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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Quality Assurance:   see Inspection
Quality Control Circle:   A small group of workers and their team leader who collectively identify problems in their work area, analyze them, and provide solutions.  In contrast to other companies, particularly in the West, circles at Toyota are integrated into the overall total quality control system and shop-floor organization. Toyota circles meet two to three times per month from 30 to 60 minutes.  Management expert Peter Drucker noted that circles were used widely in the U.  S. during World War II. They reached their greatest success in Japan after the war. The U.  S. re-imported them during the quality movement of the 1970s More »
Quality Function Deployment:   A visual decision-making procedure for cross-functional product project teams that develops a common understanding of customer needs (the “voice of the customer”) and a consensus on the final engineering specifications of the product to meet those needs that has the commitment of the entire team.  QFD integrates the perspectives of team members from different disciplines, ensures that their efforts are focused on resolving key trade-offs in a consistent manner against measurable performance targets for the product, and deploys these decisions through successive levels of detail. The use of QFD eliminates expensive backflows and rework as projects near launch.  A hallmark More »
Building in Quality:   see Jidoka
Built-in Quality:   see Jidoka
Total Quality Control:   see Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management:   A management approach in which all departments, employees, and managers are responsible for continuously improving quality so that products and services meet or exceed customer expectations.  The Total Quality Control (TQC) methodology relies on the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle to manage processes and, when problems arise, statistical tools to solve them. The methodology and tools are used often by employees during kaizen activities and together form an important subsystem of lean.  The term “total quality control” was coined in 1957 by U.  S. quality expert Armand Feigenbaum, who saw quality control professionals as central to promoting TQC. By the 1980s, other 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 »
My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality?
By: Michael Ballé | February 10, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality? More »
Designed In Quality
By: Jim Morgan | March 19, 2019
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 »
7 Elements of Quality on the Shop Floor
By: Andrew Quibell | November 28, 2017
"How do you lean out a quality approach that can work on the shop floor (maybe even compatible in a healthcare environment as well)?" people often ask Andrew Quibell. "How does it look? What should you include?" Read more. More »
Beware the Comforts of Waste
By: Rose Heathcote | August 13, 2020
After a major move, lean thinker Rose Heathcote reflected that with lean thinking comes the responsibility to look inward at oneself before looking outward to what must change in the organization. It may sit in the fundamental thinking we have adopted regarding business and costs, but it also gets more personal in how we treat and nurture our talent. More »
Now is the Time for Resilience and Adaptability!
By: Sandrine Olivencia | June 12, 2020
People and organizations can create the conditions for building their own resilience by drawing from TPS, the Thinking People System, says Sandrine Olivencia. But for this to work, leaders still need to put in the necessary energy: the will to examine the facts as they are and to give their teams the space for experimenting and making their contributions. More »
Developing Awareness on the Gemba
By: Sandrine Olivencia | April 8, 2020
Lean Sensei Sandrine Olivencia shares practical advice on ways to be present and to coach in the moment at the gemba 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 »
Why We Believe that Pull Flows Are Too Often Overlooked
By: Lean Sensei Women | January 29, 2020
In this incisive series of articles on the essential value of pulled flow, the lean sensei women argue, in the words of Catherine Chabiron, that pulled flows are not just a manufacturing fad. It is the only way we know to dig deeper into our jobs, collaborate better, and eventually face all the real problems. More »
Want Better Relations and Results from Suppliers? Hear Two Execs Explain the Benefits of "Matched Pair” Leadership
By: Susan DeSandre, Chet Marchwinski and Jim Morgan | October 18, 2019
New products and service development does not stop at the exterior walls of your company. Outside suppliers play critical roles, but the relationships between companies and suppliers are often akin to cage fighting. That's where the innovative “matched pair” process comes in to dramatically improve relationships as well as business performance. Listen to a matched pair of executives describe the process. More »
KAIZEN CHALLENGE: Lean Technical and Social Quiz
By: Jeff Smith | June 26, 2019
In this kaizen challenge, lean coach Jeff Smith invites you to help determine the optimal lot size to run through assembly. Please share your thoughts! More »
Tales Of Lean, Chapter One: Facing the Problem
By: Sandrine Olivencia | June 24, 2019
What is the best way for a lean coach to support and guide her team? In this fictional tale of a lean leader, Sandrine Olivencia tees up questions raised by this story of how a company founder can best lead her team through a key challenge for the company. More »
Sometimes Less Lean is Mo' Lean
By: Brent Wahba | May 6, 2019
After seeing a great concert by blues legend Keb' Mo', Brent Wahba reflected on some lean principles embodied in the ways this event delivered such joy. More »
Showing Respect: Here's How Emmanuel Proposed A More Reliable Shipping Rack
By: Joel Daly | March 11, 2019
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 »
Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-Learning
By: Mark Reich | October 11, 2018
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich, noting that if done right, this practice should push everyone to do more and more, improving in cycles of intense, focused effort with something that leaves a strong residue of kaizen spirit behind and allows the company to sustain. More »
2019 Designing the Future Summit
September 26, 2018
2019 Designing the Future Summit. June 27-28, 2019 - Traverse City, Michigan. A unique event for designers, product, process, and quality engineers, supply chain professionals, and development leaders as well as thought leaders to come together, learn from each other. More »
Ask Art: Why Do I Need to Switch From Batch to Flow?
By: Art Byrne | April 12, 2018
Moving from batch to flow reveals the waste in your processes and simplifies your work at a systems level, says Art Byrne. It creates simplicity, and a productive tension to deal with problems as they occur, as well as other strategic benefits. More »
The Battle for the Soul of Lean
By: Michael Ballé | March 16, 2018
When elements of lean management began to infiltrate management ranks decades ago, a “great divide” quickly formed, according to author and lean practitioner Michael Ballé. Some managers looked at it as a radically different, disruptive, but complete business system. Others saw it as a set of tools for operational excellence. The gulf endures and determines what results you get. More »
2018 Designing the Future Summit
January 25, 2018
2018 Designing the Future Summit. June 19-20, 2018 - Traverse City, Michigan. A unique event for designers, product, process, and quality engineers, supply chain professionals, and development leaders as well as thought leaders to come together, learn from each other. More »
2010 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
March 26, 2010
June 9-10, 2010 - Orlando, FL. Specially designed to delvier comprehensive, high-quality information about improving healthcare quality through lean thinking. More »
Using Lean Thinking to Reinvent City Government
By: David Drickhamer | April 1, 2008
Case Studies; Images
In many cities, stagnant tax revenues from a slowing economy coupled with rising healthcare and energy costs are causing budget shortfalls. To cope with the budget squeeze, Grand Rapids, MI, has turned to lean principles. City employees have learned firsthand how consolidating operations, eliminating wasted time and effort, and streamlining processes can help them improve productivity while providing the quality of service that city residents want, in less time and with less effort and More »
Best in Healthcare Getting Better with Lean
By: Taninecz, George | May 4, 2006
Case Studies; Value-Stream Maps
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  , is famous for the quality of its healthcare, but is using lean concepts to further enhance processes affecting quality, safety, and service. (Use links provided in the story to see larger versions of the value-stream maps.  ) More »
The Anatomy of Innovation
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 8, 2004
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside enjoys a reputation for innovation, due, in part, to its recognition that finding and fixing broken processes is integral to healing. In this story, we examine the structure of Shadyside’s approach to process improvement, which has drawn on principles of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean thinking, since 2001. More »
Lean Initiatives at State Environmental Agencies
January 1, 2003
Outside Resources
Environmental agencies in several states, including Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nebraska are applying lean and six sigma principles to cut permitting time and complexity. This page at the federal EPA summarizes what's going on in the states. Scroll to the bottom for links to presentations and more information. More »
Online Webcast Key Concepts of Lean in Healthcare
This webcast is designed for individuals and teams working in Healthcare who want to gain a better understanding of the principles, tools, and underlying philosophy of the lean management system. More »
Continuous Improvement Using Personal Kanban
A simple, effective management system for digging out of work -- and staying dug out -- to achieve higher quality, better productivity, greater job satisfaction, and peace of mind. More »