lean for Headcount Reduction?
By: Ballé, Michael | April 10, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My company wants to reduce its fixed costs. And as part of this my management has asked me to apply the lean techniques we’ve implemented in production to reduce headcount in engineering. I’m uneasy about doing this and wondered where I can find out more about lean in engineering departments. More »
Engineering Checklists
By: Balle, Michael | October 20, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: How do I apply standardized work to product development? More »
Leadership Q&A: Robert Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc: “Guiding Principles of Leadership”
By: Marchwinski, Chet | July 11, 2011
Articles
Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc. CEO Robert Chapman describes how the company's Guiding Principles of Leadership merge with lean thinking at this $1.  1 billion global manufacturer of capital equipment and provider of engineering consulting More »
Where to Start in Engineering
By: Balle, Michael | June 15, 2010
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m in charge of the engineering department in our company and the CEO has asked me to start with lean. I’ve been reading the books and it seems very complicated and geared towards much bigger outfits than ours. I’m at a loss as where to start in practice – any advice? 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 »
Gemba-Based Leadership – Not Just for Chief Engineers
By: Shook, John | February 10, 2009
Columns; eLetters
John Shook on gemba-based leadership More »
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
By: Shook, John | February 3, 2009
Columns; eLetters
Last week I shared this principle quoted from an unexpected source, the U.  S. Marine Leadership Manual: "An individual's responsibility for leadership is not dependent on authority.  " I'll use that as our point of departure this week to continue with my thesis that the deep-rooted assumption that authority should equal responsibility is the root of much organizational evil. More »
Lean Thinking for a Flat World
By: Womack, Jim | May 22, 2007
Presentations
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 »
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
Articles
 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
Articles
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
Articles
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 »
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