Future of Lean: is a robotic motion a waste?

Motion and transportation count among the 7 basic muda or wastes, that should be eliminated or at least reduced to their bare minimum in order to be leaner. Now, with the probable rise of robotics, will robotic motion (and transportation) still be considered a waste? The Lean definition of waste is any consumption of resources, … Continue reading Future of Lean: is a robotic motion a waste?

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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

How Lean can help startups – Do not repeat mistakes of established companies 2/2

Entrepreneurs, at the beginning of a new venture, have limited means and therefore should be waste-aware in order not to spoil their so limited resources. >Have you read part one? Waste is a central Lean concept widely known and documented. Here is the minimum to know about waste: Waste is consuming resources without value creation. … Continue reading How Lean can help startups – Do not repeat mistakes of established companies 2/2

What is a spaghetti diagram?

A spaghetti diagram, spaghetti plot or spaghetti chart is the drawing depicting the physical flow or route of: a part, raw material in a workshop or factory a human worker in his/her work environment a patient in his/her journey in a hospital nurses in their station a file or paperwork being handed over across offices … Continue reading What is a spaghetti diagram?

Goal Tree is a Lean tool

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

VSM start on (false) assumption

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a great tool, that got really popular and stands as a one of the icons of Lean. In a nutshell, Value Stream Mapping is the schematic description of physical and information flow of a process or a value chain. It helps understanding the current situation and analyzing the causes of … Continue reading VSM start on (false) assumption

Muda, Muri, Mura

Subtle variations about waste. Some Japanese words have made their way into the western business language since Lean spread worldwide and inspired all businesses. Three of them are quite well known: Muda, Muri, Mura. MUDA Muda is one of the Japanese words passed in the common language of industry. Muda stands as generic word for … Continue reading Muda, Muri, Mura

How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment

Measuring leanness is not always necessary, for instance when gathering qualitative clues is good enough for the purpose of the assessment. This would be the case for qualifying a supplier or find improvement topics. Part 1 to part 4 of this series describe quantitative leanness assessment Gemba walk as qualifying audit When it comes to … Continue reading How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment

Why this lean obsession about waste?

Lean is about waste. Mainly about waste. Obsessive about waste. Wastes are activities that carry costs without adding any value. Reducing wastes is turning these expenses into savings. So far so good. Yet why doesn’t lean emphasize adding value instead? Adding value means adding or improving something that customers will value and will be ready … Continue reading Why this lean obsession about waste?