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Long Live Process Improvement?
By: Greg Lane | July 31, 2013
Columns
For many beginner practitioners, Lean seems like just another "flavor of the month" program. If it isn't communicated and taught well, Lean can be exactly this. In his first article for The Lean Post, LEI faculty member Greg Lane offers specific recommendations on how to avoid this pitfall and make Lean accessible and useful to all. More »
Pi-Day, Robots, and the Joy of Making Things
By: Jim Morgan and Mary Morgan | February 18, 2019
Columns
To mark Engineers Week, Feb. 18-23, we’re reprising a story about celebrating Pi Day by Jim and Mary Morgan, a self-described “geek couple.  ” And we’re offering 25% off on Jim’s new book, Designing the Future. Read the story to get the discount code. More »
A Small Amount of Time Can Yield Big Results
By: Jean Cunningham | February 15, 2019
Columns
Four minutes, well focused, can be a long time, notes Jean Cunningham. Without competing distractions, many words can be spoken, absorption of new info happens, and a good deal can be accomplished. We found we actually got more done by getting clear on our focus and our timeframe. More »
Good Night Sweethearts
By: Bruce Hamilton | February 14, 2019
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On this Valentine's Day, GBMP President Bruce Hamilton laments this year's lack of Sweetheart Candies, reflecting that, "NECCO, like General Motors had failed to understand what Shigeo Shingo called 'the most basic concept in the Toyota Production System,' the cost subtraction principle. More »
4 Actions that Solved My Lean Management Identity Crisis
By: Mike Orzen | February 13, 2019
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Mike Orzen had lean management down cold – or so he thought. After all, he makes a living teaching it to managers and executives. But when he personally used a lean tool such as an A3 report, he’d catch himself distractedly going through the steps then jumping ahead to a preconceived countermeasure. Watch his candid account of what he did to refocus his mind when applying lean principles. More »
Flaatnes Elektro-Mek Reveals How Double Loop Learning Supports Lean Thinking and Practice
By: Daryl Powell and Eivind Reke | February 11, 2019
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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 »
Ask Art: How Should I Re-invest the Gains from Kaizen?
By: Art Byrne | February 8, 2019
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Becoming lean through using kaizen activity allows you to remove a great deal of waste and deliver value to your customers, shares Art Byrne. If you do the right things with the excess resources you free up, you can then leverage your gains far more dramatically. Don’t waste the gains. More »
What If Elon Musk Took Manufacturing Cars Seriously?
By: Jeffrey Liker | February 6, 2019
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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 »
Building a Lean Culture at Turner Construction: A Talk with SVP Charlie Murphy
By: Charlie Murphy | February 5, 2019
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"Whether it’s safety, quality, production system, to me it just makes sense for us to contribute to the improvement of the whole industry," says Turner Construction SVP Charlie Murphy. "If we can develop a lean culture here at Turner and move from workarounds to resolving the right problems as they occur, we will become a better company and the industry will have to get better, too.  " More »
Improving Engagement One Kaizen at a Time
By: Crystal Davis | February 4, 2019
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Engaging the employees at all levels with a clear and realistic understanding of how they inspire, drive and support getting people involved in meaningful work is the best way to show respect, argues lean coach Crystal Davis. More »
Is Lean Thinking Art or Science? Yes
By: John Y. Shook | January 31, 2019
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Calling the recent book Lean Conversations a landmark initiative on lean and the arts, John Shook observes that "If Jean Cocteau’s famous observation that 'art is science made clear' has meaning, we can all benefit from further exploration of the relationship between lean thinking and art & science.  " 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 »
Cultivating Intuition at the Gemba
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | January 28, 2019
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Our trainers conditioned us to water the seed of experience and use it not just to fire-fight but rather be more predictive and value add with our time and how we taught others. We encourage each person to learn to trust their intuition enough to see through the process each day to ensure the purpose and accountability for standards and why we have them is known and bought into, not just a suggestion to do. More »
And Now For Something Completely...Lean
By: Brent Wahba | January 25, 2019
Columns
Lean practice is no joke, argues Brent Wahba. And yet he draws lessons from great comedy to help address this key challenge: What is your organization doing to keep lean easy to understand and simple to implement? More »
Coaching to the Challenge
By: Mark Reich | January 23, 2019
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When coaching there is no black and white answer – everything depends on the criticality of the business situation, the level of the challenge, and the capability of the Team Member, says Mark Reich. This article shares his experience in challenging someone to learn at the gemba. More »
Rosie the Riveter vs. Rosie the Robot
By: Bruce Hamilton | January 18, 2019
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In this pithy yet wide-ranging discussion, Bruce Hamilton, president of GBMP and star of the hugely popular training video Toast Kaizen, discusses the entertaining video's serious lessons on its 20th anniversary. He also comments on Industry 4.  0 and what he learned from direct interaction with some of the early icons of lean management. More »
Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Shop Floor Thinking?
By: Jacob Stoller | January 16, 2019
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How does lean thinking help understand whether AI could replace shop floor thinking? Jacob Stoller argues that whether or not one attributes this to an Eastern outlook, much of the wisdom passed on from lean’s original pioneers highlights the importance of direct experience, and the view that workplace situations cannot be understood with purely rational thought. More »
Ask Art: How is Lean A Time-Based Strategy?
By: Art Byrne | January 14, 2019
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Operating lean is the best way to compete on time, says Art Byrne, who notes that every time you remove waste you shorten the time and resources to do something. Lean is not a cost reduction program. Although you’ll get plenty of that as a side benefit, it is strategic, and over time creates unfair competitive advantage for you. More »
3 Steps We Took to Change the Company Culture
By: Bruno Guicardi | January 11, 2019
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The Lean Digital Transformation webinar with Bruno Guicardi, co-founder and president of technology services company CI&T, drew a global audience that submitted hundreds of questions, many more than he could answer during the hour-long presentation. We selected questions that represented the main issues you wanted to know more about for this follow-up Q&A with Bruno. More »
People Are Not Cars
By: Tyson Ortiz | January 9, 2019
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Tyson Ortiz's challenge in helping his son through a heart transplant clarified to him what a healthcare provider said: "People are not cars.  " And yet he learned that the key to better outcomes, in both business and health, can be found in growing the ability to think and act with a PDSA mindset. More »
Take Baby Steps Towards Improvement
By: Mark Graban | January 7, 2019
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As you think about your 2019 resolutions, ask yourself if you’re making the change too big and, therefore, too scary, suggests Mark Graban. Instead of feeling dejected, take the “kaizen” advice of making the change small. More »
Lean Production Begins with LPPD
By: John Y. Shook | January 4, 2019
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To create a "turbo-charged product-creating machine, start by designing clear processes with useful tools and a “people first” culture--which form a socio-technical system underpinned by deep principles. More »
Are You Building High-Performing Teams?
By: Jim Morgan | January 2, 2019
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It is important to work hard at building a high-performance team. Not only does it lead to better performance outcomes, but it is also a tremendous personal experience. Pay, benefits, and personal growth opportunities have to be competitive, but all else being equal, most people will choose to be part of a high-performance team. More »
Why We Believe People-Free Plants and Services Prevent Learning
By: Lean Sensei Women | December 19, 2018
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We (Lean Sensei Women) are a group of women from different continents, horizons, and professions who share a commitment to the development of people. We believe that people-free services and plant floors prevent meaningful learning from happening, and that digital systems will always require people and the capacity for human learning. More »
Soliciting Suggestions in Ways That Don't Backfire
By: Cheryl Jekiel | December 17, 2018
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Sometimes well-intentioned lean activities like asking for suggestions can backfire; Cheryl Jekiel shares specific ways to prevent mishandling ideas from your people. More »
Transformative Steering
By: Eric Ethington | December 14, 2018
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After three years of working with learning partner companies, LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development group observed that the companies most successful in starting and sustaining lean principles in product development all had one thing in common – an effective steering team. Program Manager Eric Ethington reports on four foundational elements your steering team must have. More »
Standardized Work or Kaizen? Yes
By: John Y. Shook | December 12, 2018
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Some lean folks LOVE to quote the Taiichi Ohno observation that “there is no kaizen without standards," notes John Shook, adding that it is less noted but equally true that “there is no maintenance of standards without kaizen.  ” More »
Ask Art: How Do I Get the Senior Management Team On Board with Lean?
By: Art Byrne | December 10, 2018
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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 »
"What Did I Transform Today?"
By: Josh Howell | December 7, 2018
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A lean approach to coaching is incomplete if nothing has changed for the better, says Josh Howell, who shares how he learned that it is not enough to only think, talk, write, and draw. Best to conclude each day by asking yourself, "What did I transform today?" More »
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
By: Richard Vellante | December 5, 2018
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The executive chef at Legal Sea Foods explains how the restaurants are cutting lead times from fishing boat to your belly. More »
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