lean tools

Gemba walks: the common pitfalls

FEATURE – The author discusses the most common mistakes leaders make during gemba walks and the things they need to keep in mind to make the most of this important management practice.

What is A3 Thinking?

ROUNDUP – Our editor discusses A3 Thinking and its various uses, curating a list of the best Planet Lean articles published on this topic over the years.

Enhancing your gemba skills

FEATURE – Michael Ballé shares a few tricks he uses to escape his default thinking and ensure he makes the most of every gemba walk he goes on.

Centerlining: what it is and how it works

FEATURE – In this compelling read, the author explains how “centerlining” tools and settings can reduce variation in a process and avoid having to constantly seek adjustments à la McGyver.

What is hoshin kanri?

ROUNDUP – In the last roundup on lean tools and concepts of the year, our editor collects and curates the best articles on strategy deployment (hoshin kanri).

Daily management in construction

FEATURE – How lean daily management helped a Brazilian construction company to stabilize production in a tailing dam elevation project.

Attorney at lean

CASE STUDY – A boutique law firm in Milan has initiated a lean transformation to turn around its processes, improve service to its clients and make life easier for the team.  

Safari, so good

CASE STUDY – This company in Botswana has embraced lean thinking passionately to build the capacity and ability to deal with higher demand for its converted vehicles. The author tells us about their journey.

The gateway to success

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – By introducing flow in its processes and transforming its approach to managing the business, this French manufacturer of fences and gates is building a competitive advantage.

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.

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.

Daily management in the ICU

CASE STUDY – Effectively deploying and executing your strategy requires mastering quick follow-ups at different levels of the organization – in other words, Daily Management.

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 harvest of the future

INTERVIEW – This agro-industrial business in Colombia is applying lean thinking to its harvesting process. The harvest manager explains the difficulties and opportunities encountered on the journey so far.

Through hardship to the stars

CASE STUDY – Catalonia's largest hospital is undergoing a successful transformation - supported by pioneering hoshin experiments - that has already turned it into a poster child for lean healthcare in the region.

Benefits and difficulties of using a Concept Paper

CASE STUDY – TechnipFMC has introduced the Concept Paper in its lean product development process. This article shares some of the learnings resulting from the experience.