The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 3: top-down and bottom-up

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

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

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

Could Six Sigma have more harmed than helped?

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?