• Lean thinking teaches reasoning, not rules

    Lean thinking teaches reasoning, not rules

    What are the rules for using “Red Bins”? It depends. What is the rule for stop-at-every-defect? I don’t know, it depends. What are the rules for effective problem solving? Let me see… it depends. People want rules to get on […]

  • Reduce boxes, then reduce buildings

    Reduce boxes, then reduce buildings

    When the CEO and COO of this service company heard that the key to improve their financial performance was to reduce their inventory of spare parts, they were a somewhat doubtful: their business is maintenance of gas stations and spare parts […]

  • First find a leader, then think about flow

    This is probably the best example of kaizen I’ve ever seen so far: A few deep thoughts to think about: They don’t show you how to find a solution to the problem, they first tell you about George, his will […]

  • Lean is an exploration method, not a belief system

    Lean Sensei Art Smalley reminded me again that there was not one method of problem solving, but many, and each depended on the type of problem you are trying to solve. Fifteen years ago, Art opened my eyes to the importance […]

  • The transformative power of Lean ideas on the gemba

    Why Lean? How is it any different from other management approaches? Why, after 25 years is it still equally important and has, paradoxically, spawn a bevy of trends that have all come and gone? The wonder of Lean comes from […]

  • The Five Forms of Lean

    The Five Forms of Lean

    People keep asking: What are the five steps to lean so we can get started with lean right away without having to learn the whole thirty-years-to-make-a-sensei shebang? We keep answering: there are no “five steps”, lean is organic, it’s not […]

  • Standardized Work in Machine-Intensive Processes

    Standardized Work in Machine-Intensive Processes

    Dear Gemba Coach, Most lean literature and case studies to date focus on assembly type manufacturing which utilizes very people-intensive operations. This is not the case in the machine-intensive process industries and therefore has major implications on the format of […]

  • Lean is never sustainable: it always depends on people!

    Where do Lean results come from? Increased Sales are supported by a firm understanding of PROTECT THE CUSTOMER within the company. Delivering products without defects on time has a remarkably rapid effect on sales. Sales are further developed by improving […]

  • Ten signs you respect me as an employee

    Lean thinking essentially means constantly looking for ways to increase customer value by decreasing waste caused to the customer by our own processes. It means constantly looking for ways employees can increase the value they contribute by eliminating wasteful work […]

  • How can lean boost sales?

    There are two ways of looking at this: one, applying lean thinking to the sales function, or two, increasing sales with lean. As I don’t know much about selling, I’ll tackle the latter – how can lean boost sales without […]