Home > Knowledge Center> Search Results: process improvement

Search Results: process improvement

Sort by:  Relevance | Date
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 »
Lean Principles Speed Workflow in New Product Development
By: Howard Kinkade | April 24, 2019
Columns
After successfully implementing lean principals in manufacturing, Solar Turbines took them to product development processes, reducing firefighting and boosting development velocity. LEI’s Chet Marchwinski recently talked about the effort with Solar Products Manager Howard Kinkade. More »
Process Excellence Means Developing New Processes Along with New Products
By: Eric Ethington | April 22, 2019
Columns
The traditional way of developing new products or services in isolation from the processes that must deliver them almost guarantees problem launches. In contrast, the lean product and process development methodology creates products customers love as well as profitable delivery processes in a far more integrated and simultaneous way. Eric Ethington, an experienced lean product and process coach, explains. More »
All Lean Is Local
By: Josh Howell | April 19, 2019
Columns
When I think about the idea of “all Lean is local,” I think about the fundamental entry point question for any Lean thinker in any situation, which is: “what's the problem to solve here? What's the problem to solve now?” More »
How Purpose Shapes Culture
By: Richard Sheridan | April 17, 2019
Columns
A purpose-driven culture is hard to build, says CEO Rich Sheridan of Menlo Innovations. It takes time. You will suffer setbacks, you will be mocked until everyone says what you do is just obvious, and some people will expect immediate results while you are rebuilding the airplane you’re flying in. Remember that you’re doing it for the right reasons. And it will result in joy. More »
The Gift of Yokoten
By: James P. Womack | April 15, 2019
Columns
In this article originally published in Planet Lean, after a visit to Goshen, Indiana, Jim Womack shared thoughts on the gift of lean thinking and the obligation that individuals learning this way of thinking feel about sharing what they've learned with others. More »
The Ingredients of Lean
By: Steve Brenneman | April 12, 2019
Columns
Lean practitioner Steve Brenneman finds shared values in his Mennonite faith and his lean practice: a strong set of values like community over individual, thriftiness over sloppiness, doing more with less, honing of skills through seeking out the knowledge of others. He shares illustrations of this in both classic Mennonite cookbooks and TWI instructions. 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 »
Lean Is A Product-Driven Strategy
By: Michael Ballé | April 3, 2019
Columns
What is at the core of lean? Michael Balle argues, in terms of our best known example: "Toyota is not an efficiency-driven company. It’s a product-driven company.  " More »
How Standardized Work Integrates People With Process
By: John Y. Shook | April 1, 2019
Columns
In this three part series on SW, John Shook argues that "the Toyota Way is a socio-technical system on steroids. A test for all our lean systems is the question of how well we integrate people with process (the social with the technical). Nowhere does that come together more than in the form of standardized work and kaizen.  " More »
"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
By: Mark Graban | March 25, 2019
Columns
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the same as internal-combustion engine vehicles. We can play that “one of these things is not like the other” game all day long. A better use of time, perhaps, is to think about how TPS concepts and high-level Lean management principles can be adapted to your own setting, argues Mark Graban. More »
Kanban As A Learning Strategy
By: Michael Ballé, Jacques Chaize, Orest (Orry) Fiume and Daniel T. Jones | March 22, 2019
Columns
Toyota’s Kanban legacy—and its underlying ideas—have far more direct lineage with today’s digital economy than most folks realize; and capture the core elements of the disruptive lean strategy fueling many of today’s successes. More »
Designed In Quality
By: Jim Morgan | March 19, 2019
Columns
Extraordinary quality is not only designed into the product, it is designed into the development process itself, says Jim Morgan, who suggests that the next time you might be tempted to minimize Toyota’s quality performance, you will think about how Toyota’s principles and practices might help you design-in better quality in your products and processes. More »
Can Smart Manufacturing Replace the Art of Go and See?
By: David Westphal | March 18, 2019
Columns
Continuous improvement in a manufacturing environment has to happen at the spot where the work took place, shares Dave Westphal, whose mentor, Mr. Harada, once said: “No improvement can be made in the office.  ..  One must go to the job to see what is really happening—to see, to touch, and to investigate the problem first hand.  ” More »
How Accounting “Squirrels” Can Ferret Out Waste
By: Jean Cunningham | March 15, 2019
Columns
While other functions are busy as beavers looking for waste during a lean transformation, your accounting staff is like a squirrel with its head stuck in a yogurt cup. They only see the traditional work right in front of them instead of digging into data for buried “nuts” of waste, says Jean Cunningham, LEI’s new executive chairman. More »
Ask Art: Aren’t You a Little “Old School” in Your Kaizen Approach To Implementing Lean Thinking?
By: Art Byrne | March 13, 2019
Columns
When you say “kaizen is old school” you may be seriously off track, argues Art Byrne. Focusing on tools like A3 might be popular and trendy, but companies that focus on tools have a hard time getting out of the tools stage of lean; and rarely become lean enterprises. They are taking the easy way out. More »
Showing Respect: Here's How Emmanuel Proposed A More Reliable Shipping Rack
By: Joel Daly | March 11, 2019
Columns
As I reflect on Emmanuel's proposed countermeasures to a key problem, I am encouraged with every new discovery, says General Manager Joel Daly of Veada. I need to get past the gulping and dread associated with someone responsibly reporting a problem to me, and instead embrace the opportunity therein. More »
Is Your Strategy a Plan--or a Hypothesis?
By: Amy C. Edmondson | March 8, 2019
Columns
Success in a VUCA world requires senior executives to engage thoughtfully and frequently with company operations across all levels and departments, argues HBS Professor Amy Edmondson. The people on the front line who create and deliver products and services are privy to the most important strategic data the company has available. More »
Going Beyond Low-Cost Obsession with "Women Go Beyond"
By: Mahesh Amalean | March 6, 2019
Columns
Hear the chairman and co-founder of an apparel manufacturer with global operations explain how and why it invests in its largely female workforce while also dealing with the challenges of a highly competitive industry obsessed with low-cost operations. More »
Learning to Help Anna Elevate Her Game
By: Jeff Smith | March 4, 2019
Columns
Anna was trained by NUMMI to identify and solve challenges via experiments with her team, notes Jeff Smith, sharing a story from NUMMI; she had been trained to set up jobs, build racks for parts, and more.  Yet evidently what she needed to resolve the issue at hand was a little practical understanding/physical help and space to think while being relaxed and not emotionally wound up. More »
No Mani Pedi, But Keepers Improve Elephant Foot Washing
By: Jeff Foster | March 1, 2019
Columns
Supporting process owners includes stepping in for zoo keepers when their better idea for washing an elephant’s foot gets rejected as this Lean Talks video explains. More »
Lean Without Limits
By: Renée Smith | February 27, 2019
Columns
We come up with many different types of answers that sort Lean conveniently into categories for easy understanding and storage, says Renee Smith; but what if we were to embrace Lean as a human centered philosophy, the biggest category of all? More »
The Road to Becoming a Lean Leadership Team Has Potholes
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | February 25, 2019
Columns
Lean veteran Orry Fiume shares the story how the leadership team at The Wiremold Company took on the challenging work of transitioning from being traditional, functional, independent executives to becoming a Lean leadership team. More »
Why We Believe that Lean is About Changing Our Own Behaviors, and Not Just Accumulating New Knowledge
By: Lean Sensei Women | February 22, 2019
Columns
Lean repeatedly pushes us to develop new competences (or recover lost know-hows) through kaizen and problem solving. This collection of short articles from seven leading lean sensei women from around the world expand on this topic, arguing that Lean requires a major shift in our behaviors. More »
Why Meaningful Improvement Requires a “Growth Mindset”
By: Katrina Appell | February 21, 2019
Columns
Today is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, part of Engineering Week, Feb. 18 to 23. To mark Girl Day, as it is simply called, we’re re-posting a popular article by Katrina Appell, PhD, explaining how the mindsets of leaders affect the bureaucracies they lead. 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
Columns
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
Columns
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 »
Show More »