Game On – Playing it Safe with Lean

Communicating a concept or methodology in a manner that doesn’t offend the current status quo is likely the biggest challenge we face as lean practitioners and consultants.  In all too many instances it seems that people are open to change as long as someone else is doing the changing. To diffuse opposition and resistance to change, it is essential that everyone understands […]

Lean: Beyond Reach!

Almost everything I read or learned suggests that lean was never intended to be complicated. The simplest definition of lean I have read to date follows: Focus on what matters and eliminate what doesn’t This is not to suggest that lean is easy. In actual practice I find that some companies have sufficiently compounded the definition of lean to exclude […]

Thinking Outside of the Box

I am always intrigued to find evidence that supports the application of lean outside the realm of manufacturing.  This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find an article published by Bill Wake titled “Lean Manufacturing and Software” where Bill discusses software development from a lean perspective.  Even if you aren’t a programmer or software developer, the article offers some interesting […]

Lean – A Race Against Time

Background If “Time is Money”, is it reasonable for us to consider that “Wasting Time is Wasting Money?” Whether we are discussing customer service, health care, government services, or manufacturing – waste is often identified as one of the top concerns that must be addressed and ultimately eliminated.  As is often the case in most organizations, the next step is an attempt to […]

Toyota’s Culture – Inside Out

As discussed on our Lean Roadmap page, the culture that exists inside your company will determine the success or failure of your lean initiatives in the long-term.  So, how do we cultivate and nurture this culture that we desire to achieve? Fortunately, I found a great article,  How to implement “Lean Thinking” in a Business: Pathway to creating a “Lean Culture”, written by one of my recent twitter […]

Lean Is …

What is lean?  The following definition is from the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership website, http://www.omep.org: Lean Is A systematic approach for delivering the highest quality, lowest cost products with the shortest lead-times through the relentless elimination of waste. The eights wastes that accompanied this definition include: Overproduction Waiting Transportation Non-Value-Added Processing Excess Inventory Defects Excess Motion Underutilized People It is very […]

An e-Letter from Daniel T. Jones

I received an e-mail today from Daniel T. Jones (Lean Thinking – Womack and Jones) titled “The Financial Consequences of Lean”.  As the content of this e-mail is so relevant to our past discussions, I decided to share it in it’s entirety.  Enjoy. Dear Redge, Why is it so hard to see the financial consequences of lean? Failure to answer […]

Achieve Sustainability Through Integration

It’s no secret that lean is much more than a set of tools and best practices designed to eliminate waste and reduce variance in our operations.  I contend that lean is defined by a culture that embraces the principles on which lean is founded.  An engaged lean culture is evidenced by the continuing development and integration of improved systems, methods, […]

Lean Paralysis

Lean – Breaking Through Paralysis Significant initiatives, including lean, can reach a level of stagnation that eventually cause the project to either lose focus or disappear altogether.  Hundreds of books have already been written that reinforce the concept that the company culture will ultimately determine the success or failure of any initiative.  A sustainable culture of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and continual improvement requires effective leadership to […]

Business Novels: The Next Best Thing To Reality

I enjoy reading business novels and fondly remember my first read of “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt.  I also had the pleasure of reading another book titled “Velocity:  Combining Lean, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints to Achieve Breakthrough Performance – A Business Novel” by Dee Jacob, Suzan Bergland, and Jeff Cox.  This book is a natural extension of “The Goal” […]