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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Standardized Work:   Establishing precise procedures for each operator’s work in a production process, based on three elements:Takt time, which is the rate at which products must be made in a process to meet customer demand.  The precise work sequence in which an operator performs tasks within takt time.  The standard inventory, including units in machines, required to keep the process operating smoothly.  Standardized work, once established and displayed at workstations, is the object of continuous improvement through kaizen. The benefits of standardized work include documentation of the current process for all shifts, reductions in variability, easier training of new operators, reductions in More »
Standardized Work or Kaizen? Yes
By: John Y. Shook | December 12, 2018
Columns
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 »
Standardized Work for Kaizen: Define, Achieve, Maintain, Improve
By: Tracey Richardson | January 7, 2014
Columns
We can all agree that kaizen (continuous improvement to create more value with less waste) is important, but do you have standardized work for kaizen? What are the actual process steps for kaizen? More »
Standardized Work Job Instruction Sheet
December 6, 2012
Forms and Templates
The job instruction sheet is used to train new operations. It lists the steps of the job, detailing any special knack that may be required to perform the job safely with utmost quality and efficiency. It can also be useful for experienced operators to reconfirm the right operations.  The job instruction sheet is one of three basic forms for creating standardized work, along with the standardized work chart and standardized work combination table. The purpose of standardized work, according to Kaizen Express from which this form is taken, is to provide a basis for continuous improvement through kaizen.  Kaizen Express, More »
Standardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen
Workshops
Standardized work is one of the most powerful but least used lean tool. Learn how documenting the current best practice (standardized work) forms the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement. 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 »
Surfer Culture Meets Standardized Work
By: Doug Bartholomew | July 16, 2015
Columns
Can surfing instructors and students really learn standardized work? Read the surprising story of how lean coach Sammy Obara worked with Pacific Surfing School to improve their teaching process and better train new surfers (and what leadership had to do with it). More »
Implementing Standardized Work at ThyssenKrupp in Brazil
January 12, 2009
Articles
A case study prepared by the Lean Enterprise Institute Brazil focuses on implementing standardized work at two work stations in a ThyssenKrupp, Brazil, auto parts plant. The article includes an overview of standardized work concepts, how they were applied, the results, plus the forms used for implementation. More »
What Is Your Leadership Model?
By: Nicolas Chartier | September 13, 2019
Columns
In this reflection based on his work as CEO Lean is a leadership model: for more than 60 years now it has been developed, analyzed, tested, adapted; largely by Toyota but also by many others, copying, adding, evolving. More »
Towards A More Lean Statement of Purpose
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | September 11, 2019
Columns
Reflecting on a recent Business Roundtable statement pledging a commitment to all of its stakeholders (and not simply maximizing shareholder value, Orry Fiume reminds us how core Lean values overlap with this new stated mission. More »
I'm Josh Howell, Ask Me Anything
By: Josh Howell | September 6, 2019
Columns
Since becoming LEI’s president a few months ago, Josh Howell has made it a priority to talk with you and visit your workplaces as much as possible. Please join in an Ask-Me-Anything conversation with Josh by sharing questions you have about the lean movement and the business struggles and problems you face. More »
Getting the Right Product Right, and Other Product Development Trends
By: John Drogosz | September 4, 2019
Columns
As a lean product and process development coach John Drogosz, PhD, works closely with companies in a variety of industries that are redesigning development systems to consistently design and deliver a progression of market-leading products and services. He took a time out at the annual Designing the Future Summit to talk about the product development trends he is seeing. More »
Reflections From Ten Years of Michael Ballé's Gemba Coach
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 30, 2019
Columns
Since his first Gemba Coach column of ten years ago, Michael Balle has consistently tied his advice to a faithful application of core Toyota Production System (TPS) principles, without demanding a mindless conformity to established practices or to commercialized frameworks, models, or any other packaging of the TPS dynamics as a product. More »
Ask Art: What Do You Mean When You Say Run Your Company On Your Operational Excellence Goals?
By: Art Byrne | August 28, 2019
Columns
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 »
Learning the Social and Technical Aspects of Lean on the Kentucky Lean Leadership Tour
By: Lean Leaper | August 23, 2019
Columns
Why join the upcoming US Learning Tour in Kentucky? This interview between Josh Howell, John Shook and Jamie Bonini discusses why this tour will help people understand the Toyota Production System as an organizational culture of highly engaged people, solving problems or innovating to drive performance. More »
Product Development Is Where to Cut Carbon Emissions; Here's How
By: Katrina Appell | August 21, 2019
Columns
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 We Believe Lean is Worth Our Unwavering Commitment
By: Lean Sensei Women | August 16, 2019
Columns
Lean provides a powerful alternative to short-term enterprise driven solely by the goal of maximizing profits while externalizing human and environmental costs, argues these leading Lean thinkings, who reveal why Lean promises a more humane, productive, meaningful, and ultimately, sustainable path forward. More »
The Power of Ma in Creating Cognitive Space
By: Jim Benson | August 14, 2019
Columns
When we lead with respect for people, we need to truly understand that people work in different ways, argues Jim Benson in this piece about the power of More »
The Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering
By: Katrina Appell and John Drogosz | August 9, 2019
Columns
One of the fastest ways to reduce development lead time from concept to market is to work concurrently. But as product development coaches Katrina Appell and John Drogosz point out, many managers and engineers jump into concurrent engineering without the requisite understanding and planning of the work to be successful, leading them to the dreaded “Dark Side of Concurrent Engineering.  ” More »
Lean Thinkers Are Systems Thinkers
By: Richard Sheridan | August 7, 2019
Columns
Lean thinkers are systems thinkers, argues Rich Sheridan: "Intentional cultures thrive when the simple systems put in place reinforce every cultural intention and that systems thinkers will always start with the attitude that improving the systems is the best route to improvement, success, and ultimately joy.  " More »
12 Wastes of Product & Process Development
By: Katrina Appell and John Drogosz | August 2, 2019
Columns
The wastes found in manufacturing are well known and relatively visible. But as you move upstream into the very different realm of product development, wastes become harder to see but are just as prevalent. This list of a "dirty dozen" PD wastes, courtesy of Katrina Appell and John Drogosz, will open your eyes. More »
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
By: Jean Cunningham | July 31, 2019
Columns
There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the business. In this summary of key points from The Birth of Lean, LEI Chair Jean Cunningham shares insights from her reading of the book, and invites you to share thoughts as well. More »
I don’t get kanban -- I don’t work in production so how would it apply to one-off work?
By: Michael Ballé | July 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would apply to one-off work. More »
How Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?
By: Lisa Yerian | July 26, 2019
Columns
When someone in our organization complains about something we hand them a Kaizen card, shares Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic. Perhaps the same approach could apply to the broader challenge of improving the organizational ability to frame problems productively? More »
4 Core Principles of Lean Product and Process Development Explained
By: Katrina Appell and John Drogosz | July 24, 2019
Columns
The ability to consistently create “insanely great” products, as Steve Jobs would say, is the ultimate competitive advantage. But many companies struggle to develop profitable products and services on time with the best quality and least waste. Lean product and process development (LPPD), a powerful and proven set of principles and practices, will help any company dramatically improve its development capability. LPPD practitioners John Drogosz and Katrina Appell summarize its 4 core principles. More »
Feeling the Gemba Magic
By: Nicolas Chartier | July 19, 2019
Columns
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier realized the true source of the recurring problems: himself. More »
Ask Art: Where Will the Biggest Resistance to Lean Come From?
By: Art Byrne | July 17, 2019
Columns
Resistance to Lean will come from every part of your organization, senior management included, says Lean veteran Art Byrne. Knowing where the biggest resistance will come from, however should help you focus your early efforts and smooth your Lean turnaround. More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
By: Jean Cunningham | July 12, 2019
Columns
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds.  " More »
Calling a Time-Out for Coaches
By: Masia Goodman, Laura Mottola and Mark Reich | July 10, 2019
Columns
What's the most effective approach to coaching? Lean coaches Mark Reich and Laura Mottola share practical approaches that include methods such as invoking struggle, providing support, and giving direction; while suggesting ways to consider when each approach might be optimal for the situation. More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
Columns
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 »
KAIZEN CHALLENGE: Lean Technical and Social Quiz
By: Jeff Smith | June 26, 2019
Columns
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 »
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