The depth of lean thinking

FEATURE – To really embrace lean thinking means to ensure the bureaucratic structures in our organizations enable our people to excel, rather than constrain their creativity.

Learning a different way of thinking in Japan

FEATURE – Study tours in Japan are an increasingly popular learning tool for lean practitioners. The author reflects on the first ever tour she ran and on what it left people with.

Doubling the number of performant Apps using kaizen

BUILDING BRIDGES – A member of the Theodo team tells us about their attempts to improve the performance of their Web apps using lean principles.

Lean Thinking: ingredients, incubation and diffusion

FEATURE – The author offers an overview of the ingredients that made lean thinking what it is, of the 30 years of incubation it underwent at Toyota, and of its diffusion from 1980 onwards.

Managing the complexity of our oil & gas value streams

FEATURE – In this frank account, a senior executive discusses the challenges facing an oil and gas company as it tries to manage the complexity of its upstream and downstream supply chains.

The architecture of a lean transformation

FEATURE – The role of the coach in a lean transformation is an often-debated topic. The author discusses his experience building the architecture of the Halfway turnaround.

Using lean to gain a competitive advantage

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – In the web marketing world, a competitive advantage is a matter of life and death for businesses. The author meets a firm that has been leveraging lean to gain one.

Unearthing problems by reducing work-in-progress

BUILDING BRIDGES - This month, we hear how addressing work-in-progress led a startup specialized in AI to productivity gains on their machine learning projects.

How we are rolling out lean in our chain of stores

FEATURE – When Praktiker decided to turn to lean thinking, they were faced with the challenge of rolling out its principles and practices to 20 DIY stores. Here’s how they are trying to make it work.

Start your change project with a concept paper

FEATURE – This article offers an exhaustive explanation of how to prepare a Concept Paper and why this is a tool that will help us to succeed in the execution of large change projects.
Michael Ballé yamazumi chart

Michael Ballé on how a yamazumi chart enables standard work

THE TOOLS CORNER – Standardizing the work is one of the fundamentals of lean thinking, but without a yamazumi chart visualizing it (and helping us to streamline it) this is impossible.
virtual book club lean manager

A virtual book club got us started on our lean journey

FEATURE – A UK-based team of client services managers working for HR consultancy Mercer is using a virtual book club to take their first steps into the world of lean thinking.
lean technology digital Halfway

Building applications that really support the daily work

FEATURE – Technology should help people in their work, and it is with this in mind that the  general manager of this car preparation center decided to learn to develop Apps.
red bins BAM lean software development

Building quality into our code using the red bins system

BUILDING BRIDGES – In this article, we learn how a team of software developers leverages the lean concept of “red bins” to ensure the quality of the code they write.
building trust lean company

Michael Ballé on how to really build trust in a lean company

FEATURE – In this interesting piece, the author explains why living up to the ideal of mutual trust is hard, and how lean tools can help us build a workplace based on respect.
lean thinking in the Dutch special forces

How the Dutch Special Forces apply lean without realizing it

FEATURE – Teamwork, value stream mapping, 5S, kaizen – a former officer in the Dutch Special Forces reflects on how lean thinking is unconsciously embedded in Special Operations practices.
Lean quality management Michael Ballé

How to ensure quality issues are detected and tackled fast

THE TOOLS CORNER – This month, the author discusses how we can ensure quality problems are identified early, tackled swiftly and prevented from reoccurring.
lean agile Theodo lean software

These developers learned what lean can do that agile cannot

FEATURE – In this article, we learn how a simple andon system and lean problem solving helped Theodo move past some of the most common obstacles that Agile alone can’t overcome.