Lean Features

Anne Trafton's picture
Anne Trafton
When MIT announced in March 2020 that most research labs on campus would need to ramp down to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, Canan Dagdeviren’s lab was ready. For the past two years,...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
I hear this lament from new practitioners to seasoned veterans: Why isn’t our (insert school of workflow management here) transformation working? Time and again I see coaches focus on the “...
Brian Lagas's picture
Brian Lagas
When most people think of lean processes, they believe the goal is to optimize things in a step-by-step approach. The result that companies using lean methods can look forward to is incremental...
Carrie Van Daele's picture
Carrie Van Daele
Crossing the street or stepping backward when you encounter another person has already become a habit, as has a routine elbow bump, instead of a handshake. And that is definitely what is needed...
Gleb Tsipursky's picture
Gleb Tsipursky
So many companies are shifting their employees to working from home to address the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Yet they’re not considering the potential quality disasters that can occur as a...
Celia Paulsen's picture
Celia Paulsen
Nobody likes business to be slow. If you’re in a fast-paced world like manufacturing, seeing your machines or employees idle can drive a person insane. If you’re used to your production line working...
Mark Rosenthal's picture
Mark Rosenthal
Training Within Industry (TWI) job instruction is built around a four-step process titled “How to Instruct.” Steps two and three are the core of the process: • Present the operation • Try out...
Jason Chester's picture
Jason Chester
Even in the midst of the pandemic, product safety and quality remain critical. For many manufacturers, complex quality management systems and procedures stand in the way of agile responses and...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Most lean folks use 5 Whys daily to problem solve, but relatively few are familiar with a clever problem-solving device developed 30 years ago by Deming Prize winner Ryuji Fukuda, called the why-not...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Each day we receive data that seek to quantify the Covid-19 pandemic. These daily values tell us how things have changed from yesterday, and give us the current totals, but they are difficult to...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Football is a tough sport, tougher than most who play it. Almost everyone who plays will eventually sustain at least a minor injury. It certainly took a toll on my body. At 15, I broke my leg in two...
Jason Chester's picture
Jason Chester
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit every industry with a barrage of challenges. The impacts on the manufacturing sector are already extending far beyond factory walls. And for now, the depth of those...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
Every endeavor we undertake starts with a goal. A goal starts as an idea, which morphs into a desire, which becomes a goal. Ideas are vague, desires are inspiring, and a goal is actionable...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
In today’s column, I am looking at wu wei, which is an important concept detailed in the Chinese classic text, Tao Te Ching. This term is generally translated into English as wu = no, wei = action,...
Sensei Friedrich Fachidiot's picture
Sensei Friedrich Fachidiot
Mea culpa! I have a reputation for mercilessly bashing management, but I’ve finally come to realize that I owe executives an apology. As I have been constantly reminded in my career, these are very...
Ken Maynard's picture
Ken Maynard
When educational and public sectors consider applying a proven method like lean Six Sigma, the perception persists that this “manufacturing program” will not work in a nonmanufacturing environment....
Jesse Allred's picture
Jesse Allred
Imagine a manufacturing facility prioritizing cleanliness and organization—aisles are kept clear, equipment is well maintained, the plant floor is regularly cleaned, operators can easily locate tools...
Anonymous's picture
This is supposed to be trade-show season. The time when companies send their employees to industry tech shows and user-group meetings to see and experience the latest offerings in their field. A time...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
In a recent article I discussed the traditional 5S audit, shared a set of reservations, and offered some remedies—“The Five Tweaks,” as I called them. Remedies are important because most of you have...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
A couple weeks ago a consultant friend of mine, who coincidentally focuses his practice on lean in healthcare, was complaining about issues with his healthcare providers. It’s a story we hear often:...