What is Lean Coffee?

A Lean Coffee is a semi formal* meeting in which participants choose the topics they want to discuss, vote for the topics and then discuss the most voted topics during a limited time period. At the end of the ‘timebox’, the group decides to continue or switch to the next if they feel they got … Continue reading What is Lean Coffee?

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Continuous Improvement: Prevent frustrations related to the S curve

When implementing some solutions, like in continuous improvement, project managers better take care about the frustrations related to the S curve. The “S curve” is the shape of the performance curve over time. It describes a latency (t1) before the performance p1 takes off after the improvements have been implemented, then a more or less … Continue reading Continuous Improvement: Prevent frustrations related to the S curve

Standing in the Ohno circle. And then?

Ohno circle is also known as “Taiichi Ohno’s Chalk Circle”, a circle drawn on the shop floor to materialize the observation point from where to learn to observe, see, analyze and understand. The original method puts (commits?) the “disciple” in such a circle for extended time with instruction to watch and not leave the circle. … Continue reading Standing in the Ohno circle. And then?

Do not overlook spaghetti diagrams

What is a spaghetti diagrams (chart)? A spaghetti chart or spaghetti diagram is the visual description of an actual flow, a snapshot of what a given flow really looks like, not how the procedures expect it to be. The flow depicted is the path in space (usually through a factory, an office, a building, a … Continue reading Do not overlook spaghetti diagrams

Doing wrong things much better

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 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

Reflecting on Lean – Lean Confusion by Jill Jusko

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

The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 1

Yes, Lean initiatives can be started bottom-up, but I doubt they’ll get very far and last for long. Here is why. Bottom-up Lean initiatives, e.i. improvements, are opportunities for improvement found by shopfloor people, line leaders or shop management. “Improvement” is most often understood in a broad meaning and bring up suggestions ranging from make … Continue reading The fallacy of bottom-up Lean initiatives – Part 1

From Obeya to wallpaper show room

When visual management turns into useless wallpaper Having an Obeya is the latest - fashionable - sign an organization takes Lean seriously. The name itself sounds performing as is it is so strongly related to Lean. Obeya may sound both exotic and performing, but is nothing more than a “big room”. (I assume the perplexed … Continue reading From Obeya to wallpaper show room