Lean in the United States

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.
lean healthcare james hereford COO

A COO at his third lean healthcare transformation

PROFILE – In this new section, Planet Lean features some of the most inspirational lean leaders out there. For the first profile, we have selected James Hereford, a former high school teacher who is now leading his third healthcare transformation.
software development Menlo front line

This new column gives a voice to people at the front line

COLUMN - Menlo Innovations may not define itself as a "lean organization" but there is no doubt that its management style is akin to the principles lean teaches. Here, a front-line Menlonian shares her thoughts on the company's culture.
katrina-lean-st-bernard

An NGO uses lean principles to rebuild New Orleans

CASE STUDY – Following one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history, an NGO started to use lean management principles to speed up the reconstruction of homes in the Louisiana city… and the results were impressive.
menlo innovations joy

Menlo: delighting customers by bringing joy to staff

INTERVIEW – At the recent Lean Transformation Summit in New Orleans, we sat down with Richard Sheridan of Menlo Innovations to discuss the ground-breaking concept of joy in the workplace.
new york food bank lean

Lean thinking for the public good: feeding the poor in NYC

INTERVIEW – Lean for social good may sound new to many, but to the CEO of one of America’s largest food banks, the partnership between her organization and Toyota to defeat hunger in the Big Apple seems just natural.

The lean transformation of New York’s public hospitals

INTERVIEW - New York City's public hospitals system leveraged lean principles and techniques to improve the quality of care and boost organizational performance.