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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Work:   Human actions (motions) involved in producing products. These actions can be divided into three categories:Value-Creating: Movements directly necessary for making products, such as welding, drilling, and painting.  Incidental Work: that operators must perform to make products but that do not create value from the standpoint of the customer, such as reaching for a tool or clamping a fixture.  Waste: Motions that create no value and can be eliminated, such as walking to get parts or tools that could be positioned within reach. More »
Work Element:   The distinct steps required to complete one cycle at a workstation; the smallest increment of work that can be moved to another operator.  Breaking work into its elements helps to identify and eliminate waste that is hidden within an operator’s cycle. The elements can be distributed in relation to takt time to create continuous flow. For instance, in the Operator Balance Chart illustration the small vertical boxes represent work elements. More »
Work-in-Process:   Items of work between processing steps. In lean systems, standardized work-in-process is the minimum number of parts (including units in machines) needed to keep a cell or process flowing smoothly. More »
Kaizen Workshop:   A group kaizen activity, commonly lasting five days, in which a team identifies and implements a significant improvement in a process.  A common example is creating a continuous flow cell within a week. To do this a kaizen team—including staff experts and consultants as well as operators and line managers—analyzes, implements, tests, and standardizes a new cell. Participants first learn continuous flow principles and then go to the gemba to assess actual conditions and plan the cell. Machines then are moved and the new cell is tested. After improvements, the process is standardized and the kaizen team reports out to More »
Leader Standard Work:   Sometimes called “kaizen for management,” leader standard work, when combined with the appropriate lean leadership behaviors, changes the role of managers from being the primary problem solvers to building the problem-solving capability of employees.  Because traditional management activity does not support a culture of daily problem solving, the shift in management’s role is needed to build the new culture and support the lean operational changes made during a transformation.  Along with planning activities that are carried out on at less frequent intervals, day-to-day leader standard work consists of five major tools: gemba walks, reflection meetings, response to andons, creating accountability, and More »
Out-of-Cycle Work:   Tasks of operators in multioperator processes which require the operator to break the pace of work or leave the area.  Examples include retrieving parts from storage locations and moving finished items to downstream processes. These tasks should be removed from the operator’s standardized work and given to support staff such as material handlers and team leaders, who work outside of takt-time-based continuous flow. More »
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 »
Working Hard...For One Minute
By: Orest (Orry) Fiume | January 24, 2020
Columns
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 »
Work of Management, The (eBook)
By: Jim Lancaster | July 6, 2017
Books
Lancaster tells an inspiring and practical business story in his new book, The Work of Management (2017, Lean Enterprise Institute). It’s a close-up, candid look at Lancaster’s personal transformation as a leader. It’s also a practical, in-depth, business case study of Lantech’s lean transformation, relapse, and comeback that American manufacturing – and other industries -- can use to profitably transform themselves. More »
WLEI: Practicing Steady Work for Lean Value with Karen Gaudet
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | April 27, 2020
Audio
"What is the role of a lean leader, and what is the humbling daily work that goes into this task? How can one humbly assume the very ambitious role of leading others in earnest lean practice? And how does one prepare for heroic actions by creating a steady cadence of productive daily habits? These are the types of questions explored by Karen Gaudet in her new LEI book titled Steady Work. Tune in to her podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld here.  "  More »
How A Virtual Obeya Can Enable Effective Teamwork
By: Katrina Appell | April 9, 2020
Columns
As we are working socially distanced apart we need to create systems that enable us to effectively enable people to collaborate together to solve problems, says Katrina Appel. Here she details effective ways to use a virtual obeya. More »
New Book Explains How to Create “Steady Work” in Unsteady Times with Standardized Work Cadences
By: Karen Gaudet and Chet Marchwinski | April 6, 2020
Columns
In Steady Work, the new book from the Lean Enterprise Institute, author and former Starbucks’ Regional Manager Karen Gaudet offers astute business guidance for turbulent times and a heartfelt personal story about how the continuous improvement operating system revitalized the retailer during the global financial crisis and helped employees in Newtown, CT, get through the worst week of their lives. More »
What do I do when key logistics employees are afraid to come to work? 
By: Michael Ballé | March 23, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, What do I do when key logistics employees are afraid to come to work?  More »
WLEI: 32. Coachable: A Model Story, Coaching Work Improvement
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | January 27, 2020
Audio
As this series continues to explore the implications and dynamic of “coaching” in a business environment, Bryant Sanders models the mindset and techniques for coaching work improvement to develop people. Bryant draws on 26 years Toyota experience to facilitate his coaching techniques with a team in the field leading to a dramatic improvement in the work. He walks us through the story from deciding where to focus, to earning the team’s trust, facilitating reflection solidifying the what and the why and then leveraging one another’s strengths to upskill the team and eliminate difficulty and waste in the work. An excellent More »
Boeing Ex-Executive Alan Mulally Discusses a "Working Together Management System"
By: Josh Howell | January 15, 2020
Columns
In this rare and revealing interview, Alan Mulally discusses lean management principles, including: the role of a CEO during a turnaround, how to take a “people-first” approach to leadership, and how to encourage people to share real information – good or bad. More »
Does A Lack Of Physical Inventory Make Office Work “Different”?
By: Ken Eakin | January 10, 2020
Columns
While "waste" is easy to see and address in a factory setting, people working in an office environment have just as much to gain from learning how to reduce excess inventory and other forms of waste, says Ken Eakin. More »
The Hard Work of Making Hard Work Easier
By: Mark Reich | December 11, 2019
Columns
We persevere by struggling to overcome the challenges of hard work, argues Mark Reich. And, he says it is also our responsibility to challenge individuals, to “invoke struggle” so people think about how to change how the company views frontline work. It is our job to ensure that the lead person struggles to change the culture. More »
Is my crazy new boss right that applying standardized work is the foundation of lean?
By: Michael Ballé | October 7, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  My new boss is a lean fanatic crazy about standards. He’s created a new team to audit standards and is telling us that applying standardized work is the foundation of lean. It’s creating a lot of resistance, and I don’t know what to make of it. 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 »
The Art of Work
By: Jean Cunningham | November 16, 2018
Columns
A visit to the Grohmann Museum helped remind Jean Cunningham that when done correctly and consistently, lean starts to reconnect people to work and work to people. Using lean principles and tools helps recreate worker ownership of the work, connection to the customer need, and value creation. More »
Ask Art: Does Lean Really Work in A Non-manufacturing Company?
By: Art Byrne | October 16, 2018
Columns
All companies and organizations, whether manufacturing or not, are nothing more than a group of people and a bunch of processes trying to deliver value to a set of customers, says Art Byrne. And lean principles apply to each. To become lean, every company must focus on removing the waste in their current processes in order to deliver more value to the customers. More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
By: Ben Hartman | February 6, 2018
Columns
Farming may be the next industry ripe for disruption. For example, Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. Today, applying lean principles, Hartman has a one-acre farm that is more productive and profitable than a five-acre spread. More »
The Work of Management
By: Jim Lancaster | February 7, 2017
Books
Lancaster tells an inspiring and practical business story in his new book, The Work of Management (2017, Lean Enterprise Institute). It’s a close-up, candid look at Lancaster’s personal transformation as a leader. It’s also a practical, in-depth, business case study of Lantech’s lean transformation, relapse, and comeback that American manufacturing – and other industries -- can use to profitably transform themselves. More »
100 Years of Innovation in the Work Animation
By: John Shook | September 20, 2016
Videos and Webinars
Learn how innovating the work is the cornerstone of lean. More »
Is there a way to define standard work for senseis?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 21, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, I’ve been working on lean projects for years and my CEO has now asked me to act as the lean sensei for our company. Is there a way to define standard work for senseis? More »
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way?
By: Ballé, Michael | October 19, 2014
Columns; eLetters
How is standardized work different from the Taylorist one best way? 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 »
Making Hospitals Work
By: Marc Baker and Ian Taylor | July 15, 2009
Books
For the first time, Making Hospitals Work provides a practical road map for healthcare leaders seeking to create truly lean hospitals. It outlines a clear framework for focusing improvement activities on the most important challenges facing each hospital. 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 »
The Problem with Creative Work and Creative Management
By: Womack, Jim | May 10, 2005
Columns; eLetters
Years ago I heard a presentation from someone at Toyota explaining where to begin in implementing the Toyota Production System. “Start by analyzing the work to be done.  ” This meant listing all the actions required to create the value in a given product and then dividing these actions into three categories:Value-creating work. Activities adding directly to the value of the product as determined by the customer. (Manufacturing examples are painting the product or adding parts during assembly.  ) A simple test is to ask whether customers would mind if this work was not done but their product still performed properly. More »
Even in a Topsy-Turvy World, Just-in-Time Supply Works
By: Womack, James and Jones, Daniel; | October 29, 2001
Articles
By James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Reprinted with permission from Automotive News, October 29, 2001. Read commentary by Jim Womack and Dan Jones about how to make just-in-time supply chains work in today's security-conscious world. 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 »
Integrating Visual Management Tools and Leader Standard Work
Workshops
This course deals with designing and executing an implementation plan to migrate your company from one of “gather data, synthesize, meet, and react” to one of “see waste, manage exceptions, and improve processes”.     It will show you how to tie together the tools of Policy Deployment, Value Stream Mapping, Visual Management, and Management Standard Work. The emphasis of the course is on the development of visual management tools and incorporating them into management standard work. More »
Supporting Healthcare Leader Standard Work with Visual Management Tools
Workshops
If you are involved in Lean healthcare, in any capacity, you have probably heard about Gemba Walks and Visual Management. By combining Visual Management and Leader Standard Work, you harness the power of your organization seeing waste in real time and coming up with creative ways to eliminate it, improve patient care, and make the job of providing health care easier for everyone. This course will show you the basic tools necessary to reach those goals. This workshop has application in areas including: • Primary care • Pediatrics • Family practice • Optometry • Chiropractics & Alternative healthcare • Emergency More »
Mapping your Work, Navigating Life: Personal Kanban
Workshops
In this one-day immersive experience we will explore the impact of overload on both the individual and the team; politics and "work-arounds" that start quietly and quickly morph into unwritten rules; and smooth work-, information-, and communication-flows that can lead to happier, less stressed, and more effective teams. More »
Making Hospitals Work
By: Ian Taylor, Marc Baker, Alan Mitchell
Books
For the first time, Making Hospitals Work provides a practical road map for healthcare leaders seeking to create truly lean hospitals. It outlines a clear framework for focusing improvement activities on the most important challenges facing each hospital. More »
Lessons Shared On Learning to Lead; and Leading to Learn
By: Katie Anderson | July 8, 2020
Columns
In her new book, Katie Anderson argues that, "being a leader means clearly defining a challenge or target for your people. The purpose of a challenge is to stretch people to create new possibilities, to strive for bigger outcomes, and to support learning.  " More »
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