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Lean management case study series: Pediatric Hospital in Tough Market Pegs Growth to Lean Process Improvement
By: Vinas, Tonya | June 2, 2011
Case Studies
Lean improvement projects at Akron Children’s Hospital have saved millions of dollars, increased utilization of expensive assets, and reduced wait times for patients and their families. While these gains are important, the learning and commitment that each project builds internally are crucial elements of the hospital’s drive to make continuous improvement not just a program but the overarching strategic imperative for the entire organization.  Read an interview with hospital board member Bill Hopkins from LEI's lean leadership series.  See all the executive interviews in the series. More »
Boosting Organizational Resilience Through Jidoka
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | October 5, 2020
Jidoka enables operators to build in quality into the production process--and forms a foundation of stability helping a company respond to crisis with resilience. This roundup shares resources explaining jidoka and helping you get started with it. More »
Changing the Way New Value is Created with Lean Product and Process Development
By: Lean Leaper | September 25, 2020
Learn the six guiding principles of LPPD and why they are critical to successful new product, process, and service development. More »
The Art of Lean: Use These Tools to Help You Improve a Process, Part 2
By: Art Smalley | September 4, 2020
Take a closer look into this four-step approach that will help you "pinpoint the tricky parts" of a process as you work to improve it, says Art Smalley, president of Art of Lean, Inc. More »
Dueling Methods: 8D and A3
By: David Verble | August 20, 2020
One of the scores of questions sent in by attendees at our recent webinar on the A3 problem-solving process was what's the difference between it and the 8Ds. Webinar presenter and continuous improvement coach David Verble explains. More »
How to Develop Healthy Habits for Mindful Coaching
By: Lean Leaper | August 17, 2020
Powerful lean coaches help others create productive habits that over time produce a type of "muscle memory" that forms a foundation for long-term growth and learning. This roundup of articles expanding on this subject ties into the forthcoming Virtual Lean Learning Experience. More »
A Radical Redesign of Making Crudito -- and All Restaurant Kitchens
By: Matthew Savas | August 14, 2020
Using animations of a few basic continuous improvement tools, Matt Savas, a team leader at the Lean Enterprise Institute and a fervent foodie, offers a sweeping alternative way of running a restaurant kitchen for better safety and profitability. More »
Making Your Work Work in the First 90 Days
By: Andrew Quibell | July 28, 2020
In your first 90 days as a lean leader, what path will you take to support transformation? Andrew Quibell details the elements of both a tactical approach as well as a strategic one. More »
Quick and Practical Tips for Effective Virtual Process Mapping
By: John Drogosz and Chet Marchwinski | July 24, 2020
In the wake of new lockdowns to halt the spread of the coronavirus, companies need ways for home-based team members and coaches to collaborate online to improve processes. So, in a recent webinar for product developers in the Lean Product and Process Development group, Coach John Drogosz demonstrated practical tips that you can use now for virtually mapping a process when the facilitator and team members are all working remotely. More »
The Healing Power of Lean Product and Process Development in Healthcare
By: Chet Marchwinski and Paul Paliani | July 17, 2020
Can Lean Product and Process Development or LPPD, which evolved in the automotive industry, work in healthcare? Paul Paliani, who worked for almost 20 years as an automotive engineer and now leads a healthcare innovation team, offers insights and results. More »
Ask Art: Why Does Setup Time Reduction Matter So Much?
By: Art Byrne | June 17, 2020
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 »
Addressing Production Challenges that Arise from the Pandemic
By: John Shook | April 30, 2020
How two companies with deep lean experience – General Electric Appliances (GEA) and Herman Miller – have responded quickly and with great agility to the frontline challenges presented by the pandemic. More »
Nine Lessons from Steady Work
By: Karen Gaudet | April 27, 2020
In her book Steady Work, Karen Gaudet discusses nine key lessons for practicing lean. Here she discusses these key principles. More »
The Post COVID Crisis Supply Chain: a Time to Rise (Part 2)
By: Robert Martichenko | April 20, 2020
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 »
Ask Art: What Do You Focus on When Assessing the Potential Gains From Converting to Lean?
By: Art Byrne | April 16, 2020
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 »
Why You Need a Product Focus for Enterprise Transformation
By: Jim Morgan | March 16, 2020
Lean Product and Process Development serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth, says Jim Morgan. Listen to his keynote address for insights into how. More »
Building the Mindset and Skillset to Improve from the Board Room to the Classroom
By: Pat Greco | March 4, 2020
Results matter, says Pat Greco; and yet, human systems require leaders to engage.   Here she discusses the way she and her team worked to apply lean for improvement at the School District of Menonomee Falls in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More »
Delivering Quality Foods with Zingerman's Mail Order
By: Josh Howell | March 2, 2020
Listen to this podcast between Tom Root, Zingerman Mail Order's Managing Director, and Josh Howell for a wide-ranging conversation about several phases of ZMO’s lean transformation, including the challenge of establishing a culture of continuous improvement with full participation, and how lean thinking could impact the food industry that’s in desperate need of a better way. More »
Ask Art: What Are the Most Important Management Changes Needed to Implement A Lean Turnaround?
By: Art Byrne | February 19, 2020
Lean thinking requires a totally different mindset than traditional management, argues lean veteran Art Byrne. This is probably the most significant reason that companies fail to make the lean leap. They simply can’t get rid of their traditional mindset. Here he shares the key changes needed for a successful lean turnaround. More »
The Value of A Visual Schedule is Developing Shared Understanding
By: Katrina Appell | February 12, 2020
People closest to the work should understand it best, so they are in the best position to share what the work is including what they need from others on the team, argues Katrina Appel; this enables the team to put together a realistic schedule that they believe in. More »
Share Best Thinking Rather than Best Practices
By: Karen Gaudet | February 7, 2020
Lean Coach Karen Gaudet argues that Best Practices don't always align with Best Thinking, and suggests that "the next time you find yourself sharing a solution developed by someone else, first ask the critical question 'Is the problem the same?'" More »
Working Hard...For One Minute
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | January 24, 2020
Anyone who doubts the ability of their people to work hard in enacting change--or who blames problems on their "people" should look hard in the mirror, says lean veteran Orry Fiume. More »
Time To Make Time
By: John Y. Shook | January 17, 2020
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 »
Ask Art: Why is Takt Time So Important in a Lean Turnaround?
By: Art Byrne | November 13, 2019
Takt time represents the beat of the customer, or, the rate of demand, says Art Byrne: "As the primary focus of the lean company is delivering more value to its customers than its competitors can, then conformity to their demands in a quick, efficient way is the main driver. Takt time is therefore what sets the tone for everything else.  " More »
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say Run Your Company On Your Operational Excellence Goals?
By: Art Byrne | August 28, 2019
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 »
Product Development Is Where to Cut Carbon Emissions; Here's How
By: Katrina Appell | August 21, 2019
Consumers want products updated more frequently, which is great for consumers and business but not so great for the environment because a third of man-made carbon emissions come from production processes, notes Katrina Appell, PhD, who explains how product developers can balance these competing forces. More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Is farming, that ancient industry, ripe for disruption? Indiana farmer Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation. Watch now. More »
Cost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!
By: Jean Cunningham | June 5, 2019
Lean affects financial outcomes--dramatically so in firms that incorporate widespread lean thinking over the long term, says LEI Chair Jean Cunningham. And yet she counsels you not to fixate on cost reduction or product cost. Look instead at the real numbers. More »
Practicing Constructive Discontent At SBP
By: Zack Rosenburg | May 24, 2019
To become an organization of problem solvers, talking about problems couldn’t merely be something that we did, shares Zack Rosenburg of St. Bernard Project. It had to be part of who we are; it had to be our identity. Being or living constructive discontent and adopting it as our identity would mean that problems were brought to the surface, not buried. More »
How Does LPPD Help Create a Lean Enterprise?
By: Lean Leaper | May 17, 2019
What is LPPD? As noted by Jim Morgan LPPD is a set of principles and practices that promote collaboration, transparency, and rapid learning, in the development of both process and product simultaneously, leading to the creation of really effective value streams. He shares thoughts with Jim Womack, Jeff Liker, and Eric Ethington on this topic. More »
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