Lean Features

Markus Grau's picture
Markus Grau
Industry 4.0, cyber-physical systems, or the internet of things (IoT): the paradigm shift in the production economy is cheerfully progressing under various names. What they all refer to is the...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Speaking at the 2003 Shingo Conference, Guy Briggs, general manager of North American operations for General Motors lamented, “We spent the 1980s ‘counting robots’ before we realized that it’s...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
People are always asking us for help with ways to prioritize. Almost everyone believes prioritization to be an action in and of itself. They ask, “What mechanisms do you use to prioritize?” However...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
I recently read Jordan Ellenberg’s wonderful book, How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking (Penguin Books, 2014). I found the book to be enlightening and a great read....
Trevor Blumenau's picture
Trevor Blumenau
How does one define quality in the context of a warehouse? The perfect warehouse is clean, has everything in its place, and is easy to access. Your warehouse looks like the one below, right? You...
Bonnie Stone's picture
Bonnie Stone
Lean, also known as “lean manufacturing” or “lean production,” focuses on maximizing customer value by removing waste and eliminating defects. Lean tools are about understanding the process,...
Tonianne DeMaria's picture
Tonianne DeMaria
Lean says: Manage flow. Your brain says: My work isn’t linear. My day is filled with interruptions, and so I don’t have the “luxury” of flow. What’s at play here: functional fixedness. If there...
Jordan Kraemer's picture
Jordan Kraemer
During the past year, I stopped responding to customer surveys, providing user feedback or, mostly, contributing product reviews. Sometimes I feel obligated—even eager—to provide this information....
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
Changing an organization’s structure seems to be the common knee-jerk response to internal issues. My prior company embarked on a reorganization to eliminate arbitrary site- and function-based...
Mike Richman's picture
Mike Richman
During the Nov. 3, 2017, episode of QDL, we (figuratively) traveled the globe to bring you quality information. Let’s take a closer look: “‘Made in Japan’ Falls from Grace Amid Scandals, Systematic...
Tonianne DeMaria's picture
Tonianne DeMaria
Lean says: Map the value stream. Your brain says: I’ve been doing this so long, it’s become second nature to me. The steps are right here—in my head. What’s at play here: • Illusion of...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
Today I will look at epistemology at the gemba. Epistemology is the part of philosophy that deals with the theory of knowledge. It tries to answer the questions, “How do we know things, and what...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
The first two books I ever read about lean were Zero Inventories (McGraw-Hill, 1983) by Robert Hall, and Japanese Manufacturing Techniques (Free Press, 1982) by Richard Schonberger. In 1985, these...
Jun Nakamuro's picture
Jun Nakamuro
The world first became aware of the Toyota Production System (TPS) when Taiichi Ohno published a book about his groundbreaking efforts at Toyota. It was published in Japan in 1978. The Japanese...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
Quality tools can serve many purposes in problem solving. They may be used to assist in decision making, selecting quality improvement projects, and in performing root cause analysis. They provide...
Jeff Dewar's picture
Jeff Dewar
This photo shows the Milky Way (from the Latin via lactea), part of our galaxy as seen from Earth. It’s a barred spiral galaxy, essentially a flat disk of at least 100 billion stars. Our galaxy is...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
When James Womack and Daniel Jones published Lean Thinking in 1996, they offered the world a book that collected the core principles of a key operational model. Though not stated directly, they...
Bob Emiliani's picture
Bob Emiliani
I recently posted a version of the graphic below with the caption: “Not perfect, but close. It’s about right.” The response was overwhelmingly positive. A great majority of people recognized it as...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
Some ISO 9001 users complain that the standard does not improve performance or deliver bottom-line results, while others are delighted by the standard as a framework for effective quality...
Tonianne DeMaria's picture
Tonianne DeMaria
While heading to a session at the most recent Lean Transformation Summit, I found myself confronted with signage that posed the following open-ended question: “All problem solvers must....”...