FEATURE – Is there such a thing as a lean plan? There is, but it's not an off-the-shelf solution that will appease your boss – and that's why traditional, bureaucratic organizations continue to exist.
NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – Follow Catherine on another one of her gemba walks around French companies. This time, she visits a manufacturer of inspecting machines near Bordeaux, with a visionary leader and a great story.
CASE STUDY – Around four years ago, classified ads magazine Auto Trader printed its final issue and moved to a web-only business model. As its digital transformation progressed, the company discovered why real innovation must become business-as-usual.
FEATURE – In the second article of our series written by the front-line staff of Siena University Hospital, we learn how the lean principles of pull and flow have transformed the blood donating process.
FEATURE – A lean journey often has more downs than ups, but it is a responsibility of management to persist and keep asking the right questions that will steer the firm in the right direction.
VIDEO – We constantly talk about the role of leadership, but perhaps we don't realize just how intertwined leadership transformation and business transformation really are. This short video discusses why.
INTERVIEW – The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has been working with a lean-inspired improvement program that is gradually transforming the culture of the business – one creative idea at a time.
FEATURE – The banking sector is floundering in the face of heavy regulation and increased competition from fintechs. So what can banks do? The author suggests they embrace lean IT in order to change their ways.
INTERVIEW – In this interview, Michael Ballé discusses lean thinking as a strategy, how to unearth problems, and the best (or only) way to initiate a lean transformation.
INTERVIEW – In this must-read Q&A, our editor sits down with lean guru John Shook to discuss the meaning of failure, the nature of innovation, and the resilience of our movement.
NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – On this gemba walk in the cardiology department of a Parisian hospital, the author discovers how the team is changing its internal dynamics and processes to make lean their way of thinking.
FEATURE – With an open-minded approach to improvement tools, a long history of quality and engaged top leaders, wire manufacturer Ducab aims to fulfil the strategic needs of the Emirates.
CASE STUDY – The story of how a humble leader, who recognizes the importance and contribution of each individual to the company’s success, is making a car dealership in Botswana a fantastic example of lean transformation.
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.
WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Small firms represent the backbone of the economy, and there is no doubt lean can help them improve and grow – by making the jobs they offer great. Without it, countries won't be great either.
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.
INTERVIEW – For the past year, agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere Ibérica has worked to spread lean thinking to the supply chain. We met with them in Madrid to understand how they’re going about it.
CASE STUDY – The Finnish Broadcasting Company has been leveraging lean thinking to scale up its agile work. In the process, it has developed a greater understanding of customer value.
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.
RESEARCH – What kind of financial results can a SME owner expect from a lean transformation? To find out, the author of this interesting research analyzed the performance of 100 Italian small and medium-sized companies.
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.
CASE STUDY – There is more to Siena than the Palio: the Tuscan city boasts of one of the most advanced examples of lean healthcare in Italy. We asked the team at the University Hospital how they are doing it.
INTERVIEW – Twenty years ago a book started a movement that is growing stronger every day and that has changed the world in many ways. We caught up with the authors to sneak a peek behind the scenes.
INTERVIEW – In this interview, the former CFO of uber-lean company Wiremold explains why our finance people hold the key to our transformation and gives us the lowdown on lean accounting.
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 – A group of Italian researchers and professionals partnered with a NGO to prove how lean thinking can pave the way for the competitiveness and sustainable development of SMEs in Myanmar. Is this a new model for the developing world?
CASE STUDY – The whole of Helsinki’s hospital district is leaning out, with incredible results. It isn’t every day that we come across – let alone have the opportunity to observe – a lean transformation in such a large healthcare organization.
PROFILE – Lean is spreading like wildfire across the Catalonian healthcare sector, following a do-it-yourself model unique to this part of the world. Our editor met one of the practitioners who are making it happen.
FEATURE – This powerful article explains why we should place learning at the heart of our lean strategy to build better products – something Toyota has always done – and how management fits in the picture.
NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – In the past 15 months Terex Cranes has successfully initiated a lean transformation. Follow Catherine Chabiron on her gemba walk to see what this large company is doing to put learning at the heart of its activities.
FEATURE – There are five dimensions to a lean transformation – purpose, process, people, management behaviors, and mental models – and it is the role of leadership to adjust its stance to each of them.
INTERVIEW – Ahead of this month’s Lean Experience Days in Holland, PL meets one of the speakers to learn about his research into the financial effects of lean transformations.
FEATURE – Too often we tend to focus on trying to replicate success, rather than analyze failure. Yet, learning from mistakes is a fundamental principle in lean. This account of a transformation gone south offers an insightful critique of lean.
RESEARCH – The author explores the effectiveness of five common managerial practices in driving a corporate lean initiative forward, analyzing the data gathered while visiting 36 factories of a large corporation.
CASE STUDY – The extraordinary transformation of Kinross' Round Mountain gold mine in Nevada over the past six years shows that lean thinking can – quite literally – move mountains.
CASE STUDY – How an improvement program of the British national healthcare system inspired a Belgian hospital to launch an organization-wide lean transformation with the active support of the HR and nursing departments.
WOMACK'S YOKOTEN - Kaizen or kaikaku? This is the problem. When it comes to the pace of change, should we carry on with small, incremental improvements or aim at more revolutionary changes instead?
INTERVIEW – Planet Lean speaks with David Mann about the importance of combining the lean production and the lean management systems – the tools and the culture – to create sustainable results.
FEATURE – Moving her assistant's workstation next to hers and introducing standardized work helped a family physician in California to provide better, faster care to her patients and to avoid burnout.
INTERVIEW – At the recent UK Lean Summit, we met the Head of Student Services of an English high school. We asked her about the interesting work the school is doing to improve the delivery of education to students with special needs using lean thinking.
FEATURE ARTICLE – Danish company Solar has applied lean management principles to the rollout of a new ERP system to gradually strengthen the ties between an isolated IT department and the rest of the organization.
INTERVIEW – Planet Lean interviews Silvia Cespa of Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, a bank that boasts one of the most advanced IT departments in Europe. How did it get there? Through a six-year transformation towards lean banking.
PROFILE – Before anything else, a good lean leader must be open to changing and continuously running experiments – something Christophe Riboulet, CEO of a small French manufacturer, knows quite a bit about.
FEATURE ARTICLE - Sometimes, introducing lean thinking in an organization can make you feel lonely and hopeless. This article, which draws on the author's experience working with a chain of supermarkets in Siberia, offers some tips on what to do to start off a lean transformation.
WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – If truly embraced, lean thinking sustains and (in the long run) even creates jobs, but if a transformation is to last these jobs must be “good,” says Jim Womack.
PROFILE – In this new section, Planet Lean features some of the most inspirational lean leaders out there. For the first profile, we have selected James Hereford, a former high school teacher who is now leading his third healthcare transformation.
CASE STUDY – An entire restaurant chain going lean is not something you see every day. Coming all the way from China, Xibei's story of cultural change will inspire you to never forget the fundamentals of lean, from standardization to quality.
VIDEO CASE STUDY – In the past couple of years, the Consorci Sanitari del Garraf has been able to leverage the commitment of its people to perform a lean turnaround. Its story shows you don’t need lots of resources and money to do lean in a hospital.
FEATURE ARTICLE – If we see lean thinking as a paradigm, which we do, then we should be able to define a set of values this paradigm is built on. So, are there lean ethics? Michael Ballé identifies 10 undisputed lean values, plus one.
CASE STUDY - A pioneering school in Rogaland, Norway, is proving that some elements of lean thinking can successfully be adapted to the education system to create better conditions for both teaching and learning.
FEATURE ARTICLE – Over the course of his career in the wind energy industry, the author has learned the power of horizontal integration in the improvement of organizations. In this piece, he shares his experience as a lean practitioner and leader at Ecotècnia.
FEATURE ARTICLE – You don’t always need a lot of external help to initiate a lean transformation: the experience of the Emergency Department of theHospital Clínic of Barcelona shows it can be done with very little support from the outside.
ARTICLE – The theory of hoshin kanri is clear, but how can you adapt it to a government organization structured in departments where making A3s is not a daily practice? A Dutch ministry shares its experience.
INTERVIEW – PL sits down with a consultant and a manager from the St Elisabeth hospital in the Netherlands to talk about the organization’s “loving care” approach to treating patients.
CASE STUDY – A very lean system that runs like clockwork and constant attention to customer service enable Barcelona-based 365.café to achieve the impossible: supplying 55 bakeries out of a 650-sqm factory.
CASE STUDY - HM Courts & Tribunals Service has been using lean ways of working for over six years, learning many lessons along the way and achieving some fantastic wins.
ARTICLE - With daily management at the heart of its modus operandi, an organization will be able to quickly identify deviation, start solving problems and make strategy deployment a success.
INTERVIEW - The historical city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands has introduced lean thinking and practice in local government to provide better and faster services to its citizens.
ARTICLE - Every part of an organization can benefit from the adoption of lean principles, but what about accounting? Here are a few useful tips to efficiently close the books at the end of each month.
CASE STUDY – Following one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history, an NGO started to use lean management principles to speed up the reconstruction of homes in the Louisiana city… and the results were impressive.
CASE STUDY - Össur is recognized as a leader in the fields of prosthetic, osteoarthritis and injury solutions, but how did lean management and a trial-and-error approach to improvement help it to stay competitive?
INTERVIEW – At the recent Lean Transformation Summit in New Orleans, we sat down with Richard Sheridan of Menlo Innovations to discuss the ground-breaking concept of joy in the workplace.
INTERVIEW – Lean for social good may sound new to many, but to the CEO of one of America’s largest food banks, the partnership between her organization and Toyota to defeat hunger in the Big Apple seems just natural.
CASE STUDY - How Spotify developed an alternative management system based on servant leadership, interaction-based learning and adaptability – changing the music industry along the way.
ARTICLE - What is lean? We all like to think that we know. This personal story reminds us all of how elusive the methodology can be, and how determined a practitioner has to be to fully grasp it.
ARTICLE – What makes a mentor-mentee relationship successful? This intimate account comes all of the way from a Tanzania healthcare organization, and proves how lean is fundamentally about “caring for people.”
CASE STUDY – The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is running a bold experiment: applying lean management across all government. The driving force? A “compelling vision.”
ARTICLE - We always talk about going to the gemba, but we often don't understand what that entails and what changes it can bring to our companies. In this article, we hear about the experience of Thales.
CASE STUDY - The Italian branch of Tokheim services about 3,000 gas stations in the central and northern parts of Italy. The general manager shares the story of how lean thinking changed everything, for the better.
REVIEW - The Republic of Tatarstan officially endorses and funds the implementation of lean thinking in local organizations. Yalcin Ipbuken, President of Lean Institute Turkey, drops in for a visit.
CASE STUDY - A Turkish shipyard and engineering company has found that lean principles and practice are the only way to deliver unique, large construction projects efficiently and successfully.
ARTICLE – An obeya room can be the cornerstone of a lean transformation, but developing a successful visual management environment is easier said than done. Nike’s Technology department shares a few tips.
ARTICLE – Is your organization process-oriented or results-oriented? The fourth article of Hazards on the road to lean looks at what happens when you focus on the what, but not on the how.
ARTICLE – The Institut de Medicina Legal de Catalunya has learned that employee engagement and lean thinking can shake up even the stiffest of the public sector's working environments.
INTERVIEW – We speak with Sérgio Caracciolo of General Motors do Brasil about the carmaker’s approach to lean, its struggles, and its lessons learned.
INTERVIEW - Lean manufacturing principles, successful training programs and the involvement of management in daily continuous improvement are transforming Brazilian automotive supplier ZEN.
CASE STUDY – A unique approach to lean management and the involvement of CEO Mario Nardi helped Pietro Fiorentini, provider of solutions for natural gas distribution, become a model for lean companies in Italy.
CASE STUDY - Three successful improvement projects at a hospital in Guangzhou are proving that lean healthcare in China is an opportunity that the sector cannot afford to miss.
VIDEO INTERVIEW - Planet Lean meets John Shook at the Lean Summit in São Paulo earlier this month and discusses innovation, the Lean Transformation Model, and the state of lean in Brazil.
CASE STUDY - Through the involvement of front line staff, Hartmann’s production plant near Barcelona is paving the way for an expansion into different markets and inspiring the adoption of lean across the multinational.
ARTICLE - LGN’s affiliate in India, Lean Management Institute of India, has recently tested the Lean Transformation Model. In this article, a number of interesting insights and reflections are shared.
CASE STUDY - Addressing failure cost and introducing a new quoting process are only two of the ways in which Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer is successfully achieving a lean transformation.
INTERVIEW - The General Manager of a Delphi plant in Hungary talks about the lean transformation the site went through and the challenges automotive suppliers face in this day and age.
ARTICLE - Whether an organization pursues a lean transformation often depends on the early financial results - the low hanging fruit - it's able to achieve. This article offers a model to meet business needs while ensuring a transformation lasts.
INTERVIEW – Planet Lean meets LEGO’s Ilona Takács to learn how the toy manufacturer looked at its corporate values to built a new, super-lean factory in eastern Hungary.
INTERVIEW - Joanna Omi shares the story of the transformation of New York City's public hospitals system, which leveraged lean management principles and techniques to improve the quality of healthcare and boost organizational performance.
INTERVIEW – How do you communicate a consistent message to thousands of employees working across a fragmented and extremely diverse network? Catherine Blay, from French postal service La Poste, tells us.
CASE STUDY - How does lean contribute to making Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities year after year?
ARTICLE - We are often told that employee resistance to change is natural, but it’s really just the result of a wrong approach to lean thinking. Learn to effectively engage people and change will follow.
INTERVIEW - Thanks to strong leadership support and an effective system to partner with private sector firms, Washington State is proving how successful lean production principles can be in a government setting.
ARTICLE - The set of guidelines explained in this article will help you to understand how to properly structure your lean transformation, keeping into account the entire organization as it tries to embrace and manage change.
CASE STUDY - An approach based on Lean Daily Management System and experiments in a model area led an Italian manufacturer of combine-harvesters to become one of the leanest organizations in the Veneto region.
CASE STUDY - What does having a new “true north” mean? Following a merger with a large healthcare group, Brazil-based outpatient cancer treatment center Instituto de Oncologia do Vale is looking at ways to seamlessly spread its successful lean management system to new operations and facilities.
INTERVIEW - To really change, an organization must use lean management as a strategic asset rather than just a set of tools. In this interview, Art Byrne talks about rewarding people and the process of transforming companies.
CASE STUDY - In November last year, a town in the West Midlands made the headlines after a survey named it the best place to live in the United Kingdom. Lean may not be directly responsible for the achievement, but there is little doubt it gave its contribution. LGN speaks with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to hear what it takes to bring lean thinking to local government and change the lives of citizens.
CASE STUDY - Faced with high costs, low demand and growing competition from China, Turkish textile manufacturerYesimmanaged to develop a competitive advantage by transforming the way it does business with lean thinking and increasing its focus on the customer.