How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment

Measuring leanness is not always necessary, for instance when gathering qualitative clues is good enough for the purpose of the assessment. This would be the case for qualifying a supplier or find improvement topics. Part 1 to part 4 of this series describe quantitative leanness assessment Gemba walk as qualifying audit When it comes to … Continue reading How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment

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What is a gemba walk?

A gemba walk is paying a visit to the "real place", "where it happens", the gemba. This visit is a critical one, as the visitor wants to make his mind about a problem, about the way things are done or in a broader sense, to check if it is possible to walk the talk. In … Continue reading What is a gemba walk?

Goal tree chronicles – ToC is about focusing

This post is a post scriptum to the previous one of this series, relating how a Goal Tree could have helped a pharma plant. In this plant, top management selected more than 20 streams as strategic and worked to achieve the related objectives. The trouble with this approach is the vast number of objectives to … Continue reading Goal tree chronicles – ToC is about focusing

Goal tree chronicles – The pharma plant

Years ago, long before I knew about Goal Trees, we got an assignment in a major pharma plant. We were hired to help ops teams to improve throughput and efficiency, one of a 20+ streams project. Indeed, plant's top management worked out a strategic plan for the three next years, containing more than twenty "strategic … Continue reading Goal tree chronicles – The pharma plant

How lean are you? Part 5

The previous posts described approaches for Lean assessment and leanness measurement with their strengths and weaknesses. Yet for self-assessment or when trying to get a feeling about a supplier, such in-depth analyses are not necessary. The next series of posts starting with this one deals with qualitative approaches of a Lean assessment. Starting with top … Continue reading How lean are you? Part 5

Creativity breaks loose from constraints with additive manufacturing

New additive manufacturing technologies – let’s take 3D printing as symbol for them – are freeing designers from constraints that came with traditional manufacturing and the assembly methods. Additive manufacturing means adding layer of material after layer instead of cutting out material from a bigger raw chunk, allowing the design of complex and odd shapes … Continue reading Creativity breaks loose from constraints with additive manufacturing

3D Printing and Porter’s five forces – opportunities

In a previous post on this topic I highlighted the threats of 3D printing – as symbol of any additive manufacturing technology – disrupting traditional businesses, wondering if threatened business owners and professionals are aware of it. In this post I’ll take the opposite point of view, as a challenger to established businesses, breaking the … Continue reading 3D Printing and Porter’s five forces – opportunities

How Lean are you? Part 4

This is the fourth post in the How Lean are you? series. Measuring leanness In previous posts of this series I explained the advantage and necessity to assess leanness on two dimensions, one being primarily depicting how familiar with Lean tools and concepts people in the organization are, the second to measure tangible results: performance. … Continue reading How Lean are you? Part 4

3D Printing and Porter’s five forces

In a previous post on this topic I wondered about the pace of announcement of new amazing possibilities offered by 3D printing. I also wonder how the potential disruptions of 3D printing are ignored or underestimated. With the new techniques and new printable materials, virtually anyone can become a manufacturer. While this is good news … Continue reading 3D Printing and Porter’s five forces

How lean can help shaping the future? Introduction

Lean, no doubt, is a powerful proven business management system with long track record of success stories (and probably as many failed attempts). In 60 years, Lean made it slowly from Lean Manufacturing to Lean Thinking and Lean Management, from small improvement experiments in industrial workshops to worldwide shared Body of Knowledge. Despite all the … Continue reading How lean can help shaping the future? Introduction