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Evolving Excellence

  • The Dangerous Lite Side of Mindfulness and Lean
    By Kevin Meyer I’ll preface this post by saying that yes, I’m from crazy California, I eat granola with fruits and nuts in the morning, am vegetarian (well, pescatarian), dislike wearing shoes, and practice yoga. At least I don’t have dreadlock…
    - 17 days ago, 4 Apr 2014, 6:27am -
  • The Engagement of Risk
    By Kevin Meyer Rules are a funny thing.  We like some of them because they make us feel protected, aligned, and perhaps operating on a fair playing field.  We dislike them because they can protect us to the point of being smothering, align us to th…
    - 56 days ago, 24 Feb 2014, 6:30am -
  • Just a Simple Strategy
    By Kevin Meyer I remember two decades ago when I was in my first real executive role and I was asked to come up with a strategy for my business unit.  I was in control and I could develop and set a direction!  I could finally use some of what I had…
    - 63 days ago, 17 Feb 2014, 6:33am -
  • Gemba Academy is 5 Years Old! Come celebrate with us!
    By Kevin Meyer Five years ago I, and two good friends of mine, began what’s turned out to be an incredible journey. Specifically, in March of 2009 Gemba Academy was born.  We had no way of knowing whether there would be interest in what we were do…
    - 73 days ago, 6 Feb 2014, 10:52pm -
  • The Power of High Performance Decisions
    By Kevin Meyer For the past couple weeks I've been digging into employee handbooks as a startup I'm involved with has grown to the point of needing one.  Few perhaps realize how that document, usually given to you on your first day and then mostly f…
    - 99 days ago, 12 Jan 2014, 1:32pm -

Lean Blog

  • Video: Formula 1 Pit Stops 1950 & Today… a Huge Difference
    I’m not a racing fan, but wow this video is impressive. I can appreciate a great process and all of the planning that’s involved. I can also see the difference between having four pit crew members and 18 crew members (or so… it’s hard to coun…
    - 3 days ago, 18 Apr 2014, 10:42am -
  • Things That Make Me Worry About My Colonoscopy: Patient Safety
    Sorry to get all Katie Couric on you, but I’m going to have a colonoscopy on Friday. I turned 40 last October and I have some family history that leads my doctor to get one done now rather than at 50. Unlike Katie, I won’t be broadcasting mine li…
    - 5 days ago, 16 Apr 2014, 9:00am -
  • #Lean *IS* about Doing More with Less, But Be Careful Saying That
    It’s often said that Lean is about “doing more with less.” Historically, and practically speaking, it’s true. But, it’s a phrase that we should be careful about, for a number of reasons. Looking back at the origins of the term “Lean” as…
    - 6 days ago, 15 Apr 2014, 9:00am -
  • My Comments on #Lean Healthcare in These Challenging Times
    Thanks to Dodge Communications for interviewing me for their blog: “Improving healthcare–there’s no instant pudding.” I was, of course, citing the late great Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his “There is no instant pudding” admonition. Hospital…
    - 7 days ago, 14 Apr 2014, 9:00am -
  • My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program
    I have a new article posted on LinkedIn: “My New Program: Speak Up About “Speak Up for Safety” at GM.” GM seems to continue their “blame the employees” game, as they’ve suspended two engineers (in my mind, blaming individuals for system…
    - 9 days ago, 12 Apr 2014, 2:01am -

Jamie Flinchbaugh

  • Build a deliberate culture, not an accidental one [Lessons from the Road]
    In my last Lessons from the Road column, I introduced the the idea that culture is the most important element of lean transformation. I was fortunate to have the opportunity early in my lean journey to see just how important the correct behaviors wou…
    - 7 days ago, 13 Apr 2014, 4:07pm -
  • Building Behaviors Bedrock of Lean Success [Lessons from the Road]
    For my latest column, I set out to write about culture change. I barely got through the introduction and realized I’m already out of room. Such is the restriction of a 1-page column. So, the introduction became the column. You can read the latest i…
    - 66 days ago, 13 Feb 2014, 10:34pm -
  • A presentation on innovation
    Today I am giving a presentation on behalf of the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center and hosted by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. I believe innovation is not just something a few insightful people do in a special innovation department. It happen…
    - 80 days ago, 31 Jan 2014, 12:00pm -
  • Ambiguity of expected outcomes generates unneeded waste
    “Clean your room” “I did” “It doesn’t look like it” Did they or did they not accomplish the task? It depends on who you ask because there are differences in the expected outcome. One person’s version of “clean” and another’s ver…
    - 88 days ago, 22 Jan 2014, 4:12pm -
  • The waste of the “reverse” flat organization
    I recently wrote about whether “flat” organizational designs are flat or not, along with Zappos decision to eliminate managers. There are many reasons that they are not. But I’ve also encountered a different organizational design that I call th…
    - 94 days ago, 17 Jan 2014, 5:33am -

LSS Academy

Got Boondoggle

  • Book Review The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
    What makes a good checklist versus a bad checklist?  What are the limits in the power of a checklist?  Sure, checklists work for the weekly run to the grocery store or packing before we go on vacation but can they work to reduce errors in surgery?T…
    - 16 Jun 2013, 9:43pm -
  • Going from "Oh-oh" to "Ta-da" Faster
    As young children, we learn from our experiences through relentless trial and error. It does not take us long to figure out if we touch something hot, for instance fire or a hot skillet, it burns us and we quickly jerk o…
    - 14 May 2012, 3:01pm -
  • Lean Snake Oil Cures what Ails Ya
    Step right up Ladies and Gentleman! Do you suffer from bulging inventories? Are you feeling tired and wore down chasing problems everyday at work? Are parts of your organization afflicted by dislocation? Perhaps you suffer from irregularity of flow o…
    - 30 Apr 2012, 2:50pm -
  • Suffering from Sick Sigma?
    My good friend, Jonathan Sands, a Director of Operational Excellence for a large firm, recently told me about his experience with a company six sigma effort years ago. At first go around, he and other leaders undertook their black belt training with…
    - 3 Apr 2012, 4:11pm -
  • New Webinar "A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor"
    I invite you to please join me in a free webinar next week “A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor” hosted by Gemba Academy on April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm – 2:00pm (USA-Central Time).Click here to register. In this webinar, I will help define stan…
    - 30 Mar 2012, 3:27pm -

Daily Kaizen

  • Moonshine in the Home?
    As I watched a recent 3P team in action – I could no longer ignore it. a little voice saying: ‘for any home improvement, you must use the 3P moonshine principles!’ Make it physical with zero cost, and then simulate the process within that physi…
    - 6 Dec 2013, 10:38pm -
  • What Do Customers Want?
            Can kaizen activities be truly meaningful to the success of the business if we lose sight of what customers actually want versus interpreting the customer’s requirements through the lens of the business’s current capabilities? I am…
    - 22 Nov 2013, 10:00pm -
  • The Importance of Minding the Gap by Lori Heniff
    “Mind the gap!” Travelers and commuters in London Underground tube stations regularly hear that warning to be cautious when crossing the gap between the station platform and the train itself. There might be significant distances or height differe…
    - 11 Nov 2013, 5:20pm -
  • The Art of Improvement
    Process flows.  Standard work combo sheets.  Spaghetti diagrams.  Material and information flows.  Value stream maps.  At the end of an improvement effort, we step back, crumple them up and toss them in the recycle bin.  We recycle this beau…
    - 31 Oct 2013, 4:33pm -
  • Taking Stairs Two at a Time by Jennifer Haury
    SMACK!  The other day, I was running late for a meeting and needed to climb 3 flights of stairs because I had no time for the elevator.  Of course, I thought taking the stairs 2 at a time would be a good idea.  I was running short on time and so I…
    - 17 Oct 2013, 9:20pm -

Gotta Go Lean

  • Selecting the Program Leader
    The program leader is the organization's guide while creating a culture of continuous improvement. This person will work closely with senior management and will act their behalf when directing the organization on its journey.This person is part proj…
    - 18 days ago, 2 Apr 2014, 10:25pm -
  • Understanding the Motivation to Change
    This section of our practical guide to continuous improvement explores the source of the motivation behind a company's decision to embark on a transformative journey. The title of the section, "Understanding the Motivation to Change", applies to any…
    - 29 days ago, 22 Mar 2014, 3:42pm -
  • Lean Survey: What would make the Lean community better?
    Over the years as a member of the online continuous improvement community, I have had the pleasure of meeting several like-minded individuals. Each contact with them helps me refine my ideas and learn more, as well as reinvigorates me in what I do. R…
    - 54 days ago, 26 Feb 2014, 2:57am -
  • The Nuts and Bolts Guide, Volume VII: World Class Performance
    Some elite companies pass from a strong continuous improvement culture to one that drives world class performance. These top tier companies continually stay ahead of the competition, and regularly make game-changing breakthroughs.This final phase of…
    - 70 days ago, 10 Feb 2014, 12:52am -
  • The Nuts and Bolts Guide, Volume VI: Keeping Momentum
    Even though this endeavor you have been working on to build a continuous improvement culture is commonly called a "Lean journey", the name is not entirely accurate. A journey implies an end. It is more like an adventure or an exploration. Regardless…
    - 75 days ago, 5 Feb 2014, 1:16pm -

Lean Connections

  • Untitled
    Reflecting on Michel Baudin’s Blog post from yesterday, titled “Metrics in Lean -  Deming vs. Drucker” – All well-reasoned propositions. What’s easy to do will always be more popular than that which takes greater effort. And perhaps this…
    - 1 Jan 1970, 12:00am -
  • Cheap viagra soft >>> THE BEST PRICE AND FREE DELIVERY!
    Plant GM – Operations  - Lean Transformation – full Manufacturing P&L Architectural Building Products – Newark, NJ metro region Situation Overview Founded in the late 1940’s, and very much the industry pioneer, our client has grown into one…
    - 1 Jan 1970, 12:00am -
  • Cheap viagra soft >>> THE BEST PRICE AND FREE DELIVERY!
    Company Overview Our client, a global Fortune 500 organization, is the world’s leading provider of cleaning, food safety and health protection products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare and industrial markets.  The company…
    - 1 Jan 1970, 12:00am -
  • Cheap viagra soft >>> THE BEST PRICE AND FREE DELIVERY!
    Our client is a small (under $100 million) world-class, multi-national manufacturer  of specialty metal products. Based in the Western United States, the company  designs and builds unique, custom solutions which are specifically engineered to indi…
    - 1 Jan 1970, 12:00am -
  • Cheap viagra soft >>> THE BEST PRICE AND FREE DELIVERY!
    Are you a Lean Thinker? More importantly, are you a Lean Doer?  Then, think about this Lean career opportunity with LEI, the Lean Enterprise Institute… Education Manager Organization Background The Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. founded by James…
    - 1 Jan 1970, 12:00am -

Curious Cat

  • Innovative Thinking at Amazon: Paying Employees $5,000 to Quit
    Amazon continues to be innovative not just in technology but with management thinking. Jeff Bezos has rejected the dictates espoused most vociferously by Wall Street mouthpieces and MBAs that encourage short term thinking and financial gimmicks which…
    - 6 days ago, 15 Apr 2014, 1:53pm -
  • Toyota Understands Robots are Best Used to Enhance the Value Employees Provide
    Toyota has always seen robotics as a way to enhance what staff can do. Many USA executives think of robotics as a way to reduce personnel. Toyota wants to use the brainpower of employees to continually improve the organization. Toyota … Continue re…
    - 13 days ago, 8 Apr 2014, 10:08am -
  • Steve Jobs on Quality, Business and Joseph Juran
    This webcast shows an interesting interview with Steve Jobs when he was with NeXT computer. He discusses quality, business and the experience of working with Dr. Juran at NeXT computer. The video is likely from around 1991. America’s in a … Conti…
    - 21 days ago, 31 Mar 2014, 12:21pm -
  • Analysis Must be Implemented by People to Provide Value
    Guest Post by Bill Scherkenbach Every time I look at this picture, I think of Dr. Deming’s words to drive out fear and take joy in your work. We were talking in my home office when Sylvester saw a good … Continue reading →
    - 27 days ago, 25 Mar 2014, 9:57am -
  • Deming and Software Development
    I am sometimes asked about how use Deming’s ideas on management in a software development context. My belief is Deming’s ideas work extremely well in a software development context. The main issue is often unlearning some assumptions that people…
    - 35 days ago, 17 Mar 2014, 9:38am -

Learning About lean

  • A new writing project
    This blog has been rather quiet for the past couple of months, which reflects two concurrent facts. One is an incredibly busy period for my own manufacturing job.  Good stuff, but hugely time-consuming, filling work days and leaving little mental sp…
    - 3 Jan 2013, 2:59am -
  • Creating Interest
    Flow is a lot more interesting than batch. This occured to me in recent conversations with one of our team leaders who schedules work for her area.  A series of well-intended but misdirected steps had created a batch process in her area.  She coul…
    - 26 Oct 2012, 8:30pm -
  • Go Look at the Ears
    "You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."Dwight Eisenhower, Address at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 9/25/56Ike had it right.  Need we say more about getting out of t…
    - 11 Oct 2012, 11:13pm -
  • The Curse of Sophistication
    As long as I've worked at implementing a Lean strategy, I continue to find it amazing how a description of it seems to fall flat on others' ears.  A common reaction is "Well, it's just common sense." Which is truly a comment which dismisses it as a…
    - 9 Oct 2012, 1:11am -
  • Ten Years of Blogging
    Flying well under any publicity banner, today marks ten years of this blog.  My first-ever post, on September 14, 2002, got this whole thing going.  568 posts later, allow me a few reflections. Ten years ago, there were not many resources about Lea…
    - 14 Sep 2012, 10:00am -

Improve With Me

  • Test Beliefs Against Data
    I like this quote because it touches on a couple of other ideas I have read before. One author I like (Joiner) states that all leaders need to treat decisions as experiments.  Lean challenges HiPPOs (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) to use data in…
    - 4 Sep 2012, 2:00pm -
  • Seek Multiple Views
    This quote has been sitting with me a while and I hope it is relevant for you too.  So often, even a gemba experience may be different for people.  Even though facts are found at gemba, people may only see certain … Continue reading →
    - 28 Aug 2012, 2:00pm -
  • Change Through Repeated Action
    “Beliefs, behaviors, assumptions, and attitudes do not change through study, conferences, seminars, and training classes; they change through repeated action. This is not dissimilar to breaking unhealthy habits such as smoking or overeating. The co…
    - 21 Aug 2012, 3:00pm -
  • PDSA Is The Ultimate Success Formula
    I recently uncovered a box of books I thought was lost years ago (before I knew about 5S!)  This time capsule contained material I read about 15 years ago while still in college and managing my own direct sales business during summer … Continue…
    - 19 Jul 2012, 4:45am -
  • The Waste Of “Managing Up”
    Time spent trying to please your boss is processing waste and provides no value to your customers.  Leaders and staff need to recognize this as a major cultural problem because it will negatively affect the long-term success for your organization.…
    - 11 Jan 2012, 2:00pm -

Lean Insider

  • How Can We Overcome Toxic Conformity at Work?
    Why are many of our organizations almost allergenic in their responses to innovation? Why do we penalize those courageous individuals who challenge the status quo by swimming against the tide? What can we do at work to ensure that dissenting voices…
    - 5 days ago, 15 Apr 2014, 2:12pm -
  • Generating Sustainable Power: What Are the Considerations?
    Joao Neiva de Figueiredo and Mauro F. Guillén recently edited and published a book titled Green Power: Perspectives on Sustainable Electricity Generation, which provides a systematic overview of the current state of green power and renewable elect…
    - 34 days ago, 18 Mar 2014, 12:22pm -
  • Why Don't All Manufacturing Companies Design Products that are Easy to Manufacture?
    David M. Anderson recently published a book titled Design for Manufacturability: How to Use Concurrent Engineering to Rapidly Develop Low-Cost, High-Quality Products for Lean Production, and I just had to ask him a few questions, such as: Don’t…
    - 61 days ago, 18 Feb 2014, 4:19pm -
  • Creating a Lean Product Portfolio
    Chris Harris recently co-authored a book titled Capitalizing on Lean Production Systems to Win New Business: Creating a Lean and Profitable New Product Portfolio, which can help an organization take its current Lean knowledge and translate it into…
    - 95 days ago, 15 Jan 2014, 8:40pm -
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) = Lean Architect
    Nick Katko recently published a book titled The Lean CFO: Architect of the Lean Management System, and it fully explains why chief financial officers (CFOs) must rethink their traditional management accounting systems. During a recent conversation, I…
    - 16 Dec 2013, 2:14pm -

Lean Reflections

  • Bad employees
    As I discussed in my last post, the article, “Bad to great: The path to scaling up excellence” in the McKinsey Quarterly evoked my ire. In it, the authors discussed how to identify “bad employees” and get rid of them -- the old “bad apple…
    - 13 days ago, 7 Apr 2014, 4:59pm -
  • McKinsey proves that today's management culture has a long way to go
    The first issue of the McKinsey Quarterly for 2014 was entitled, “Shaping the future of manufacturing.” Proof that management culture, however, is still rooted in the past, is made plain in the article “Bad to great: The path to scaling up exce…
    - 21 days ago, 30 Mar 2014, 4:41pm -
  • When management doesn't get it
    Our last post identified a divide in a corporate culture between management and operational subcultures. I think that the failure to understand the importance of cultural differences is one of the reasons why lean initiatives fail. When lean champion…
    - 32 days ago, 19 Mar 2014, 2:22pm -
  • Senior management is an alien culture
    “They just don’t get it.” That’s the most common complaint you hear from lean champions. “It has to start from the top” -- If senior management does not support and lead a lean change, just forget about any real achievement. Another appar…
    - 40 days ago, 12 Mar 2014, 1:49pm -
  • Do bonuses work? Yes and no, according to new brain research
    The debate over bonuses has raged for decades. Do bonuses improve performance or not? Dr. Deming emphatically argued against them, and work like Alfie Kohn’s has backed him up. However, other research has demonstrated that productivity improves whe…
    - 47 days ago, 4 Mar 2014, 4:15pm -


  • 5S Shadow Board Example: Rastafarian Style
    We know that 5S is an important foundation in any implementation of Lean. Within 5S, there are many ways to apply its principles. In this manner, it’s helpful to see examples of visual management within the context of 5S. One example I saw recently…
    - 5 days ago, 15 Apr 2014, 7:23pm -
  • 9 Emotions Only Kaizen Event Leaders Understand
    Kaizen Leaders – this article is for you. For those that have led and facilitated Point Kaizen Events, you have undoubtedly experience many emotions as you led a group through the steps of Plan-Do-Check-Act. Especially early in your career. But eve…
    - 10 days ago, 10 Apr 2014, 5:10pm -
  • The Kano Model in Customer Experience and Continuous Improvement
    There are many customer satisfaction models in the marketplace. One very important model is the Kano Model, which we’ll discuss today. In this article, we’ll discuss the following: The origins of the Kano Model Key Elements of Kano Methodology Ap…
    - 17 days ago, 3 Apr 2014, 6:57pm -
  • Visual Management at a Hotel
    Don’t you hate it when you attempt to get a fork from a condiment stand, but end up picking up a spoon? Has that ever happened to you? I hope I’m not alone in this one. Well, at a recent hotel stay, I experienced simple and powerful visual manage…
    - 19 days ago, 1 Apr 2014, 4:02pm -
  • Paired T Test Calculator Template Download
    This article will show you how to Prove Process Improvement with Paired T Test. In you process improvement projects, you will almost – no, inevitably – make process changes. At times, you will be challenged on whether the process change made any…
    - 25 days ago, 26 Mar 2014, 6:17pm -

Gemba Tales

  • Strategy Deployment: Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey
    I remember, years ago, watching my oldest child struggle in his attempt to loosen a bolt. This was one of those all too few, brief, and shining child-rearing moments where I could easily and quickly share some trusty words of wisdom. “Righty tighty…
    - 26 days ago, 25 Mar 2014, 8:13pm -
  • Newsflash: Behavioral Benefits of 5S Are Clinically “Proven”
    Larry Loucka, a close friend and colleague, recently pointed me to a February 16th Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article. Now, before you roll your eyes and give me the WSJ-isn’t known-for-getting-the-lean-thing-right look, hear me out. What the Journa…
    - 54 days ago, 26 Feb 2014, 3:43am -
  • Holiday Lean Math
    As some of you may recall, I launched a new blog called Lean Math back in February with a couple of my buddies. In my humble opinion, I think that the ever-growing content is pretty useful stuff for lean practitioners. In any event, I just wanted to…
    - 23 Dec 2013, 9:09pm -
  • Build the Lean Management System and the Behaviors Will Come. Not Exactly.
    OK, I know that what I’m about to say may sound cynical, but 20 years of personal, hard knock lean experience tells me that this is reality. And most folks I think would, or at least should (I hope), agree with me. The majority of companies pursuin…
    - 20 Nov 2013, 9:22pm -
  • Respect the Process
    We’ve all undoubtedly had the notion of respect for people drilled into our heads. Of course, it’s easy to speak about such a principle. Much  harder to live it. In any event, let me humbly add another recipient of our deserved respect. Process.…
    - 25 Sep 2013, 5:36pm -

Kaizen Notebook

  • My Standard Work, Epilogue
    Over the course of the last few weeks I've been describing my latest efforts to apply leader standard work to my own work.  Please see my previous posts:Part 1Part 2Part 3Now I wanted to share with you a couple of images from the Excel file that I u…
    - 13 Sep 2013, 2:35pm -
  • My Standard Work, Part 3
    met·a·cog·ni·tion  [met-uh-kog-nish-uhn]noun Psychology.higher-order thinking that enables understanding, analysis, and control of one’s cognitive processes, especially when engaged in learning.Over these past couple weeks I've been describing…
    - 6 Sep 2013, 3:35pm -
  • My Standard Work, Part 2
    In last week's post I began describing my standard work by talking about repetitive and cyclical tasks.  This accounts for roughly a third of the work that I do, but I soon realized that the next big chuck of work is comprised of tasks that are repe…
    - 31 Aug 2013, 3:58pm -
  • My Standard Work, Part 1
    Understanding others is knowledge. Understanding oneself is enlightenment. ~ Lao TzuFor years I've been an advocate for leader standard work, and yet in my own work I have struggled to apply this useful concept.  However recently I've had a breakthr…
    - 22 Aug 2013, 3:29pm -
  • Lovejoy, the Airlines, and Big Data
    One of my favorite concepts of Operations Management is the OM Triangle, also called Lovejoy's Triangle.  It describes the interrelationship of Inventory, Information, and Capacity. Read more »
    - 30 Apr 2013, 3:00pm -

Lean For Everyone

Flexible Pencil

  • Living in New England just went south
    My family and I live up in southern New Hampshire, about 1 hour north of Boston and the mayhem that followed yesterday's race. My wife and I moved here in 2002, after we met in Washington, DC and live there for four years. We left the busy-ness of…
    - 17 Apr 2013, 9:05am -
  • Anticipation vs responsiveness
    individuals and organizations still struggle with being proactive and preventing problems. My explanation comes by way of a saying I once wrote on a whiteboard in a co-worker's cubicle when the powers-that-be in that organization were touting the vi…
    - 11 Apr 2013, 9:05am -
  • Five types of toys, and a lesson for the grown-ups
    Like most parents, I buy my kids toys. I buy them mostly for Holidays and birthdays, and sometimes just because I can, and sometimes because I can't listen to the begging any more, too. On top of that, there are the presents from other people, the…
    - 10 Apr 2013, 9:05am -
  • It’s just a half glass of water.
    The old question, "Is the glass half empty or half full?" draws the line between optimists and pessimists. Deciding if the glass is half empty or half full, however, is more about seeing the future, or believing that you can, than it is about seeing…
    - 9 Apr 2013, 9:05am -
  • Training and Education – What is the correct value for you?
    As Continuous Improvement practitioners, it is natural (even a passion) to always seek ways to improve ourselves and the value we drive to our colleagues and the companies for which we work. During our quest for this personal and professional develo…
    - 4 Apr 2013, 9:05am -

My Lean Transformation

  • Is the Improvement Overwhelming You?
    The numbers of improvements we need to do are so many …. I do not know where to start This is a concern that I have heard from more than one business owners or managers. I mostly work with small and medium sized businesses and I am always surprised…
    - 22 Dec 2013, 6:36pm -
  • Video: TPS Basics
    This is a good video to refresh your memory about the  basic concepts of Toyota Production System(TPS).
    - 25 Sep 2013, 4:36pm -
  • Guest Post: Improving Employee Productivity through Security
    Author BIO - Antonio Ferraro – On behalf of Creative Safety Supply based in Portland, OR ( Antonio strive to provide helpful information to create safer and more efficient industrial work environments. His knowledge b…
    - 29 Apr 2013, 12:59am -
  • The Truth about Lean Failures
    The truth is, most lean implementations are a failure over long duration. The reasons could be many. However, some of them are the major causes, as identified by the people involved in the implementation. They may be the right or maybe these are just…
    - 7 Apr 2013, 5:42am -
  • Become a Good Manager: Simplify your Work-Space
    In the previous post we talked about focusing on changing ourselves before starting the change in the company. Learning to change and adapt to meet the new challenges is the key to lead and survive any major transformation process. But how do we star…
    - 17 Feb 2013, 5:25am -

Old Lean Dude

  • Permutations
    For many years I worked for a manufacturer of pressure and temperature switches, a small company with a very big product selection. In our product catalog there were roughly three-dozen distinct product families with hundreds of standard products, ea…
    - 2 days ago, 18 Apr 2014, 6:15pm -
  • The Road To Lean
    An old TV series I watched recently reminded me of an experience I have had many times in my work. In this I Love Lucy episode, Lucy is ordered by Ricky to create a schedule to make her “more efficient.” A schedule board, posted in their home is…
    - 16 days ago, 4 Apr 2014, 4:01pm -
  • Lines
    As any conference-goer can attest, the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line when that line is the lunch line.   At Lean conferences like the ones I attend it’s especially incongruous to hear stories all morning about custom…
    - 34 days ago, 17 Mar 2014, 4:27pm -
  • Turkeys
    Across a large swath of the U.S., the winter has been especially cold, snowy and dreary this year.  So here’s a post with a link to a cheery video at the end, just to pick my spirits up – and maybe yours too. The English language can be confound…
    - 54 days ago, 25 Feb 2014, 2:52pm -
  • Can’t See
    My friend and mentor, Gifford Brown, told me a remarkable story some time back about a visit to his plant in 1987 by Shigeo Shingo in which Shingo, with the help of set-up people, operators and a tool maker, demonstrated (in the space of a day) how m…
    - 66 days ago, 13 Feb 2014, 5:44pm -

Systems Thinking & Lean

  • Part I of my free eBook has been published
    This blog has been pretty quiet over the last 2 years. The reason for this is that I have been working on a free eBook entitled “Theories of Work: How We Design and Manage Work“. The purpose of writing this book has been to educate and create cur…
    - 8 Oct 2013, 11:40am -
  • Latest Presentation – 21st Century Portfolio Management
    I recently spoke at the LKCE conference in Vienna on 21st Century Portfolio Management. The talk was recorded and is available here It’s about an hour long. I’ve now presented this material in Madrid, Boston, Tokyo, Vie…
    - 3 Nov 2012, 12:25am -
  • Agile for Executives
    I have been working more and more with Executives recently both from within IT and external to IT; CIOs, Executive Directors, Directors, and Senior Managers. In these sessions curiosity about agile has been piqued, which has led to wanting to learn m…
    - 25 May 2012, 7:46pm -
  • Agile, Lean, and Kanban, Do They Change Management Thinking?
    I have been an Agile practitioner for many years now, and was one of the early adopters of Lean thinking and Kanban for software teams. During that time I have observed remarkable improvements at the worker level, at the team level, and at the progra…
    - 10 Sep 2011, 12:50am -
  • Deming’s 14 Points
    W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points are the basis for transformation of industry. Adoption and action on the 14 points are a signal that the management intend to stay in business. aim to protect investors and jobs. Such a system formed the basis for less…
    - 15 Jul 2011, 7:32am -

The Lean Edge

  • Pascal Dennis: Kaizen is the work
    Building on Dave’s excellent insights, who has time for the hugely wasteful & mechanical ‘five-day kaizen events’? Dave’s suggested 1-hour-per-week Quality Circle is not only more time-efficient, but reinforces the central TPS principle: Kaiz…
    - 14 days ago, 7 Apr 2014, 11:25am -
  • Art Smalley: This is honestly more about leadership than lean
    Be forewarned – this response may come off as a somewhat brutal but I was frankly appalled by parts of the above question. Maybe I am just getting old and cranky? If so you have my apologies in advance. In order to explain my extremely visceral rea…
    - 18 days ago, 3 Apr 2014, 4:51am -
  • Dave Meier: In Toyota improvement ideas and efforts were expected but voluntary
    As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my career, but now that I’m CEO, I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work. They’re already completely busy doing their regular work. Moreover, th…
    - 18 days ago, 3 Apr 2014, 4:50am -
  • Sammy Obara: Conitnuous improvement is more than repetitive improvement
    As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my career, but now that I’m CEO, I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work. They’re already completely busy doing their regular work. Moreover, th…
    - 18 days ago, 3 Apr 2014, 4:46am -
  • Jon Miller: No Time for Kaizen? Check Your Assumptions
    The Lean Edge: How do you make time for improvements? As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my career, but now that I’m CEO, I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work. They’re already…
    - 21 days ago, 30 Mar 2014, 10:44pm -

Time Back Management

  • How lean improves individual productivity
    I’m a rabid believer that lean concepts and tools can improve personal productivity enormously — hell, I (literally) wrote the book on that. But it’s nice to see validation from the go-go world of internet startups. Bill Trenchard, founder of…
    - 4 days ago, 16 Apr 2014, 5:59pm -
  • March 2014 Newsletter — Leader Standard Work
    Do you often feel reactive instead of proactive? Do people complain that decisions at the top take too long to percolate down to the front lines? If so, you probably manage your organization and your direct reports through weekly meetings … Continu…
    - 19 days ago, 1 Apr 2014, 6:36pm -
  • Why you need to make processes visible
    One of my clients is trying to improve their product development processes. They have two major value streams: one for softgoods (cut and sew products) and one for hardgoods (products requiring injection molds). The development timelines on these two…
    - 25 days ago, 26 Mar 2014, 2:51pm -
  • The Silent Andon Cord
    I was fortunate to hear Rich Sheridan, president of Menlo Innovations and the author of the terrific book, Joy, Inc., speak at the AME Innovation Summit last week. At one point, he explained that “the sound of silence from your colleagues is a…
    - 32 days ago, 19 Mar 2014, 2:34pm -
  • How do you create value?
    What value do you create in your company? How do you create it? These questions are at the start of my book, A Factory of One, and they’re at the core of my workshop based on the book. In my … Continue reading →
    - 47 days ago, 5 Mar 2014, 11:59am -