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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Obeya:   Obeya in Japanese means simply “big room.  ” At Toyota it has become a major project-management tool, used especially in product development, to enhance effective and timely communication. Similar in concept to traditional “war rooms,” an obeya will contain highly visual charts and graphs depicting program timing, milestones and progress to date, and countermeasures to existing timing or technical problems. Project leaders will have desks in the obeya as will others at appropriate points in the program timing. The purpose is to ensure project success and shorten the PDCA cycle. More »
How A Virtual Obeya Can Enable Effective Teamwork
By: Katrina Appell | April 9, 2020
Columns
As we are working socially distanced apart we need to create systems that enable us to effectively enable people to collaborate together to solve problems, says Katrina Appel. Here she details effective ways to use a virtual obeya. More »
What are the key factors within an obeya room?
By: Michael Ballé | June 10, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, On YouTube and in books there is a lot about A3 storyboards. Did you ever see them used to share people's plans and check whether countermeasures were effective? Also, what do you think are the key ingredients/factors within an obeya? More »
How Obeya Improved Our Product Development Efforts
By: Andy Houk | August 15, 2017
Columns
As a followup to John Drogosz's piece on the stages of obeya from last week, Andy Houk, a client of John's at TechnipFMC, discusses how an obeya room that John helped them set up affects their work today. More »
Developing Your Obeya, Stage-by-Stage
By: John Drogosz | August 2, 2017
Columns
In his years as a LPPD coach, John Drogosz has seen that "most teams do go through several stages of evolution before obeya becomes an embedded ritual.  " Find out what they are. More »
Inside the Lean Transformation Summit Obeya
By: Joshua Rapoza | October 28, 2014
Columns
Josh Rapoza, Customer Strategy Officer at LEI, breaks down the 2015 Lean Transformation Summit process and shares his story of building the Summit obeya room. More »
“Too much, Too early” and other Common Pitfalls of Lean Product Development
By: Eric Ethington, Chet Marchwinski and Matt Zayko | June 29, 2020
Columns
Veteran product development coaches Eric Ethington and Matt Zayko provide insights about the most common mistakes they see companies make when implementing Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD). More »
Exploring the Technical and Nontechnical Challenges of Being a Chief Engineer, a Candid Conversation with Two CEs (Part 2)
By: Chet Marchwinski | June 8, 2020
Columns
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 »
Exploring the Technical and Nontechnical Challenges of Being a Chief Engineer, A Candid Conversation with Two CEs (Part 1)
By: Chet Marchwinski | June 1, 2020
Columns
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 »
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 »
What do I do when key logistics employees are afraid to come to work? 
By: Michael Ballé | March 23, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, What do I do when key logistics employees are afraid to come to work?  More »
Grit, PDCA, Lean and other four-letter words
By: Josh Howell | December 10, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of what author Angela Duckworth calls Grit. She defines grit as a sort of mash-up between passion and perseverance. What I’ve been thinking about is the way that grit overlaps with lean thinking and the sustained work of applying PDCA over many cycles over a sustained period of time. More »
Join the Conversation and Stop the Rework
By: Jim Womack | May 9, 2019
Columns; eLetters
In the spring of 1997, as I was starting the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, I visited a company that I hoped would be a founding sponsor. I explained to the senior leadership that a lean enterprise was far more than a brilliant production organization, as had they assumed. It was also a brilliant product development organization including a brilliant production process design team. More »
How can I help middle managers handle contradictory instructions from top management?
By: Michael Ballé | April 22, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  As a lean coach, how can I help middle-managers who are faced with contradictory instructions from top management? 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 »
What do you do when your advice is wrong?
By: Michael Ballé | December 24, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  How do you handle it when you find out you’ve been wrong; when you’ve advised people to do something that you later discover wasn’t right? More »
Designing the Future
By: James M. Morgan, Jeffrey K. Liker | October 26, 2018
Books
Morgan and Liker go beyond broad generalizations on how to “be innovative” and dig deeper into the theoretical bedrock and concrete development practices that are generating exceptional results at pioneering LPPD companies. Examples in the book show specifically how companies are redesigning product development systems to consistently design and deliver a progression of market-leading products and services.    More »
Will changing the standard for supervisors' morning gemba walks make them pay more attention?
By: Michael Ballé | September 24, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  We have a standard gemba walk for supervisors to check their areas every morning. I’ve noticed that after a while, they tick the box without really looking. Should I change the standard? 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 »
Question! Adapt? Question!
By: Joshua Rapoza | January 13, 2017
Columns
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 »
Lean Business-IT Integration, Part Five: Measurement - Finding Our True North
By: Bell, Steve | November 8, 2012
Articles
In the fifth article of a five-part series on Lean IT, LEI faculty member Steve Bell addresses measurement. Part One begins with the importance of lean business-IT integration. Part Two offers help with the common obstacles to a lean IT transformation. Part Three examines how to integrate the various IT communities. And Part Four examines leadership and IT governance. More »
Nice Car, Long Journey
By: Womack, Jim | June 6, 2008
Columns; eLetters; Images
2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Model T Ford. This truly is “the machine that changed the world”, even if the title of a 1990 book might suggest otherwise! Nearly 16 million copies were built over 19 years of production as the world was motorized.  The Model T in many ways marks the beginning of the lean era. So I recently decided I should go to Detroit and learn to drive a Model T. I was pretty sure that I could do it – my father learned to drive on a Model T in 1918 when More »
Kaizen or Rework?
By: Womack, Jim | August 22, 2007
Columns; eLetters
I recently visited a contract electronics manufacturer with a striking capacity for kaizen – the steady improvement of every step along its key value streams. Dozens of kaizen events were being performed across the company to eliminate wasted steps and to remedy quality, availability, adequacy, and flexibility problems in each value stream. At the same time, kaizen teams were trying to speed continuous flow and to perfect pull systems when flow was not possible.  The managers were pleased with their work and I had to admire both their technical skills and their enthusiasm for rapid improvement involving the employees touching More »
Designing the Future: A Lean Product Development Immersive Learning Experience
Workshops
This two day workshop is targeted towards practitioners with an immersive experience applying LPPD principles while developing a product. Since LPPD is an enterprise activity, managers, leaders and continuous improvement agents in an organization are encouraged to attend. More »