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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Just-in-Time Production:   A system of production that makes and delivers just what is needed, just when it is needed, and just in the amount needed. JIT and jidoka are the two pillars of the Toyota Production System. JIT relies on heijunka as a foundation and is comprised of three operating elements: the pull system, takt time, and continuous flow.  JIT aims for the total elimination of all waste to achieve the best possible quality, lowest possible cost and use of resources, and the shortest possible production and delivery lead times. Although simple in principle, JIT demands discipline for effective implementation.  The idea More »
Lean Enterprise Institute Responds to The Wall Street Journal's Mischaracterization of Just-in-Time
August 31, 2020
Articles
A message from LEI to the Lean Community  More »
LEI Responds to The Wall Street Journal's Mischaracterization of Just-in-Time
By: Lean Leaper | August 31, 2020
Columns
LEI's response to the August 21 Wall Street Journal article that mischaracterized Just-in-TIme. More »
Pivoting Just-In-Time with Hoshin Kanri at Toyota
By: Mark Reich | May 26, 2020
Articles; eLetters
Learn about the power of hoshin kanri, a systematic approach to defining a strategy and, more importantly, a management system that engages all people to support that strategy while building horizontal and vertical alignment. More »
The Sanity of Just-in-Time
By: Michael Ballé, Jacques Chaize and Dan Jones | May 8, 2020
Columns
Path dependence is the worst enemy of smart resolution, argue the authors, who suggest greater "frame control" with enabling tools such as just-in-time to respect people on the frontline and respect the facts they share about what is happening to them. "Mastering the path as opposed to being led by it, means looking up frequently to reevaluate both destination and way as new information comes to light.  " More »
Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time?
By: Michael Ballé | September 23, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  This is 2019. Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time by now? More »
It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol'-fashioned just-in-time stuff of the earlier days?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 2, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol'-fashioned just-in-time stuff of the earlier days? More »
Even in a Topsy-Turvy World, Just-in-Time Supply Works
By: Womack, James and Jones, Daniel; | October 29, 2001
Articles
By James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Reprinted with permission from Automotive News, October 29, 2001. Read commentary by Jim Womack and Dan Jones about how to make just-in-time supply chains work in today's security-conscious world. More »
It's Time to See JIT as A Hero Rather than A Villain
By: Ken Eakin | April 8, 2021
Columns
Lean and JIT production have never been the primary causes of materials in the world's supply chains reported over the past year, says Ken Eakin. He explains the true nature of JIT and suggests that it can in fact support powerful solutions that are far more resilient and efficient than we have today. More »
Remembering Norman Bodek, the “Miraculous Life” of an Author, Teacher, and Publisher of Groundbreaking Business Books
By: Chet Marchwinski | December 16, 2020
Columns
Called “Mr. Productivity” and the “Godfather of Lean,” Norman Bodek began 41 years ago translating and publishing groundbreaking books by the Japanese managers who had developed what would come to be called lean management. He died December 9, 2020, age 88. More »
Ask Art: Why Does Setup Time Reduction Matter So Much?
By: Art Byrne | June 17, 2020
Columns
Setup reduction is a necessary step to go from traditional management to lean--or said another way, from batch to flow and from push to pull. According to Art Byrne, reducing this time may sound like some “manufacturing thing” but is in fact one of the most strategic things you can do. More »
The Post COVID Crisis Supply Chain: a Time to Rise (Part 2)
By: Robert Martichenko | April 20, 2020
Columns
In a two-part call to action, LeanCor Supply Chain Group CEO Robert Martichenko says that now is the time for public and private sector leaders to develop a post-pandemic supply chain, a “one team-one system” fulfillment stream for producing and delivering lifesaving supplies to the right places, in the right quantities, at the right times. More »
The Post COVID Crisis Supply Chain: a Time to Rise (Part 1)
By: Robert Martichenko | April 17, 2020
Columns
In a two-part call to action, LeanCor Supply Chain Group CEO Robert Martichenko says that now is the time for public and private sector leaders to develop a post-pandemic supply chain, a “one team-one system” fulfillment stream for producing and delivering lifesaving supplies to the right places, in the right quantities, at the right times. More »
WLEI: Lean in the Time of Coronavirus
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 9, 2020
Audio
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Lean in the Time of Coronavirus, A Chat With Jim Womack
March 9, 2020
Articles
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Are morning team huddles that go on forever a waste of time?
By: Michael Ballé | January 20, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Our company has made morning team huddles mandatory. I don't see how that helps. On my team, huddles seem to go on forever and feel like a waste of time. Are they? More »
Time To Make Time
By: John Shook | January 17, 2020
Columns
When the people in a lean system don't value time, everyone is cheated, says John Shook, in this fascinating reflection on the role that time plays in a close observation of work. 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 »
How do I start to learn "real lean" when my company practices "fake lean"?
By: Michael Ballé | January 21, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I understand now there is “real lean” and “fake lean.  ” I suspect my company has been practicing fake lean all these years. If I wanted to learn real lean, where should I start? More »
How do you apply takt time to service work?
By: Michael Ballé | December 3, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: How do you apply takt time in fields like services where customer demand is not known? More »
Ask Art: Why Do I Need to Switch From Batch to Flow?
By: Art Byrne | April 12, 2018
Columns
Moving from batch to flow reveals the waste in your processes and simplifies your work at a systems level, says Art Byrne. It creates simplicity, and a productive tension to deal with problems as they occur, as well as other strategic benefits. More »
Is kanban relevant to office work?
By: Michael Balle | March 19, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I understand that kanban is an important part of lean, but I work in an office environment, and it’s hard to see how production orders on cardboard cards relate to improving project management – what am I missing? More »
How do I convince management to run to takt time, not as fast as possible?
By: Ballé, Michael | January 31, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I have always struggled with convincing management about the importance of running to takt time, since the mindset is typically run as fast as possible.    How would you address this issue with management? More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
By: Michael Ballé | December 16, 2015
Columns
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter.  " Read more. More »
What is the lean approach to quality – is that what six sigma is all about?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 7, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m a frequent reader of your columns and you always seem to emphasize quality first, but I can’t find many books detailing a lean approach to quality – is this what six sigma is about? More »
Why you can't convince your boss to support lean activities, unless ...
By: Ballé, Michael | November 16, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba  Coach: I work as a deployment champion in a manufacturing company, but I don’t have the support of my managers because they don´t believe in the lean methodology. Which lean tools can be used to help them believe? More »
How can I tell if people “get” lean thinking; what signs should I look for?
By: Ballé, Michael | June 29, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been training teams to do lean, intensively at first, and with paced-out coaching later. How do I know if they “get it”? What should I be looking for in behavior change? At what point should they be autonomous? More »
New Year’s Reflection
By: John Shook | January 15, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Happy New Year! Even if you are not one of those who makes New Year’s resolutions the new year is surely a good time for reflection. Lean thinkers conduct specific reflection after completing each activity. The transition to a new calendar year is an excellent occasion for general reflection, for asking: “how are things going?” More »
Show Up On Time (And Other Instructions from a Cook)
By: Matt LeVeque | September 30, 2014
Columns
Lean practitioner Matt LeVeque reflects on the concepts of 5S, (JIT) Just-in-Time, and "respect for people" throughout history. More »
“How ThedaCare Created Its Own Management System”, Follow-Up Q&A
By: Barnas, Kim | June 2, 2014
Articles
Kim Barnas, author of Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare, answers questions that we couldn't get to during the hour-long webinar on how to create a lean management system at a healthcare organization. More »
Follow-up Q & A to the Webinar “Getting to Everyday Improvement: How to Connect the Science and Culture of Problem Solving”
By: Worth, Judy and Keyte, Beau | March 28, 2013
Articles; Videos and Webinars
A follow-up Q&A with presenters Judy Worth and Beau Keyte for the Lean Enterprise Institute's webinar on Getting to Everyday Improvement. More »
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