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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Jidoka:   Providing machines and operators the ability to detect when an abnormal condition has occurred and immediately stop work. This enables operations to build in quality at each process and to separate men and machines for more efficient work. Jidoka is one of the two pillars of the Toyota Production System along with just-in-time.  Jidoka highlights the causes of problems because work stops immediately when a problem first occurs. This leads to improvements in the processes that build in quality by eliminating the root causes of defects.  Jidoka sometimes is called autonomation, meaning automation with human intelligence. This is because it More »
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | October 27, 2016
Columns
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product have the means and mindset to be constantly vigilant for what is okay and what is not. By attacking waste at the source, jidoka starkly contrasts with an unfortunately-too-common approach of hiding flaws, passing them down the line, and relying on someone else to fix problems far from their source.  " 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 »
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 »
Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing?
By: Michael Ballé | February 3, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing? More »
Can lean management help with toxic managers?
By: Michael Ballé | November 25, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Can lean management help with toxic managers? More »
Isn’t flow the ultimate aim of lean?
By: Michael Ballé | November 4, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Isn’t flow the ultimate aim of lean? More »
How do I practice lean when I don't feel a strong attachment to my knowledge worker team?
By: Michael Ballé | March 25, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do I practice lean consistently when I don't feel a strong attachment to my team? We do "knowledge work" and are rarely together in the same room.    Meetings never follow a standard format--nor regular cadence. 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 »
7 Elements of Quality on the Shop Floor
By: Andrew Quibell | November 28, 2017
Columns
"How do you lean out a quality approach that can work on the shop floor (maybe even compatible in a healthcare environment as well)?" people often ask Andrew Quibell. "How does it look? What should you include?" Read more. More »
The Hidden Waste in Inspection
By: Andrew Quibell | June 29, 2016
Columns
When looking for areas of muda, your inspection department probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. But you may be surprised to find out that inspection is waste by its very nature. In his third installment of his series on areas of waste in manufacturing, Andrew Quibell breaks down this problem and illustrates the true solution to eliminating defects. More »
Think Like Judoka
By: Joel Gross | March 27, 2014
Columns
"Resistance in an organization can be a daunting foe to even the most highly skilled Lean practitioners," writes Joel Gross. We can overcome it, however, if we think like judoka. What parallels do you see between Lean and the martial art of judo? 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 »
Are You Pulling?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 25, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We’ve made a substantial effort in training all our operators to standardized work (SW) by deploying Training Within Industry(TWI) principles across all our sites. While we’ve had some good results, the level of discipline on SW is disappointing, and many cells are producing well below target cycle time. Do you have any pointers for us? More »
Gold Mine, The (audiobook)
By: Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé | November 9, 2010
Audio; Books
An unabridged audio version of The Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround, a Shingo Research Prize recipient in 2006.    More »
Gold Mine, The (eBook)
By: Ballé, Freddy and Michael Ballé | January 12, 2010
Books
The Gold Mine deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that readers will find both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and Michael Ballé have produced the first integrated and systematic approach to a set of ideas that have maximized value and minimized waste throughout the world. More »
Dentist Drills Down to the Root Causes of Office Waste
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 7, 2007
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
Applying lean concepts to dentistry isn't as difficult as, well, pulling teeth. Dr. Sami Bahri, driven by a gut feeling that the traditional method of managing a dental office could be improved dramatically, educated himself and his staff in the concepts, validated the approach in pilot projects, then transformed his office. His journey just might transform the way you look at a dentist's office. (The Seven Wastes entry in the short Glossary at the end of the story has examples from Bahri's staff.  ) More »
What I've Learned About Planning and Execution
By: Womack, Jim | December 14, 2006
Columns; eLetters
By the time I founded the Lean Enterprise Institute in mid-1997, I had been thinking for years about how organizations prioritize and plan. And I had carefully read the policy deployment (hoshin kanri) literature emerging from Japan since the 1970s. So I thought it would be easy to develop and implement both a long-range and a one-year plan.  I asked my friend Pat Lancaster (then the Chairman of Lantech, the subject of Chapter 6 of my and Dan Jones’s Lean Thinking) to come to Boston to help us as a facilitator. Our whole team set out with great energy and More »
Sell One, Buy One, Make One: Transforming from Conventional to Lean Distribution
By: Chet Marchwinski | December 8, 2006
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
Big batches. Long lead times. Infrequent deliveries. Large inventories to cover fluctuations in demand. These aren't characteristics normally attributed to lean paragon Toyota, but they once accurately described the automaker's service parts distribution system -- but no more. More »
The Gold Mine
By: Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé | May 9, 2005
Books
A growing number of successful companies are turning to lean thinking to maintain a competitive edge in a global economy of falling prices, rising quality, and relentless competition. Yet while there are many excellent resources that teach both the tools and principles, no single book addresses what might be the most important lean discipline of all—the human challenge of creating and sustaining the commitment of the people doing the work.  The Gold Mine deftly weaves together the technical and human pieces of implementing lean manufacturing in an engaging story that readers will find both compelling and instructive. Authors Freddy and More »
Toothbrush Plant Reverses Decay in Competitiveness
By: Chet Marchwinski | December 16, 2004
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
Faced with competition from plants in China and Mexico, Oral-B's Iowa City plant was slated for closure. But the rapid introduction of a lean system, beginning with just-in-time production and pull, saved it by reducing lead times and inventory to cut costs while augmenting the plant’s advantage in service. More »
Deconstructing the Tower of Babel
By: Womack, Jim | October 7, 2004
Columns; eLetters
Seventeen years ago, in my office at MIT, I witnessed a magic moment when a new term was born.    We were getting ready to publish the first article on the findings of the International Motor Vehicle Program and we needed a label to describe the phenomenon we were observing in our study of Toyota.  After trying out a lot of terms that didn’t seem quite right, John Krafcik, one of our young researchers, suggested that we name the system -- including its design, production, purchasing, and customer service elements -- for what it does.  So we wrote on a More »
The Anatomy of Innovation
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 8, 2004
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside enjoys a reputation for innovation, due, in part, to its recognition that finding and fixing broken processes is integral to healing. In this story, we examine the structure of Shadyside’s approach to process improvement, which has drawn on principles of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean thinking, since 2001. More »
Lean Transformation Lives and Dies With Tools and Dies
By: Chet Marchwinski | March 30, 2004
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
The story of The Wiremold Company's lean transformation is familiar to many Lean Thinkers. But what isn't as well known is how the company transformed tool maintenance, design, and fabrication processes to create a solid foundation for a second try at just-in-time production.    More »
VSM Getting Started Set
By: Lean Enterprise Institute, Mike Rother, John Shook
Books; Training Packages
We’ve combined 4 of our most popular products into 1 good deal on the essential materials for value-stream mapping. More »