Until recently in the Lean community, the definition of waste was “simple”: waste is any activity consuming resources without producing value for the customer. In this definition time can be considered a resource and “customer” is extended to anyone beneficiary of the outcome, like a patient in a hospital getting faster and better care. Focusing … Continue reading The blurring definition of Lean waste in a 4.0 world – Part 1 of 2
The success of a 4.0 transformation in manufacturing (and industry at large) is particularly dependent on the initial conditions for its implementation. The “founding fathers” of Industry 4.0 and the organizations who help its implementation soon recognized the importance of a suitable “ground” as well as a number of prerequisites for a 4.0 transformation to … Continue reading The success of a 4.0 transformation is strongly dependent on the initial conditions
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
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
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?
I sincerely believe that experimenting with Lean tools was key to spread Lean awareness, ease the principles and tools acceptance and contribute to the Lean popularity. This was particularly okay in the “tools age”, when Lean was understood as a nice and handy toolbox. Yet limited and non sustainable successes were hints that Lean could … Continue reading Doing wrong things much better
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
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
Some thought leaders and Lean promoters stress the fact that Lean is about eliminating waste while others seem to get away from this idea. Could some have been wrong? Is there a shift in Lean Thinking? What is Lean finally about? Is Lean about waste elimination or not? Well, yes and no. Defining waste Waste is … Continue reading Is Lean about eliminating waste or not?
In a previous post, “CCPM helps shorten aircrafts MRO”, I explained the benefits of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) for reducing the aircraft downtime during their mandatory and scheduled MRO. If CCPM is great and helps a lot meeting the challenge, it will not squeeze out every potential improvement, thus time reduction, on its own. … Continue reading Theory of Constraints, Lean and aviation MRO