In the first post of this series, I explained why bottom-up Lean initiatives have little chance to succeed. In the second post I switched the point of view and discussed the top-down driven Lean rollout attempts and their pitfalls. Neither is easy nor a sure way to succeed. In this third post it is time … Continue reading The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 3: top-down and bottom-up
This post title may sound provocative to all readers knowing the Goal Tree origins lay with Theory of Constraints and to hardliners of each philosophy wanting to keep their toolbox clean of “imported” tools, yet it won’t change the fact that a Goal Tree is a Lean tool. 1. Goal Tree as its name tells … Continue reading Goal Tree is a Lean tool
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
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 started my career in the heyday of Total Quality Management (TQM) in France, beginning of the 1980’s and witnessed over the following years how the TQM trainings and deployments built a quality-aware culture in the companies and spread to everyday’s life. Over time though, other “Japanese Methods” became fashionable and the hype was on … Continue reading Could Six Sigma have more harmed than helped?
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
The 5S methodology / philosophy as such is around and fairly widespread since the mid-1980s, when the western industries sought the “secrets” of their Japanese competitors’ tremendous successes. >Don’t know yet about 5S? Check my quick beginner’s guide to 5S However, despite the 30 years of awareness and trials: very few companies I visited have … Continue reading Why 5S fail
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is one of the most popular tool of the Lean toolbox, frequently associated with finding improvement opportunities. Yet VSM is more than a kind of treasure map. >Lisez cet article en français Enabling “helicopter view” Drawing a VSM is like getting aboard a chopper and take off to watch the perimeter … Continue reading What is VSM good for?
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is probably the main analysis tool and the most used in the lean toolbox. Easy to understand and handle, VSM is the starting point of improvement workshops and kaizen events. It helps focusing on wastes and improvement potentials in any process. The ease of use and popularity of VSM make them … Continue reading VSM Pitfall: unnecessary process
In our fast moving, fast changing world, ancient wisdom may no longer apply. And chances are it is true. There is this proverb with unclear origins yet sounding ancient and wise: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” … Continue reading Give me the fish, don’t teach me fishing!