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The 10 most read articles on Planet Lean in 2016

top 10 planet lean 2016CONTENT ROUNDUP - Happy New Year, readers! Before kicking things off for 2017 with new, original content, we wanted to share with you the Top 10 of the most-read Planet Lean articles from last year.



The last article of 2016 was a roundup of our editor’s favorite content from the past 12 months. This included pieces reflecting on lean failure, accounts of lean applications in unique settings, thought-provoking columns and inspiring case studies.

But we couldn’t call ourselves a lean publication if we didn’t also engage in some good ol’ voice of the customer. So we thought that a good way to start a new year would be to list the 10 most-read articles from 2016.

So here’s our readers’ favorite 2016 content:

10. Dealing with Lean’s Crazy Relatives, by Jim Womack

The first article in our Top 10 is one of our Yokoten columns, in which Jim reflects on how the legacy of Frederic Taylor and Henry Ford still poses challenges to our movement, while encouraging critics to move past a simplistic view of lean as mere standardization.

9. A ‘Finn-tastic’ Lean Healthcare Turnaround, by Markku Mäkijärvi and Jyrki Perttunen

At number 9 we find a case study, one of the many healthcare stories we covered in 2016. In this article, Markku and Jyrki tell us the story of how the Helsinki hospital district (HUS) is leaning out with great results. One of the most interesting things about this story is the sheer size of the organization, which counts 22 hospitals in and around Finland’s capital.

8. Lean Strategy, Products and Learning, by Daniel T Jones

With so much talk about innovation and transformations, an article by Dan explaining why we should always place learning at the heart of our lean strategy to build better products – and how management fits into the picture – is just what the doctor prescribed.

7. Making Slow Ideas Go Faster, by Jim Womack

At number 7 we find another column by Jim, and who could blame you for reading it and sharing it so much? Lean has spread to pretty much any environment and it’s done so very quickly, but it is still a “slow idea” whose diffusion we need to speed up if we are to stay relevant as a community.

6. Team and Leadership Development – a Practical Guide, by Wiebe Nijdam

One of the most hands-on pieces we have published in 2016. When our middle managers are stressed out and overworked, they have no time left to improve and take the organization forward. So how can we truly ignite our transformation? According to Wiebe, the secret is changing the interaction between leaders and teams using lean principles and empowering people. Click here to read this article.

5. If You Think Lean Is Inherently Japanese, Think Again, by Katie Anderson

It is all too common to hear people say that lean thinking is a “Japanese thing,” so a couple of month ago we were happy to publish an article by Katie, about what she learned while living in Japan for 18 months. An interesting reflection that you readers have clearly enjoyed.

4. How Toyota Created Stability, by Ian Glenday

For our number 4, we remain in Japan – or at least at Toyota. In the second article of his series on levelled production, Ian explains how the original TPS "house" had heijunka at its foundation because Toyota knew that establishing and sustaining continuous improvement is impossible without stability. An important piece you shouldn’t miss.

3. When Lean Goes Wrong, by Dan Riley

When you edit a publication on lean, it is sometimes easy to forget that telling readers about successful transformations is not enough… we must also address failure, because without mistakes there can be no learning. Dan’s article on a transformation gone south was thought provoking and insightful.

2. Change Starts with How You Behave as a Leader, by Flávio Picchi

Are you familiar with the five dimensions of the Lean Transformation Framework? They are purpose, process, people, management behaviors, and mental models – and in this great article (our number 2 most-read piece last year) Flávio tells us why leadership has to adjust its stance to each of them if the transformation is to succeed. 

1. A Visit to a Lean Farm, by Jim Womack

The most read article from 2016 was Jim’s reflection on lean in agriculture, which takes as an example a small farm in Indiana, which is already proving how valuable lean principles and techniques can be to this industry. Read more here.


Congratulations to all of our contributors! And a big "thank you" to our readers for their support.

Stay tuned for brand new content starting Thursday.



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