lean tools

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.
space optimisation small batches 365

Small batches and clever use of space for great flexibility

THE LEAN BAKERY – In this episode of our video series, we visit 365's super-lean workshop, where small batches and a clever use of space allow for unprecedented levels of flexibility in manufacture.
lean farm Clay Bottom Farm

Our editor sits down with lean farmer Ben Hartman

INTERVIEW – Ben Hartman has used lean in his micro-farm in Indiana for six years. Not only did he find in it a way to support his family doing what he loves, he might have also discovered how to transform our food system.
lean strategy Soditel

How this SME made lean its strategy for sustainable growth

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – The author visits an SME specializing in the instalment of electrical equipment. Its CEO has learned that integrating lean in their strategy can lead to sustainable growth.
A3s university Avans

These university students are replacing theses with A3s

INTERVIEW – In this Dutch university, lean is not only taught in the classroom. A3s are now replacing the writing of a thesis as the final assignment students are asked to complete.
SMED lean tools Michael Ballé

Michael Ballé’s short guide to successfully using SMED

THE TOOLS CORNER – For the second article in our new series, the author offers a guide to the origins and use of one of lean's most important tools: SMED.
furniture lean manufacturing

A single experiment changed how we produce furniture

FEATURE – Sometimes all you need to change minds is a successful experiment. This is how a Norwegian furniture manufacturer managed to transform the way it thinks about its sofa production.
Sipios avionics lean software development

Drawing inspiration from a factory’s kaizens and dojos

BUILDING BRIDGES – This month, a CTO explains how his software company borrowed the kaizen spirit – and the idea of a dojo – from an avionics factory and put it to good use.
lean leadership behaviours transformation

Different behaviors for different stages of a lean journey

RESEARCH – Why do we struggle to identify the managerial behaviors that underpin different stages of a lean transformation? The author’s research looks into how we can be more situational in our leadership approach.
inspiration lean books Nibbly Bits

This bakery found out how inspiring lean books can be

FEATURE – How reading lean books empowered people and transformed the managerial culture at an industrial bakery in the Western Cape Winelands in South Africa.
Kanban lean thinking

Unlocking the secrets of Kanban with Michael Ballé

THE TOOLS CORNER – In this new series, we go back to basics, offering a guide on how to implement some of the most important lean tools and explaining why they are so clever. First up, Kanban.