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

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How to identify the constraint of a system? Part 4

Since the publishing of early books on Theory of Constraints, the world grew more complex and the system’s constraint got more and more elusive. Globalization and extended supply chains give a constraint opportunity to settle literally anywhere in the world and extend its nature. It can be a physical transformation process in a supplier’s facility, … Continue reading How to identify the constraint of a system? Part 4

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

Does Value Stream Mapping apply to Product Development?

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a great tool to map processes. It started in manufacturing where it is used to understand physical and information flows and quickly spread to administrative processes. It is even used in hospitals. As Product Development is a process, so yes VSM can be used. However, development activities have some specificities … Continue reading Does Value Stream Mapping apply to Product Development?

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?

Value Stream Mapping is a tool for pivoting

“Pivot” has become a buzzword in business, referring to a shift in strategy or a significant change made in product, service or business model as a result of experiment. When a solution or an assumption does not lead to or deliver the expected outcome, a significant change may be required to adjust to the reality … Continue reading Value Stream Mapping is a tool for pivoting

A perfect world is a lovely place

It happened during a project review meeting during which we went through the planned action sequences. A new late comer to the project raised a few questions and suggested some additions and changes to the action plan. >lisez cet article en français One of the participants, visibly irritated by the new entrant and his interventions, … Continue reading A perfect world is a lovely place

What is VSM good for?

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is one of the most popular tool of the Lean toolbox, frequently associated with finding improvement opportunities. Yet VSM is more than a kind of treasure map. >Lisez cet article en français Enabling “helicopter view” Drawing a VSM is like getting aboard a chopper and take off to watch the perimeter … Continue reading What is VSM good for?

VSM Pitfall: unnecessary process

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is probably the main analysis tool and the most used in the lean toolbox. Easy to understand and handle, VSM is the starting point of improvement workshops and kaizen events. It helps focusing on wastes and improvement potentials in any process. The ease of use and popularity of VSM make them … Continue reading VSM Pitfall: unnecessary process

Value Stream Mapping

A value stream is the sequence of all activities required to bring value to customers. The name value stream infers the value flows to customers along streamlined processes, which is an ideal seldom seen in reality. In reality value streams are cluttered with non-added value processes, tasks and steps. Nevertheless such value streams deliver value, … Continue reading Value Stream Mapping