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Why Product Focus is Customer Focus
By: Jim Morgan | July 6, 2020
How can you know your entire organization is aligned around delivering best in class value to your customer? Your product gives you that focus, says LEI's Jim Morgan. In a piece reminiscent of upcoming VLX classes, he argues that your product is who you are as an enterprise; it’s your identity. More »
Why We Believe A Strong Customer Focus Is Needed To Drive A Lean Strategy
By: Lean Sensei Women | May 10, 2019
Is there any principle more core to the heart of lean than relentlessly focusing on the customer? In this collection of thoughts on the topic, seven lean sensei women explore how and why customer focus is at the heart of lean strategy. More »
Why You Need a Product Focus for an Enterprise Transformation: A Talk By Jim Morgan
By: Jim Morgan | March 16, 2020
In this talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. Click below to download the transcript of Jim's talk about why LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products. More »
WLEI: Why You Need A Product Focus for Enterprise Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 16, 2020
In his talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products, argues Morgan, who shares the following key ideas:People firstUnderstand—then executeDesign new value streamsCreate a framework of successConstantly learn and improveEstablish an effective management systemDownload a transcript of this talk here.  Read more from Jim by checking his previous articles:Creating New Value and A Lesson in FundamentalsAre You Building More »
My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality?
By: Michael Ballé | February 10, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality? More »
Ask Art: What Foundational Items Must I Be A Zealot About?
By: Art Byrne | September 18, 2019
Be a zealot on the foundational items such as 5S, visual management, and setup reduction, says Art Byrne, and your chances of succeeding with lean will greatly increase. More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
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 »
Lean Warehousing and Distribution Benefits Your Company, Customers, and Supply Chain
By: Vinas, Tonya | January 22, 2019
Lean warehousing sounds like an oxymoron. But in this interview, lean practitioner and Toyota veteran David Graham explains how lean concepts apply to warehouse and distribution processes along with the benefits you'll reap. More »
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
By: Richard Vellante | December 5, 2018
The executive chef at Legal Sea Foods explains how the restaurants are cutting lead times from fishing boat to your belly. More »
"Roll"-ing Out Lean at Kura Sushi
By: Katie Anderson | November 29, 2018
Self-professed "lean geek" Katie Anderson has eaten several meals at Kura Sushi restaurants and shares her observations on what she sees as lean principles at play More »
Ripe for Change: How a Half-Acre Farm Built on Lean Principles May Be Sowing Seeds of Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | October 31, 2018
Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Ben Hartman disrupted farming. Granted, not on the scale of the first three industries but the Indiana farmer, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation in our food system. More »
A Great Company Culture Takes Purpose
By: Tyler Schilling | September 12, 2018
If you’re determined to move your culture from good to great, listen to CEO Tyler Schilling as he describes two behaviors that, in his experience, are most effective. More »
From Port to Plate: How Legal Sea Foods Is Improving Through Lean
By: Lean Leaper | August 6, 2018
Legal Sea Foods is working with LEI to help launch a movement to change everything about the way traditional restaurants work. Legal, a family business founded in 1950, with more than 30 locations, has been working with LEI for the past four years to change the way restaurants work. In everything from greeting and seating guests to re-thinking how they organize their walk-in coolers and schedule shifts, lean is having a huge impact on everything it does. More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
By: Ben Hartman | February 6, 2018
Farming may be the next industry ripe for disruption. For example, Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. Today, applying lean principles, Hartman has a one-acre farm that is more productive and profitable than a five-acre spread. More »
The Lean Bakery: A Q&A with 365's Staff
By: Agus Tena and Leo Tena | November 16, 2017
In their first interview with The Lean Post, Leo and Agus Tena, children of the authors of the new LEI book "The Lean Bakery," describe some of the finer points of the transformation of their family's company Cafe365. More »
How Do You Know What Your Product or Service Needs to Be?
By: Katrina Appell | October 4, 2017
What does it take to know what your product or service needs to be? The obvious answer, it would seem, is whatever the customer wants. Katrina Appell explains why there's more to it than that. More »
When to Pull the Andon
By: Kelly Moore | August 1, 2017
Lost luggage is a traveler's nightmare. But for Kelly Moore, the nightmare got worse when her airline's baggage attendant couldn't pull the andon -- an action that could have fixed the problem on the spot. Kelly now reflects on this incident and how it made her reconsider the efficacy of her organization's andon systems. More »
Are You Prioritizing Efficiency Over Value?
By: Cameron Ford | May 18, 2017
A major element of lean is efficiency, but it's certainly not the ONLY element. While it may seem logical that customers value efficiency, an overreliance on speed can cripple the experience for them. Inspired by a rather painful experience at an orthopedic clinic, Cam Ford explores this further. More »
Shouldn't lean focus on solutions, rather than problems?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 4, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Why is lean so focused on problem solving? Isn’t seeing everything as a problem negative? Shouldn’t we focus on solutions instead? Wouldn’t that be more positive and more creative? More »
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
By: Tony Lamberton | April 20, 2017
Nearly eight years ago, headteacher Tony Lamberton of Christleton High School was struggling with poor reviews of his school. After reading and studying The Toyota Way, he launched an initiative to bring something brand new into his school’s operations: lean coaching. This is the story of that remarkable turnaround. More »
Ask Art: Is “We are customer-driven” a good lean strategy?
By: Art Byrne | February 2, 2017
Art Byrne is often asked if "customer-driven" is a good lean strategy. The answer is yes - as long as it's done right. Read more. More »
Question! Adapt? Question!
By: Joshua Rapoza | January 13, 2017
LEI's Customer Strategy Officer talks about his mistake of not asking enough questions and what he learned about passion overtaking reasonable thinking when it comes to the lean summit. More »
Are Your Processes REALLY People-Centric?
By: Kelly Moore | December 13, 2016
A process might look people-centric on paper, but the reality is often much different. Inspired by a half funny, half bemusing experience at an airport, Kelly Moore reflects on how to ensure that your processes are people-centric from the get-go. More »
How Do You REALLY Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes? A Q&A with Eric Ethington
By: Eric Ethington | November 8, 2016
The customer is king in lean. That's why it's critical to know their values, needs, interests, etc. in order to ensure your product has its niche. Some companies go further than others on this, often spending tens of millions of dollars to learn about their customers. Eric Ethington has a simpler way of getting to the root of your customer experience, and best of all, it doesn't have to break the bank. More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
By: Karen Gaudet | November 3, 2016
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility. More »
Start Up By Diving Deep
By: Jim Luckman and Durward Sobek | July 15, 2015
"The important thing is answering some fairly core questions about your business before spending time and money developing solutions," write Jim Luckman and Durward Sobek. "It’s a totally different way of working, which is why it’s so rare.  " More »
Lean Thinking in Construction: From “What” & “How” to “Why”?
By: Nick Masci | April 30, 2015
"Construction is fraught with conditions of poor quality, cost overruns, and late projects," says Nick Masci of Lean Construction Institute. And in trying to improve, many people fall into the trap of an over-reliance on “tools of waste elimination” rather than a broader, principle-based approach. Read what Masci and his team are doing to shift the field's thinking. More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
By: Brent Hostler | March 26, 2015
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants. More »
Understanding the True Cost of Care
By: Jordan Harmon | February 24, 2015
"Today, frontline clinicians are being asked to provide even more cost-efficient care to patients yet few understand how to do so," writes Jordan Harmon of the nonprofit Costs of Care. "There is a new focus on efficiency in treatment options and today’s patients are more cost savvy than their predecessors. We must ensure value while reducing costs and improving quality outcomes.  " More »
Defining LEI’s Customer: Understanding Your Real Problems & Needs
By: Joshua Rapoza | February 20, 2015
"Our customer is part of everything we do, but defining them and their needs… well, it’s like describing the air you breathe," writes Josh Rapoza. "It requires stepping back from the day-to-day work and slowing down to [ask] who exactly our customer is now, if and how they’ve changed.  ..  " Read more. More »
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