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Using Lean Thinking to Create an “Emergency Management System”
By: Alice Lee | June 23, 2020
Articles; eLetters
The Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) demonstrates how one organization with scarce resources can respond to a problem as daunting as a global pandemic using the same know-how and thinking -- lean thinking -- they have used to solve many problems over the years.   More »
The Formula for a Successful Management System: LB * OS = MS
By: Jim Morgan | May 31, 2018
Columns
In order to reap the benefits of an effective management system it is important that the operating system and leadership behaviors be aligned and consistent, argues Jim Morgan. More »
Seeing the Work of a Daily Management System
By: Michael Ballé | April 18, 2018
Columns
Daily management systems tap visual elements that expose problems, and also use obeyas as thinking spaces for reflecting on broader challenges, says Michael Balle. More »
Does implementing lean mean creating a lean management system?
By: Michael Ballè | December 19, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My understanding is that implementing lean means setting up a lean management system. You seem to disagree. Would you explain? More »
Lean Management System
Workshops
This one-day course is an overview of the elements that comprise the Lean Management System and an examination of how they work together to create a system of continuous improvement through collaborative problem solving. More »
People Systems: A Component of the Lean Management System
Workshops
This two day course is a critical examination of the policies, practices, and systems that incent the work force to behave in a predictable manner consistent with desired outcomes. It also deals with methods of realigning those incentives to encourage the behaviors we seek in a Lean thinking organization. More »
The Second P in LPPD: Why the Future is About Lean Product and Process Development
By: Lean Leaper | September 11, 2020
Columns
Jim Womack, speaking at the Designing the Future summit in 2019, describes the thinking behind lean product and process development -- and why it's the future of lean thinking & practice. More »
Jim Womack Shares a Future-Focused Reflection on 'Machine'
By: Roberto Priolo | September 3, 2020
Columns
Jim Womack shares a future-focused, humble reflection of the groundbreaking book he co-authored with Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos, The Machine that Changed the World, during its 30 Anniversary. More »
Enduring Lessons from The Birth of Lean
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 26, 2020
Columns
Lean was never conceived as a new and comprehensive system designed to replace conventional enterprise. Rather, as shown in The Birth of Lean, it evolved over years, and then decades, to become what we know it as today. More »
Learning to Face Challenges with Agility and Resilience
By: Steven Spear | June 26, 2020
Columns
In this excerpt from his book The High-Velocity Edge, Steven Spear explains how Toyota managed to adapt quickly to a catastrophic fire at one of its suppliers. He emphasizes that the company's internal qualities can benefit all companies seeking to be responsive to today's challenges. More »
Ask Art: What Do You Focus on When Assessing the Potential Gains From Converting to Lean?
By: Art Byrne | April 16, 2020
Columns
Lean veteran Art Byrne shares the key areas to look at for gains to be realized from lean: focus on sales growth as the result of shorter lead times (lean is a time-based growth strategy), margin growth, inventory turns, doubling sales per employee and freeing up 50% or so of your floor space. More »
Standardization Can Set You Free
By: Karen Gaudet | February 21, 2020
Columns
It is only through actually standardizing the routine work elements by applying a common method of thinking, that enables true problem solving and drives innovation. Along the journey to standardizing the work as a leader you are faced to grapple with preconceived notions and urban legends that likely have long caused struggle for your team. More »
The Power of Inspiration
By: Paige Henry | October 23, 2019
Columns
Lean thinker Paige Henry shares a call to action: let’s get our leaders and people to realize “it’s about the think” to prevent problems happening in the first place, and when they do, that we need to enable them to think of multiple countermeasures rather than going with the solution that “they’ve seen/used a million times before.  ” More »
How Hoshin Kanri Aligns Your Key Organizational Systems
By: Mark Reich | October 16, 2019
Columns
Think of hoshin (strategy alignment) like the human body, argues Mark Reich: The body needs a strong skeletal structure (hoshin) to hold it together (just like an organization). But a body can’t move effectively if its muscles (continuous improvement) are not kept active and developed as well. More »
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say Run Your Company On Your Operational Excellence Goals?
By: Art Byrne | August 28, 2019
Columns
The Lean company competes on its operational excellence goals, says Art Byrne. These stretch goals must be aggressive in nature and deployed down to every person in the company so that they all are focusing on hitting these goals every day. More »
Learning the Social and Technical Aspects of Lean on the Kentucky Lean Leadership Tour
By: Lean Leaper | August 23, 2019
Columns
Why join the upcoming US Learning Tour in Kentucky? This interview between Josh Howell, John Shook and Jamie Bonini discusses why this tour will help people understand the Toyota Production System as an organizational culture of highly engaged people, solving problems or innovating to drive performance. More »
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
By: Jean Cunningham | July 31, 2019
Columns
There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the business. In this summary of key points from The Birth of Lean, LEI Chair Jean Cunningham shares insights from her reading of the book, and invites you to share thoughts as well. More »
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
By: Art Byrne | July 17, 2019
Columns
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing where the biggest resistance will come from, however should help you focus your early efforts and smooth your Lean turnaround. More »
What Do Sensei Actually Do?
By: Dan Jones | May 31, 2019
Columns
What do lean sensei do? Take you to the gemba, discuss what the real challenges are, prescribe exercises, teach PDCA, and push you to the next step, argue the authors of the new book The Lean Sensei. More »
The Remarkable Chief Engineer
By: John Y. Shook | May 22, 2019
Columns
How can a system in which "we are all connected and no one is in charge" support purposeful and productive work? Toyota's famed Chief Engineer system has much to offer in this regard. John Shook explores how the leadership styles of, and ways of working by, the CE might provide something of a roadmap for all of us. More »
What Do Managers Do?
By: Matthew Savas | April 10, 2019
Columns
After walking the gemba with sensei Hideshi Yokoi, Matt Savas learned three basic agreements between workers and management, and shared his discovery that a production analysis board is a figurative and literal social contract that binds management and workers together. More »
Ask Art: Why Focus on Why When Doing A Lean Turnaround?
By: Art Byrne | April 8, 2019
Columns
In switching to lean, understanding the WHY is the most important thing, argues Art Byrne. It helps people overcome their traditional beliefs about how something can be done. It is in essence the strategy of the business; removing the waste from your operations in order to deliver more value to the customer. More »
Flaatnes Elektro-Mek Reveals How Double Loop Learning Supports Lean Thinking and Practice
By: Daryl Powell and Eivind Reke | February 11, 2019
Columns
Every experience is a learning experience. However, we tend to only experience single-loop learning where we reaffirm what we already think is true. Lean gives us a framework to challenge our beliefs and assumptions and create double-loop learning situations through concrete experiments, and often real-time feedback from the real world. More »
What If Elon Musk Took Manufacturing Cars Seriously?
By: Jeffrey Liker | February 6, 2019
Columns
Jeff Liker asks of Tesla: What if it took Toyota’s help seriously in learning basic manufacturing before undertaking disruptive technology change? What if Tesla built in quality and did not have to rebuild most Model 3s to get quality right? What if Tesla took manufacturing and logistics seriously and was as good at execution as it was at product ideation? More »
People First Leadership: A Conversation by Jim Morgan with Alan Mulally
By: Jim Morgan | January 29, 2019
Columns
Alan Mulally is a brilliant engineer who led historic transformations as CEO of Boeing Commercial and then Ford Motor Company. But just as important as what he accomplished, is how he accomplished it. His people first, inclusive approach to leadership not only created great products and successful companies, but also created an organization people wanted to be a part of. More »
Ask Art: How Do I Get the Senior Management Team On Board with Lean?
By: Art Byrne | December 10, 2018
Columns
Lean requires teamwork, and so getting your senior management team on board requires a great deal of work, including new mindsets, exposure to lean practice, and shifts in everything from how sales are conducted to how team leaders lead at the gemba, says Art Byrne. More »
Workers Unite for Better
By: Josh Howell | October 8, 2018
Columns
The local strike by hospitality workers in Boston has led Josh Howell to contrast this situation with the lean culture at Dreamplace Hotels and Resorts in Tenerife, where front-line workers produce and socialize beautifully messy A3-sized papers sharing ideas for improvements. More »
The Escalator of Issues
By: James P. Womack | September 7, 2018
Columns
A daily management system with daily performance metrics gives caregivers the sense that managers are really paying attention, that problems really are being addressed, and that over time this will mean stability and a lower level of stress for all staff, says Jim Womack. More »
Avoiding Dashboard Wallpaper
By: Leslie Barker | September 6, 2018
Columns
Build a system of dashboards up and down the organization, says Leslie Barker. Connect them so ideas flow upward and support flows to the idea. It’s a bit tricky setting up dashboards that summarize the performance and capture the critical ideas of many departments below, but it can be done through trial and error. More »
React Less and Improve More by Using SPC More Effectively
By: Mark Graban | August 14, 2018
Columns
When we stop reacting to “noise” in a metric, we can better focus our improvement efforts, waste less time, and improve more, says Mark Graban. That should all be a core principle of Lean management that can help leaders in any setting. More »
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