Lean in the United States

lean thinking American Family Insurance

A long-term commitment to lean at American Family Insurance

INTERVIEW – With a long history of improvement efforts and a commitment to giving divisions the time to really grasp lean thinking, American Family Insurance is laying the foundation for real and lasting change.
LPPD Schilling Robotics interview

A well-engineered product is easy to make

INTERVIEW – Convinced that a product that is correctly engineered is easy to manufacture, this product development unit relies on lean thinking to ensure its remotely operated vehicles perform at their best.
lean health care lynn

Leveraging lean thinking to make our community healthier

INTERVIEW – The inspirational CEO of a community health center in Massachusetts discusses leadership transition, the role of lean facilitators and front-line engagement.
continuous improvement boards visual management lean thinking

How a Kinross mine drives lean thinking using CI boards

FEATURE – The Continuous Improvements Boards at the Round Mountain mining site have been critical to shifting the company's culture... the secret, it turns out, is always providing feedback on people's suggestions.
lean at San Diego Zoo

The lean turnaround of the San Diego Zoo Global

CASE STUDY – Lean thinking is transforming San Diego Zoo Global, helping this century-old organization provide a better experience to its visitors and a better life to its animals.
work of management Lancaster interview

Avoid deterioration of results with solid daily management

INTERVIEW – Does your company feel like a sand castle? Do you struggle to sustain lean results? At the recent Lean Transformation Summit, the CEO of Lantech told us how the firm is using daily management to prevent “deterioration”.
Lean at an organ donation NGO

Bringing lean thinking to organ donation in Michigan

FEATURE – A Michigan NGO that facilitates organ and tissue donation shares its experience with value stream mapping, reflecting on people coming together to understand the gap between current and future state.
palo alto hospitals sustaining results

A California lean hospital on how to sustain results

FEATURE – The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has used lean to redesign workflows in its primary care clinics since late 2011. With changes now spread to a total of 17 facilities, the team started to analyze what it took to sustain the results achieved.
bright program a3 thinking

A3 problem solving to develop Ohio’s school leaders

INTERVIEW – A program that aims to help disadvantaged school districts in Ohio used A3 thinking to teach principals how to scientifically solve problems together with their teachers. We met a principal and one of her teachers.
teaching lean in universities

Teaching lean management: current and future state

INTERVIEW – Making lean thinking a bigger part of our university programs and education is the only way to ensure the methodology really comes to permeate our societies. But how can we ensure lean is taught in a way that makes sense?
lean farming womack

The future of agriculture – Jim Womack visits a lean farm

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – Lean in agriculture might still be in its infancy, but there is a small farm in Indiana that is already proving how valuable lean principles and techniques can be to this industry.
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.

Bringing lean principles to restaurant kitchens

INTERVIEW – An American group of restaurants is experimenting with the application of lean thinking in its kitchens and dining areas. Planet Lean had a word with the chefs to see what’s cooking.
nationwide standup meeting

Lean IT at Nationwide: developing 9,000 people

INTERVIEW – At the recent Lean Transformation Summit in Las Vegas, our editor sat down with Nationwide to hear more about the mutual company’s application of lean thinking to IT and how they are working towards getting 9,000 people onboard.
circular economy and lean

Lean makes our economy more responsible – the SunPower story

FEATURE – The experience of solar company SunPower shows how, by marrying the concept of circular economy, lean principles can help us to transform our habits and save our planet.
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.

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.
falkenburg doctor workstation huddle

Better work: bringing lean thinking to a doctor’s practice

FEATURE – Moving her assistant's workstation next to hers and introducing standardized work helped a family physician in California to provide better, faster care to her patients and to avoid burnout.