EDITOR’S LETTER – What a year 2016 has been! Many of us will be happy to see it go, but with challenging times comes a great opportunity for reflection. Our editor looks back at the best content of the past year.
FEATURE – We are used to seeing the organization as a mechanical entity, but how can a machine possible change and improve? We must change our mental model and learn to see the lean enterprise as a growing plant.
FEATURE – What if we ran our production schedule to time instead of quantity? While creating overproduction, running to time is a temporary first step to establish levelled production with fixed repetitive cycles.
FEATURE – A Michigan NGO that facilitates organ and tissue donation shares its experience with value stream mapping, reflecting on people coming together to understand the gap between current and future state.
FEATURE – When you are hiring 20-30 people in a week, getting them up to speed with the company’s way of working becomes critical. But how to do it effectively? A Polish factory found the answer in TWI.
ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – Inspiration can help us solve a problem, get our colleagues interested in lean, or even pick ourselves up after a failure. But where do we get it from? We asked five practitioners.
FEATURE – We all want to create a lean culture in our organizations, but what makes cultural change possible? And, more importantly, what are the leadership behaviors that enable a new culture to take root?
FEATURE – How many times do we hear people say lean is not for them because “it’s a Japanese thing”? After spending 18 months in Japan, the author explains why the country’s culture is not necessarily "lean by nature".
FEATURE – There is a form of waste – complexity in raw and packaging materials – that adds costs to manufacturing without creating value, but it is often overlooked. The author explains what it is and how to banish it.
NOTES FROM THE GEMBA - We follow the author on a visit to a train maintenance center in France. Through practical examples and pictures from the gemba, she explains how the center is transforming itself.
FEATURE – When market changes caused operational problems in their firm, two top managers decided to stick to lean thinking (and a set of specific practices) – learning to focus on what truly matters and letting their people embrace problem-solving.
FEATURE – The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has used lean to redesign workflows in its primary care clinics since late 2011. With changes now spread to a total of 17 facilities, the team started to analyze what it took to sustain the results achieved.