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LEI looks for success stories to share

2/26/2003
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I routinely end my talks by offering to give anyone 15 minutes of fame in my and Dan Jones’s next book if they will do something new and notable in lean practice.  This is a sincere offer and we were able to make good on it with our case studies of Lantech, Wiremold, Pratt & Whitney, Porsche, and a number of other companies in Lean Thinking.

However, we don’t write books very often and a lot of good things are happening out in the lean community every day that we would like the world to know about.  I have therefore asked Chet Marchwinski, our LEI Director of Communications and a long-time observer of lean practice as a journalist, to begin writing monthly stories about some notable lean accomplishment. Chet will summarize these stories in his monthly email and will post the complete stories in the Community section of the LEI web site.

I am asking Chet to go to the gemba – remembering that lean thinkers should never accept anything as real that they haven’t seen – and work with practitioners exploring new areas of lean practice.  This will lead to stories that give full credit to the pioneer and provide practical advice for the rest of us to follow.

So, if you have an example of a breakthrough in lean practice you are willing to share with the Lean Community, we would very much like to hear from you.  The best way is to contact Chet directly at cmarchwinski@lean.org

What might be some examples? Let me just list a few:

  • A company which has been able to use value stream mapping as a key management tool, not only to envision a Future State for each product family, but to quickly achieve it and move on to create the next Future State.
  • A company which has applied value stream thinking systematically to its office processes.
  • A company which has been able to create and sustain cellular manufacturing at the Toyota level, with high capability, availability, and flexibility in every step leading to truly continuous flow.
  • A company which has been able to apply lean thinking to its product development process to dramatically shrink lead times while increasing product value and reducing product cost.
  • Any company which has been able to apply lean thinking to an entirely new industry, far from its origins in manufacturing.
  • A group of companies who have been able to map their shared, extended value streams and create Future States that provide a win-win-win for all of the participants.

Please think about notable breakthroughs you have achieved or seen that are worthy of wider acknowledgement and let Chet know where to find them.  We badly want to provide recognition to those who deserve it and to create a source of new knowledge for the rest of us who need it.

Best regards,
Jim

Jim Womack
Founder and President
Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI)

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