Lean: Waste in office work – part 2

In the first post of this series the focus was much about waste of human potential, that comes in many forms. In this second part reviews the 7 others wastes, first uncovered in manufacturing and later translated into office work. Office work isn’t as much prescribed in work instructions and standards as the work in … Continue reading Lean: Waste in office work – part 2

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

[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

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?

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