lean tools

Retaining talent to make a difference

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company provides support to the severely disabled, and is currently using lean thinking to limit employee turnover and recruit faster.

Metrics matter

INTERVIEW – In this thought-provoking conversation, Michael Ballé and Mark Graban discuss metrics and the managerial attitude towards tracking them.

Pulling it off

CASE STUDY – A Turkish producer of gas valves for kitchen appliances has discovered the power of the lean principles of pull and flow, reaching results beyond its imagination.

The Double-Loop PDCA

FEATURE – How “Double-Loop PDCA” was discovered due to a problem with implementing a lean daily management system in a South African hospital.

Can you standardize creative work?

FEATURE – The belief that standardization kills creativity can be a severe hindrance in a lean transformation. The author discusses how he convinced his team of architects to give standards a try.

A story of lead-time in digital

BUILDING BRIDGES – In another article for their series, lean digital company Theodo tells us about their efforts to measure and reduce its lead-time to deliver product features.

Doubling the number of performant Apps using kaizen

BUILDING BRIDGES – A member of the Theodo team tells us about their attempts to improve the performance of their Web apps using lean principles.

Keeping the spirit of care alive

CASE STUDY – The author looks back at the impressive lean transformation of the Hungarian plant of Coloplast, a Danish company offering medical devices and services.

How we slashed waiting times for our customers

VIDEO INTERVIEW – A store manager explains how a simple kaizen reduced waiting times for customers who want to return products. We use today’s video to launch our Lean Improv contest.

Unearthing problems by reducing work-in-progress

BUILDING BRIDGES - This month, we hear how addressing work-in-progress led a startup specialized in AI to productivity gains on their machine learning projects.

Start your change project with a concept paper

FEATURE – This article offers an exhaustive explanation of how to prepare a Concept Paper and why this is a tool that will help us to succeed in the execution of large change projects.
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.
Michael Ballé yamazumi chart

Michael Ballé on how a yamazumi chart enables standard work

THE TOOLS CORNER – Standardizing the work is one of the fundamentals of lean thinking, but without a yamazumi chart visualizing it (and helping us to streamline it) this is impossible.
virtual book club lean manager

A virtual book club got us started on our lean journey

FEATURE – A UK-based team of client services managers working for HR consultancy Mercer is using a virtual book club to take their first steps into the world of lean thinking.
red bins BAM lean software development

Building quality into our code using the red bins system

BUILDING BRIDGES – In this article, we learn how a team of software developers leverages the lean concept of “red bins” to ensure the quality of the code they write.
Szabolcs Molnar lean institute Hungary

Hungary needs lean thinking, we think we can help

GETTING TO KNOW US – For our second interview with LGN directors, we travel to Hungary to meet the President of our affiliate institute there. He tells us his country’s need for good workers and how lean can make the difference.
lean thinking in the Dutch special forces

How the Dutch Special Forces apply lean without realizing it

FEATURE – Teamwork, value stream mapping, 5S, kaizen – a former officer in the Dutch Special Forces reflects on how lean thinking is unconsciously embedded in Special Operations practices.
Lean quality management Michael Ballé

How to ensure quality issues are detected and tackled fast

THE TOOLS CORNER – This month, the author discusses how we can ensure quality problems are identified early, tackled swiftly and prevented from reoccurring.