Check out five recently published articles that we think may help you either improve your work or think about your work differently. What articles, videos, or talks would you add to this list?
1. “Design Out Waste and Build in Lean,” by Robert H. Simonis for Industry Week
“Steven Covey said, ‘Start with the end in mind.’ If the end in mind is to have a safe workplace, save money, save space, save time in launching new processes, and increase flexibility, then reduce or eliminate waste at the root cause,” writes Robert H. Simonis. “Spend the engineering hours early in design to avoid spending more trying to fix the problems after production has begun. A focus on designing Lean into the process can reduce CapEx and operating costs while improving ROIC, cash flow, and financial risk.”
2. “An Old Analysis Technique Could Strengthen the U.S. Manufacturing Revival,” by Miles Parker in Forbes
After grasping the current state of U.S. manufacturing and the reshoring movement, Miles Parker shares his view on how to best take U.S. manufacturing into the future: “Product simplification spawns innovation, quality, and cost reduction by guiding engineering teams to combine separate, inefficient parts and functions into elegant, unified structures that do more for less,” Parker says. “Approaches such as those pioneered by Hitachi in Japan and Drs. Boothroyd and Dewhurst [are still] powerful systems for chopping labor and materials [from] old-fashioned and expensive design strategies.”
3. “Lean Startup Comes Home“ by David Bland via Medium
Lean thinking and lean startup communities are learning from each other. We know this. (To what degree is another question). But what we don’t hear about much is how Toyota is learning from the startup community and what would cause them to seek opportunities for doing so. David Bland writes: “Corporations do not lack ideas, but rather have a hard time deciding on what ideas to invest in. One of the ideas Toyota had recently was around gas payments…” We thought this was a great story of applying lean startup thinking to a large organization, Toyota at that.
4. “A Luxury Liner Docks, and the Countdown’s On,” by Jad Mouawad in The New York Times
Here’s a fun, unexpected, and impressive story of lean thinking in practice from the cruise ship industry. “Once a week, after touring the Caribbean, the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas calls into its home port in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for what is called ‘turnaround day.’ Just as an airplane makes money only when it is flying, keeping a cruise ship out at sea is essential for its profitability… this ship offloads 6,000 people, takes on new supplies and welcomes 6,000 more travelers — all in under 12 hours.”
5. “How to Know If There Are Too Many People in Your Meeting,” from Harvard Business Review
In the lean community, we talk a lot about right-sizing shipments and getting the right materials or information to the right people at the right time. But what about getting the right people in your meeting? “For a meeting to be useful, you have to have the right people — and only the right people — in the room,” the authors say. “With too many attendees, you may have trouble focusing everyone’s time and attention and accomplishing anything; with too few, you might not have the right decision makers or information providers in the room.” But how do you know who needs to be there? This article explains.