Features

Lean helps save lives in South Africa

FEATURE – Only when we go where the action is, do we begin to truly understand the work. Rose Heathcote joins the Emergency Medical Services in Cape Town for a day.

Our gemba walks in Brazil

FEATURE – Last month, the Lean Global Network met in Brazil for its annual meeting. As part of it, we visited several amazing gembas. Three of our lean coaches reflect on what we learned.

Slashing onboarding time for new developers

BUILDING BRIDGES – Using kaizen, a team at Theodo was able to reduce the time necessary to install a project on a new developer’s computer from three weeks to twelve minutes.

What is an Obeya?

FEATURE – In this roundup, we discuss the obeya room and use some of the best articles on the topic to explain why it’s such a powerful tool to drive improvement in your organization.

When lean takes off

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – The author visits the Parisian airport of Orly to learn about a pilot project (pun intended) that aims to tackle the late departure of flights using lean thinking.

What is lean learning?

FEATURE – How does lean apply to learning? The author reflects on the lean transformation his schools are undergoing and on its practical implications on students, staff and leaders.

Turn the beat around

FEATURE – One year ago, the author started coaching organizations in her town of Maun, Botswana. Here she reflects on her experience and draws an interesting parallel between lean management and dancing.

Where are we in lean product development?

FEATURE – The authors discuss some of the most common problems that product development teams experience and what an effective assessment tool for engineering looks like.

Lean is an educational system

FEATURE – In this compelling read, the author discusses lean thinking as a system for learning that challenges our assumptions and tells us why blindly applying “best practices” takes us nowhere.

What is 5S?

FEATURE – In this roundup, we look at one of the most important lean tools and how it is deployed in organizations by bringing together PL articles on the subject.

Understanding lean visual management tools

THE NAKED GEMBA – This useful article helps us to understand the different type of visual controls we can put in place, how they work and which ones to use to best convey our message.

The role of a lean educator

FEATURE – What does it really mean to teach lean? The author reflects on this question and shares a few tips on how to successfully engage learners in different environments. 

A sense of heritage in an uncertain world

FEATURE – In a market where products become obsolete very fast, this Toyota supplier has learned the importance of staying true to its heritage and developing know-how and people’s capabilities.

The synergies you need to succeed

FEATURE – While at Starbucks, the author learned the importance of collaboration among the key functions of Operations, HR and Finance to advance a lean transformation.

Introducing the Toyota Flow System

FEATURE – In the age of complexity and disruption, flowing value to customers as quickly as possible is critical. The new Toyota Flow System strives to address this issue. 

My father is my sensei

FEATURE – In this intimate account, the author reflects on the role of a lean sensei by looking back at what he’s learned from his own… his father.

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.