The Zoo or why many improvement initiatives on shop floor fail to deliver noticeable results at company level

The zoo is one of the metaphors used in the book “Thinking in Systems” by author Donella Meadows (1941-2001) and one of my favorite takeaways from her book. Told in my way, the zoo is a convenient way to observe animals that would not be that easy to observe in their natural habitat. In a … Continue reading The Zoo or why many improvement initiatives on shop floor fail to deliver noticeable results at company level

The Lean Toolbox (5th Edition) by Bicheno & Holweg: 342 pages and 1.4 pounds of value

If you are looking for a good value-for-money reference book on Lean you should really consider Bicheno and Holweg’s book: The Lean Toolbox, a handbook for lean transformation (5th Edition). This 342 pages paperback book is a great reference book, the kind you’ll open again and again to refresh your memory or get (re)inspired. Each … Continue reading The Lean Toolbox (5th Edition) by Bicheno & Holweg: 342 pages and 1.4 pounds of value

Could industry 4.0 extend Lean’s lifespan?

When Industry 4.0 arrived with all its bells and whistles, many would have thought “haha, this is the long awaited next big thing to replace Lean”. Now, as the time goes by, it seems more and more that Lean is regarded as a mandatory prerequisite to Industry 4.0, which in return could unexpectedly extend Lean’s … Continue reading Could industry 4.0 extend Lean’s lifespan?

Will 5S resist 4.0 tech?

April 2019, in the corridors of our offices I picked a statement made by a young consultant about one of his clients: "It's a real mess in their warehouse, they do not manage storage and have no defined storage locations. They lose an incredible amount of time searching for goods. Introducing RFID tags would allow … Continue reading Will 5S resist 4.0 tech?

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

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 quickly

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 quickly: Digitizing wasteful activities is … Continue reading Digital transformation: 5 good reasons not to ditch Lean too quickly

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