Lean failures and Jim Womack’s 3P

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

Does Value Stream Mapping apply to Product Development?

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?

Cost and inventory reduction, right target?

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?

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

Definition of Lean in 15 words

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

If tool age didn’t pave the way of management age

Lean’s Tool age is approximately the period between 1990 and 2006 in which western companies discovering Lean first tried to copy-paste the Toyota Production System’s tools and methods. Using these tools and methods brought nice successes, but kept inferior to Toyota’s and seldom sustainable. Jim Womack was among the analysts discovering the true nature of … Continue reading If tool age didn’t pave the way of management age