Features

Fertile ground for lean seeds

FEATURE – Lean Institute Brasil is running pioneering lean experiments in agriculture. The authors reflect on the challenges of transforming traditional farming culture and the opportunities lean affords.

Lean learning, learning lean

FEATURE – What can the world of lean and the world of education learn from one another? The author reflects on the synergies between these two realities.

Reflecting on a unique partnership

FEATURE – Following the recent CXO Summit in Singapore, a team from the Lean Global Network reflects on the partnership with SIT and its potential effects on the city-state.

Avoiding the most common mistakes with VSM

THE NAKED GEMBA – Value stream mapping is a fundamental tool in any lean transformation. The author takes us the most common mistakes companies make using it, so that you can avoid the pitfalls.

Defining lean is useful, lean definitions are useless

FEATURE – In this article, the author reflects on how his understanding of lean thinking evolved over time – as did the way he defined it.

Lean thinking, better teaching

FEATURE – A school board in Holland is discovering the potential of lean thinking and improving its processes to tackle the overburdening of teachers.

Three key business challenges lean can tackle

FEATURE – Ahead of the annual lean conference of LEI Polska, the authors reflect on a recent survey they ran with their clients on the key business challenges they face.

Our new, leaner Cancer Center

FEATURE – The renovation of one of its departments gave a hospital in Italy the perfect opportunity to redesign his oncology care with lean healthcare principles in mind.

The Sunday-night barista

FEATURE – The author looks back at her time at Starbucks Coffee Company and reflects on the role of leadership in facilitating the spread of lean thinking across the organization.

Learning A3 thinking to become a better doctor

FEATURE – A student in a medical school recently completed a rotation based on A3 thinking. She tells us what learning to use this problem-solving method has brought her.

Down the right track

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – The author goes back to a train maintenance center she visited two years ago and finds an organization striving to learn continuously.

Surviving an inflection point

FEATURE – The car industry is undergoing incredible change and ‘disruption’ is the word on everyone’s lips. How can companies survive it? Once again, Toyota shows us the way.

What a good supermarket looks like

THE NAKED GEMBA – Our new series goes back to basics to unlock the secrets of the gemba and tell us about some of the main tools and techniques we can use in a lean transformation. First up, supermarkets.

Banking on hoshin

FEATURE – What a Brazilian bank has learned from its first few steps in adopting hoshin kanri through structured problem solving and people development.

Teaching A3 skills to medical students

FEATURE – Problem solving is a fundamental part of being a leader, which is what led this medical school in the United States to include A3 thinking in its curriculum. 

Lean caters for our product development needs

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company has completely transformed its approach to designing and introducing new products to market by embracing lean product development ideas.

Lean as a two-step engine

FEATURE – One of the things making lean thinking so hard to explain in general terms is its dual nature as both an organizational and managerial approach. The authors explain how to handle this tension.

The energy to get things done

FEATURE – When people become enthusiastic about improvement work, there's no limit to what can be achieved. Join the author on a visit to a Finland-based manufacturer, whose lean efforts range from production to customer service.