Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Author Archive
Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: Key competencies to hire a team leader for the Kaizen Promotion Office?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Sunday, November 9, 2014
What would you say the most pertinent competencies are for a team member to be promoted to join an internal Lean team (Kaizen Promotion Office) whose responsibility is training and facilitating Kaizen?
Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: How can lean be sustained across a decentralized group geographically spread out?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Friday, June 28, 2013
A consumer-facing made-to-order manufacturing company has a significant service presence (sales associates, designers, customer service reps, logistics associates, installers) distributed across a wide geography in a somewhat decentralized organization structure. Each of the groups listed above is run by a different functional head. Sustaining Lean gains in a single plant is challenging enough -- doing so across several dozen groups spread across North America is tougher still. What advice do you have for the managers of this company?
Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: Where to start with Hoshin Kanri in a not-yet-lean company?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013
A mid-sized manufacturing company is finalizing its strategic plan and believes that it is time to begin Hoshin Kanri. The company is not currently operating as a Lean Enterprise -- functional silos create significant amount of waste which results in poor product/service quality and high cost to serve. Additionally, different departments and regions of the company are "pulling in different directions." What advice, resources, and lessons learned can you provide to the managers of this company to successfully organize and deploy Hoshin?
Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: How should we take Lean into Product Development?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Monday, February 18, 2013
A consumer-products company has recently begun its Lean journey by focusing on Lean fundamentals starting on the shop floor (standard work, 1-piece flow, pull, work to Takt).  The company is simultaneously refreshing its product portfolio.  Although the cross-functional New Product Development ("NPD") team members may have little experience working in a Lean environment, the team nevertheless desires to (1) deploy rapid NPD processes and (2) prioritize its product pipeline to take full ...

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Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: What practical advice would you offer to companies as they establish their Kaizen Promotion Offices?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Friday, January 4, 2013
Building the KPO What practical advice would you offer to companies as they establish their Kaizen Promotion Offices?  At the beginning their Lean journey each company faces questions such as: (a)    What is the role of the KPO to serve the organization? (b)   How do we best leverage the KPO for leadership development? (c)    What is optimal size of the KPO organization? (d)   What is right mix of internal / external hires? (e)   Who should the KPO lead report to? (f)     How is the KPO best organized in order to sustain Lean both inside/outside of the plant?  (i.e. sales, distribution, marketing, product development ...

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Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: Why has the Lean movement largely failed to capture the imagination of the sales team?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Most management teams who testify to having implemented Lean will describe financial impact in terms of shop floor efficiency improvement – direct labor productivity, overtime reduction, inventory velocity, floor space utilization, etc. Paradoxically, in terms of company economics, the most alluring promise of Lean is to boost sales, delivering ever higher variable contribution margins while delighting customers and winning in the marketplace. Yet the language of Lean to unlock the growth engine of the company rarely enters the sales vernacular, and in general, sales professionals are far less likely to ...

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