Lean Features

Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
Today I’d like to talk about kaizen—specifically, the order for kaizen. The term has come to mean “continuous improvement,” but kaizen originally translates from Japanese as “change for better.” To...
Lawrence Yu's picture
Lawrence Yu
If we used a time machine to transport a pharmaceutical scientist from the 1960s into a current pharmaceutical production plant, it might be surprising to learn that he would already be familiar...
Ryan E. Day's picture
Ryan E. Day
Ihave never been accused of being an early adopter of cutting-edge technology. On the other hand, I don’t dance the Luddite jig, either. True to my own type, I hung on to my old M-1A tank, aka a...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
During  the past few years I’ve been working hard on cultivating positive habits. New habits can be powerful. But habits can also create barriers that limit our perspective, which can hinder...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
All process activities can be broken down into one of five categories: waiting, handling and setup, inspection, transportation, and transformation. Of these, only transformation of the product adds...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Today’s article is inspired by the politically-charged gobbledygook we call presidential primaries. This battle of principles turned battle of wills reminds me that the role of the change agent can...
Bruno Scibilia's picture
Bruno Scibilia
In yesterday’s column, I discussed how a DOE was chosen to optimize a chemical-mechanical polishing process in the microelectronics industry. This important process improved the plant’s final...
Bruno Scibilia's picture
Bruno Scibilia
Ionce worked in the manufacturing industry. Some processes were so complex that even a very experienced and competent engineer would not necessarily know how to identify the best settings for the...
Ken Levine's picture
Ken Levine
One poorly understood concept in lean Six Sigma is how much to “stretch” when setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. These letters are defined as S—specific; M—measureable; A—assignable, attainable, or...
Bruno Scibilia's picture
Bruno Scibilia
Sponsored Content Suppose that on your way to a summer holiday resort (a very distant place), your car breaks down. You might just call roadside assistance and wait for your car to be towed to a...
Kimberly Watson-Hemphill's picture
Kimberly Watson-Hemphill
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the new book, Innovating Lean Six Sigma, by Kimberly Watson-Hemphill and Kristine Nissen Bradley. Like every company, healthcare businesses do their work...
Tonianne DeMaria's picture
Tonianne DeMaria
I recognize that the title of this column might stir up some controversy, especially among fellow coffee enthusiasts. Not to mention it puts me at risk of getting exiled from my beloved adopted...
MIT News's picture
MIT News
In March 2011, Leonardo Bonanni was preparing to defend his Ph.D. thesis about Sourcemap, software that lets consumers map every connection of a product supply chain on a digital map, when tragedy...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
April Fool’s Day (today) and the opening of baseball season (this Sunday) are upon us. To mark the first event, I’ll let my distinguished colleague Donald Wheeler make some eloquent and crucial...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
The start of a failure investigation may involve brainstorming, but empirical methods will be required to actually identify a problem's cause. Implementing an improvement action without a confirmed...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
Those of us in the lean world are accustomed to discussing "flow"—where work is performed in an even manner to reduce mura or lack of regularity, one of the three forms of waste. Activities are...
Michelle LaBrosse's picture
Michelle LaBrosse
Your project teams seem to have all the right pieces—team members with technical proficiency, good internal communication, an organized project manager—but something still isn’t quite right. Your...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
When you are a consultant, or worse yet, seen as a thought leader, people hire you expecting that you’ll know “the answers.” At best, what you actually know are paths to make sense of problems...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Here’s a personal reflection from my distant past that might describe a current state for some of you. When I began working in manufacturing during the pre-lean era, the quoted lead time for my...
Scott Berkun's picture
Scott Berkun
Many of our most popular stories of discovery are portrayed as accidents or matters of luck. We love these stories because they make creativity seem easy and fun. Nevertheless, they are...