This is the last Lean Post of 2020. The Lean Enterprise Institute team is taking the next two weeks to reflect on what we’ve learned during this tumultuous year and put the finishing touches on our plan for the next. In the meantime, as you likewise review your lean journey and plot your next steps, we offer this selection of our most popular posts of the year to serve as your guide. We’ll return to publishing daily on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Top 10 Articles of 2020
Throughout 2020, thousands within the lean community have read our articles, listened to our podcasts and viewed many of our educational videos. From maintaining a lean mindset during a pandemic to thought-provoking pieces from Jeffrey Liker and Jim Morgan, here are the top articles, podcasts, and videos of 2020, ranked by viewership and downloads. Make sure to bookmark any posts that you may have missed during the year!
1. Why (and How) We Believe Lean Can Help During Covid 19 by Lean Sensei Women
By looking at the pandemic from a lean perspective, the Lean Sensei Women explained ways in which lean can help during Covid-19. Some of these suggestions include checking in on your team members and prioritizing both psychological and physical safety.
2. Ask Art: What Was Danaher Like In the Early Days of Lean? by Art Byrne
Art Byrne takes us on a historic walk through the early days of the Danaher Business System. By implementing lean thinking and strategies at Danaher, Byrne is able to reflect on what made these decisions so successful for Danaher and more than thirty other companies.
3. What the Covid-Virus Can Teach Us About the Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
This pandemic is not the first issue that many organizations have had to grapple with. By looking at the trials and tribulations that Toyota have encountered in the past, Jeffrey Liker explains how the company pushed through some detrimental moments with the help of lean.
4. Keep Calm and Manage Stably: Akio Toyoda’s Response to Crisis by Jeffrey Liker & John Shook
Writing again about Toyota, Jeffrey Liker and John Shook take a more introspective look at the manufacturer, specifically through the lens of company president Akio Toyoda. The president’s forward thinking, stable management, and safety-centered focus are discussed further in this popular piece.
5. How A Virtual Obeya Can Enable Effective Teamwork by Katrina Appell
With the pandemic forcing organizations to adapt to new, socially distant working arrangements, we need to create systems that help people collaborate to solve problems, says Katrina Appell. Here she details effective ways to use a virtual obeyas.
6. How the A3 Process Developed to Help Build Better Managers, Part Two by John Shook & Isao Yoshino
In this companion piece, Shook and Yoshino take a look at the A3 process and the training program titled “Kan-Pro.” Additionally, images and models help to visually represent the key points of the A3.
7. No Standard, No Problem? Not Really. It’s a Big Problem by David Verble
In the third of a seven part series, David Verble takes an even deeper dive into the A3 process where it is not only used to report issues, but also to jumpstart change and adhere to business needs.
8. How to Show Respect During a Pandemic by Katrina Appell
Katrina Appell returns to the list to give us a timely piece on just how important it is to show respect during this historic pandemic. From just checking in on your team to being transparent and humble, any and all efforts of respect can truly make for a less stressful and more comfortable workplace.
9. The 6 Guiding Principles of Lean Product and Process Development by Jim Morgan
In this transcript, Jim Morgan and some guests traverse through what makes LT&P so effective when done correctly. Make sure to check out the video as well, which can be viewed on the article page.
10. Ask Art: What Are the Most Important Management Changes Needed to Implement A Lean Turnaround? by Art Byrne
Last but not least is another edition of “Ask Art,” where he tackles some of the main components and alterations that can be made when transitioning towards lean.
Top 3 Podcasts of 2020
1. Designing the Future: A WLEI Podcast with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and COO Jim Morgan hosted by Josh Howell and Matt Savas
You’ve probably heard of Rivian by now, after it raised $3 billion in 2019 and developed partnerships with Amazon and more. CEO of Rivian RJ Scaringe and COO Jim Morgan have an exclusive conversation, making for our most downloaded podcast of the year.
2. Practicing Steady Work for Lean Value with Karen Gaudet hosted by Tom Ehrenfeld
After her release of the book Steady Work, Karen Guidat sat down with Tom Ehrenfeld to talk about the many components of working with lean, and the consistent efforts behind these components.
3. How Will Lean Shape the Post-Covid World? hosted by Tom Ehrenfeld with guest Dan Jones
With mass production and sustainable systems facing potential jeopardy during the pandemic, lean can play a significant role in getting production, and the economy, back on track. Lean innovator Dan Jones and host Tom Ehrenfeld talk about this prospect and more in their discussion.
Top 3 Videos of 2020
1. The 5 Whys – Lean Problem Solving
In this sleek introduction to lean thinking, John Shook provides anecdotes to help thousands of viewers better understand the integrity and success of lean and its followers.
Jim Womack returns in this similarly styled video that takes a step back and shows practical examples of lean being utilized in the workplace, giving anyone interested in lean some great reassurance.
3. John Shook Explains the Lean Transformation Model
Using a whiteboard and some revolutionary thinking, John Shook provides a perfect visualization of the lean transformation model, highlighting its many necessary components as a house, roof and all.