common lean mistakes

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.

When a top exec becomes the lean manager

OPINION – What happens when a senior executive jumps the fence and finds himself having to drive the very same change he was asking others to create?
strategy for success Boaz Tamir

Boaz Tamir on why success does not come down to chance

OPINION – The rise and fall of organizations does not depend on chance or bad luck. It generally stems from a fundamentally flawed strategic approach that fails to define a purpose, alienates workers and ignores customers.
preparation to avoid risk lean thinking

Identify objectives and issues before starting a new venture

COLUMN – With many of us about to leave for our summer vacations, the importance of planning (a holiday just like a business venture) could not be clearer. But objectives and potential problems should be identified before setting off.
Jim Womack daily management

What foils our ability to apply effective daily management

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Effective daily management is still hard to achieve for most organizations. But until line managers start tackling problems first hand as they emerge, rather than deferring and delegating them, basic stability will remain a mirage.
Wells Fargo scandal lean culture

The Wells Fargo scandal teaches us lean must be nurtured

OPINION – The latest banking scandal had us all wonder whether Wells Fargo has lost its way. But how does a pioneering bank that once had lean at its heart betray its core values so profoundly?
Unilever scandal cereal israel

The importance of transparency: lessons from a food scandal

OPINION – When do our mistake become an ominous sign that we are giving up on our customers and people? Following the salmonella contamination in cereals in Israel, the author reflects on business purpose and the importance of transparency.
one question idea learned sooner

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #5

ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – With this month’s question we try to understand what lean idea or principle our interviewees would have liked to learn sooner or better in their journey. So, heads up… You might be in a similar situation.
lean in universities

Our universities are not teaching lean, and that’s a problem

CALL TO ARMS – Despite the spread of lean principles across the world, only a handful of universities have included the methodology in their programs. This article is a call-to-arms telling us why we have an obligation towards future generations.
lean failure

The story of a lean transformation failure

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.
five practitioners one question mistake

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #1

FEATURE – For this new monthly article, we will be asking five lean practitioners the same question and share their answers with you. We started by asking them about their biggest lean mistake.
gemba seven sins

Michael Ballé on the gemba cardinal sins hindering kaizen

FEATURE – What are the immediate signs that tell us that our workplace is not conducive to kaizen? The author draws on his experience as a coach at the gemba to highlight them. Look out for them in your own company!
UCC obeya

Making RFS possible – the lean implementation at UCC Coffee

FEATURE – Repetitive flexible supply is a very effective method to level production scheduling, but as a FMCG company in the Netherlands found out, sometimes a number of conditions must be met before the approach becomes viable.
making IT part of the lean enterprise

Lean thinking to make a disastrous ERP rollout a success

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.
machine that changed the world 25 anniversary

Jim Womack on what is holding lean thinking back

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – On October 10, 1990 the book that introduced lean thinking to the world was published. Twenty-five years after Machine, one of the authors reflects on what the lean movement has achieved and on what is slowing it down.
sustainable lean LEI polska

What makes lean sustainable? Value creation and PDCA

FEATURE ARTICLE – For the last article of their series, the authors ask themselves the ultimate question: who wins at lean, and who loses? What makes change sustainable? Turns out, it’s all about the fundamentals.

Six common problems you encounter during lean audits

ARTICLE – Until “check” and “act” become a natural part of daily work, we will always need formal audits to keep people focused and to sustain results. Here’s a few tips to make them work.
womack column rewards

Why are rewards tied to individual performance so dangerous?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN - When managed poorly and tied to the wrong performance metrics, financial rewards can seriously damage your organization, Jim Womack warns in his latest column.