Lean: Waste in office work – part 1

When Lean principles got popular and begun to spread out of the manufacturing shop floor, the original 7 types of waste were translated into their equivalent in office environment. Yet office work is less standardized than manufacturing, offering people more freedom to organize themselves. Compared to precisely prescribed execution and streamlined operations in manufacturing, synchronized … Continue reading Lean: Waste in office work – part 1

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2018: one year of blogging in retrospect

At the moment of writing these lines, the year has 5 more days to go until 2019 and complete its fifth year of existence. The 2018 counter of views shows 89,670,  a 16.5% increase compared to previous year, thanks to 53,430 visitors. A still modest score, but I am working on it. I managed to … Continue reading 2018: one year of blogging in retrospect

Lean = 5S, again.

It happened again, I have met one more Lean Manager explaining that he/she was appointed to this position to manage a Lean program rollout, and this Lean program is essentially reinvigorating 5S. There has been a real inflation of Lean Managers in France lately. With so many of them flowing into the companies, France’s world … Continue reading Lean = 5S, again.

[Muda] Cash-flow depleted startup freezes cash in defective products

This post is inspired by an assessment of a successful startup on its way to scaling up. With some exaggeration I state that startups fall into two categories: either the ones that have cash to burn, thanks to trusting investors, or the ones struggling to find cash. Mine is somewhat in between. A dynamic boss … Continue reading [Muda] Cash-flow depleted startup freezes cash in defective products

Digital transformation: 5 good reasons not to ditch Lean too quick

In the hype of digital transformation, the appeal of new technologies and the hope to buy turnkey solutions to lasting problems may eclipse the good old Lean, even so all the potentials of the latter haven't been fully exploited. Now here are 5 good reasons not to ditch Lean too quick: Digitizing wasteful activities is … Continue reading Digital transformation: 5 good reasons not to ditch Lean too quick

About Clarity, Focus, Discipline, and Engagement

This post is inspired by Karen Martin’s (author of Shingo Research Award-winning book, The Outstanding Organization)  interview by Ron Pereira (Gemba Academy). In this interview (https://www.ksmartin.com/videos/the-outstanding-organization-interview/) Karen explains the importance of Clarity, Focus, Discipline, and Engagement. These are the four fundamental behaviors or common patterns in successful organizations, that are strong foundations upon which to … Continue reading About Clarity, Focus, Discipline, and Engagement

Are the 5S the first steps to SMED?

This is a classical debate among Lean newbees and even among specialists: are the 5S the first steps to SMED or not? As so often there is more than just a binary choice. If you are not now familiar with 5S, you may get a primer reading my posts series: The Quick Beginner’s Guide to … Continue reading Are the 5S the first steps to SMED?

The fallacy of maturity assessments

Maturity assessments are a kind of qualitative audit during which the current “maturity” of an organization is compared to a maturity reference model and ranked accordingly to its score. As explained in the wikipedia article about maturity model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maturity_model), the implementation is either top-down or bottom-up, but from my experience it is mostly top-down. The … Continue reading The fallacy of maturity assessments

Is Lean dead?

Is Lean dead? is the provocative title of a podcast hosted by Mark Graban with guest Karen Martin. The question, the podcast description says, is “easy to discuss, but hard to answer”. The reason Karen proposed to discuss this question is because of hearing and reading about “what’s next”, “is it time for something new?” … Continue reading Is Lean dead?