Features

Facing the emergency

NOTES FROM THE (VIRTUAL) GEMBA – In this new series - one new article every week during the Covid-19 crisis) - the author asks companies how they are reacting to this health emergency. First up, Proditec.

Lean healthcare on the front lines

FEATURE – Our coverage of the Covid-19 emergency continues with an article discussing how lean healthcare principles can support and protect the professionals at the front line of this war.

Panic buying and the Coronavirus

FEATURE – With the Covid-19 emergency, people across the world have been stockpiling on household products, exposing the shortcoming of batching-prone supply chains.

Harada-san and the steps to better Jidoka

FEATURE – In the first piece of a series on Takehiko Harada’s contribution to TPS, the authors discuss the Nagara Switch and how it helps to achieve better Jidoka.

Why bother with lean when we’re all doomed?

FEATURE – When faced with a crisis, like the current one, it is natural to wonder, “Why bother?”. Yet, this is when we most need a growth mindset and a framework like lean thinking to figure out a way forward.

The power of lean planning

FEATURE – A Dutch transmission system operator is using Lean Planning – built around the Last Planner System – to better manage its complex infrastructure projects.

Hoshin kanri in a picture

FEATURE – Hoshin is a powerful management practice that aligns the work at different levels to a company’s strategic goals. The author offers a one-page visual summary.

Gemba walks: the common pitfalls

FEATURE – The author discusses the most common mistakes leaders make during gemba walks and the things they need to keep in mind to make the most of this important management practice.

What is A3 Thinking?

ROUNDUP – Our editor discusses A3 Thinking and its various uses, curating a list of the best Planet Lean articles published on this topic over the years.

The gift that keeps on giving

FEATURE – The benefits of establishing a lean operating system will support the growth and success of a business in the long term, says Karen Gaudet looking back at her experience at Starbucks.

Enhancing your gemba skills

FEATURE – Michael Ballé shares a few tricks he uses to escape his default thinking and ensure he makes the most of every gemba walk he goes on.

Sorting out sourcing

FEATURE – The Sourcing team at insurance company SulAmérica tells us about how they were able to transform the process in their department in order to become more efficient in dealing with their workload.

The Crab Method

FEATURE – We hear it time and time again: in a lean transformation, middle management is the biggest hindrance to change. The author explains his strategy to win them over.

Learning to be lean chameleons

FEATURE – In this candid, personal account, the author shares her experience as a lean coach, her challenges and success, and how she adapts to different situations.

Gap analysis, made simple

FEATURE – The difficulty of sustaining results often stems from our inability to monitor the KPIs that truly matter and to focus on business priorities. The author suggests a hands-on approach to strategy deployment.

Predictable vs unpredictable work

FEATURE – It is a common misconception that our work is too unpredictable to fit into a standardized approach. The author debunks this myth. 

Grievances first

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – How do you kick off a lean journey? This French company has chosen to begin by analyzing and tackling each customer complaint.

What does a lean sensei bring to the party?

FEATURE – Lean coaching is all the rage these days, but to what end? The author reframes the role of a sensei as an expert in achieving productivity by engaging everyone in kaizen.