When should we do an A3 or use a different problem-solving tool?
By: Michael Ballè | November 12, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach,I would really appreciate your perspective on the following: (1) When should we do an A3 for something vs. when would it be appropriate to just use an idea board? (2) What is the difference between a problem and an idea? More »
Why don't people learn from experience?
By: Michael Ballè | November 5, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, On the gemba, we have many problems to manage every day. People don’t seem to learn from their experience. Is there any way to teach the people when they don’t learn from their own experience? More »
By: Michael Ballè | August 14, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, Why do you insist so much on visualizing information? More »
Why do lean management experts differ on how to apply lean principles?
By: Michael Ballè | August 7, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach I’ve worked with several managers who worked at Toyota or Toyota suppliers who were considered experts in the company’s management and production systems. Each seemed to have a different approach to applying lean principles. What’s going on? Why aren’t they all on the same page? More »
Any advice for how to implement real pull across the company?
By: Ballé, Michael | July 31, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach,My boss, the operations VP, has asked me to implement a pull system across the whole company. I’ve practiced lean for many years and am a division lean officer, but not fully comfortable about real pull – would you have any advice? More »
“Do I have to be team leader for the rest of my life?"
By: John Shook | June 27, 2017
At his talk at the Lean Transformation Summit earlier this year, and at conferences since then, including Industry Week and Shingo, Lantech CEO Jim Lancaster shared these words, expressing a Groundhog Day-like despair at having to solve the same problems on a daily basis (“Didn’t we do this yesterday?”). As he voiced his anguish, I looked out and saw a good 600 of the 660 listeners looking down at their feet in a shared response, his comment the awakening whap of a “Zen stick” (as Dan Prock would say, see PS below) inspiring each listener to reflect, “Yes, that’s me!” More »
Shouldn't lean focus on solutions, rather than problems?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 4, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach,Why is lean so focused on problem solving? Isn’t seeing everything as a problem negative? Shouldn’t we focus on solutions instead? Wouldn’t that be more positive and more creative? More »
What do you think are the pros and cons of merging lean and TOC?
By: Michael Ballè | March 30, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, In the DevOps movement, the amalgamation of agile, lean, and IT service management practices, there is a new entry that is making a big impact. This is The Theory of Constraints by [Eliyahu] Goldratt. Many believe that combining the thinking of Ohno and Goldratt can produce amazing and sustainable results far easier and faster than either can separately. Have you considered the pros and cons of lean and TOC or merging them? More »
How do we deal with a command-and-control boss?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 27, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach,Our boss always says, “It’s not my job to tell you how to do yours!” But then he tells us what to do all day long. How do we deal with this? More »
Is there a lean way of delegating?
By: Michael Ballè | March 3, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach, I’m an entrepreneur and I used to micromanage everything, quite successfully. Now the firm has grown and I’m trying to delegate. How do I stop myself from cutting in when the actions my department heads want to take are plain silly, or not very creative? More »
What's the lean take on learning?
By: Michael Ballè | February 21, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach,Our previous CEO used to preach “servant leadership,” but now’s he’s left and the new style is far more traditional command and control. I’m personally interested in learning leadership and wondered what the lean take on it would be? More »
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