continuous improvement

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.

Our editor shares the May highlights from Planet Lean

EDITOR'S LETTER – If you have missed any of our May articles, we come to the rescue with this monthly round-up of Planet Lean content, to provide you with the highlights and keep you up to date with the latest in lean thinking.
womack mobility 2.0

Womack: lean transformed automotive once and can do it again

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – In this month’s column, Jim shares an insightful analysis of the trends and dynamics of today’s automotive industry and looks at the opportunity that lean has to facilitate its next transformation.
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.
lean thinking in mining

Lean is creating a 900-strong CI team in a gold mine

CASE STUDY – The extraordinary transformation of Kinross' Round Mountain gold mine in Nevada over the past six years shows that lean thinking can – quite literally – move mountains.
lean construction gemba story

A gemba story to study lean thinking in construction

INDUSTRY FOCUS – Drawing from his direct experience at the gemba, the author shares what he learned about applying lean thinking to his family’s construction company, and a few useful tips.
Hoseus respect for people Toyota

Mike Hoseus on why respect is distinctive to Toyota culture

INTERVIEW – Mike Hoseus reflects on his time at Toyota and on how the respect for people side of lean thinking is too often neglected and we tend to focus on continuous improvement only. The two must go together, or your house will collapse.
lean summit lyon

Michael Ballé on last week’s Lean Summit in Lyon

INTERVIEW - Last week's Lean Summit in Lyon was a great success. We asked Michael Ballé of the Institut Lean France why that was, what the key takeaways were, and what was new in this edition.
NS NL lean journey HR

Lean thinking in the HR department of Dutch railways

FEATURE – Faced with long lead-times to hire new people and with tens of millions paid in sick leave every year, the HR department of Dutch railway operator NS has turned to lean thinking to set them on the right track for the future.

Coaching is necessary to establish a problem solving culture

FEATURE - All too often, A3 thinking is perceived as a prescriptive approach rather than a series of questions that progressively deepen our understanding of a situation. So what is problem solving really about? And how do we ensure it takes root across the organization?

Editor Roberto Priolo looks back at last month’s articles

EDITOR'S LETTER - A summit in Las Vegas and a website redesign: March was a big one for PL. Our editor Roberto Priolo reflects on the month that was and offers a round-up of the content published on Planet Lean in March.
IT value stream lean management

The information value stream: analysing the state of lean IT

FEATURE – Lean thinking is increasingly applied end to end, reaching virtually every area and function of the enterprise, and yet in many companies IT is still left out of the lean transformation. Isn't this dangerous in a world that is going more and more digital?
kaizen or kaikaku

Kaizen or kaikaku, wonders Jim Womack in his latest column

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN - Kaizen or kaikaku? This is the problem. When it comes to the pace of change, should we carry on with small, incremental improvements or aim at more revolutionary changes instead?

David Mann: why lean tools and lean culture must go together

INTERVIEW – Planet Lean speaks with David Mann about the importance of combining the lean production and the lean management systems – the tools and the culture – to create sustainable results.

The staff-driven transformation of a children’s hospital

FEATURE - What if it were your staff driving change rather than managers? A focus on improvement at the front line and on people development proved critical to the lean transformation of a Stanford hospital.
Transforming cancer treatment center Brazil

Lean leadership means advocating problem solving at gemba

PROFILE – It isn’t every day that you come across a hospital CEO coaching people on A3s and following his own standard work. So when you do, it’s important to share their story. This month we profile the CEO of a Brazilian cancer treatment center.
lean political party

A political party’s first steps towards lean thinking

FEATURE – A local branch of Italy’s Democratic Party has started using lean principles and tools to organize its activities more effectively and to counteract the discouragement that followed a bad electoral defeat.