Lean leading figure Jim Womack posted a sincere and critical reflection (hansei) on where Lean has failed and why not to give up. I was impressed when reading it and it reinforced my respect and admiration for the author.
Lean initiatives – I don’t dare write transformations – are credited of high failure rate. Paradoxically these failures do not seem to reduce Lean’s attractivity, probably because of reported and expected short-term gains and savings “pay” the initial effort and probably because these quick wins are the initial (sole?) target of the initiators. For those … Continue reading Lean failures and Jim Womack’s 3P
I sincerely believe that experimenting with Lean tools was key to spread Lean awareness, ease the principles and tools acceptance and contribute to the Lean popularity. This was particularly okay in the “tools age”, when Lean was understood as a nice and handy toolbox. Yet limited and non sustainable successes were hints that Lean could … Continue reading Doing wrong things much better
Lean confusion is a 3-page article by Jill Jusko, posted on industryweek.com on Aug 13, 2010. Despite the time past, this article is still actual and may well continue to remain that way. This post is friendly recension of mine, having read it long after its publishing (2016 vs. 2010). Jusko’s article starts on the … Continue reading Reflecting on Lean – Lean Confusion by Jill Jusko
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a great tool to map processes. It started in manufacturing where it is used to understand physical and information flows and quickly spread to administrative processes. It is even used in hospitals. As Product Development is a process, so yes VSM can be used. However, development activities have some specificities … Continue reading Does Value Stream Mapping apply to Product Development?
Waste and costs reduction has almost become the definition of Lean for many people as well as an irresistible lure for most executives and managers. Yet costs and inventory reduction, is this the right target? In the various definitions proposed by Lean theorists, including Jim Womack, priority is given to identifying and creating value for … Continue reading Cost and inventory reduction, right target?
Gemba is a Japanese word translated as “actual place” or “real place” that got common to the Lean community lingo and refers to “the place where value is created”. For factory workers Gemba is the shopfloor, while for office workers Gemba is the office, for hospital staff, Gemba is hospital itself and for salesforces Gemba … Continue reading What is Gemba?
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?
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
One day after posting “Difficult definition of Lean” I came across Alessandro Di Fiore’s HBR article “The Art of Crafting a 15-Word Strategy Statement“. The similarities between a concise strategy statement and a concise Lean definition struck me immediately. As a Lean definition may serve as a strategy statement and if a compelling strategy statement … Continue reading Definition of Lean in 15 words