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.
ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – Change might be scary but, when things do work out, it also brings us incredible pride and sense of accomplishment. We asked five practitioners to tell us what the most satisfying moment in their lean journey was.
FEATURE – A French automotive supplier has been applying lean principles to transform its engineering department with great results. In the process, they have realized they could put in place a really effective system to build innovation.
FEATURE - We often hear that lean is a fundamentally different approach, but what does this really mean? The authors reflect on how lean challenges and debunks our assumptions on how to run a firm, which might also explain why it meets such resistance.
FEATURE – A broken phone or a clock showing the wrong time may seem small details to you, but they actually make people's jobs more difficult. Fixing these issues improves work and boosts morale... It also says a lot about you as a company.
FEATURE – A Dutch company that maintains and overhauls train bogies has realized that in order for lean to work, a focus on continuous learning must be established. Here is how they are trying to get there.
ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – With this month’s question we try to understand what lean idea or principle our interviewees would have liked to learn sooner or better in their journey. So, heads up… You might be in a similar situation.
FEATURE – We often think that making every product customers might want – no matter how little they sell or how much complexity they add to our schedule – is inherently lean. As Toyota understands quite well, however, it is quite the opposite.
FEATURE – The warehousing department of a Dutch hospital has been implementing lean for a few years. Its Head of Logistics believes in an approach to change based on respect for people and on making small but steady steps.
FEATURE - Effectively dealing with a problem means learning to solve it in a variety of scenarios, not perfecting a point solution. For too long in lean we have only focused on gaining reusable knowledge... but what about reusable learning?