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
Archives by Tag 'Auto'
Jon Miller

Ask the behavior change experts, not the lean experts

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Thursday, April 9, 2015
The question "How do you undo traditional management behaviors to change to behavior as a lean manager?" is an important one for the success of lean endeavors. However this is not really a question for lean experts. This is a question for behavior change experts. Lean experts can (although we rarely do) attempt to define a set of agreed lean behaviors, but it is not our place to explain how behavior change happens. I have suggested to people who asked this to read Charles Duhigg's book The Power of Habit. In essence, habits are formed or re-formed through a reinforcing cycle ...

Continue reading this entry »

Lean Frontiers

Lean Frontiers: How do you undo traditional management behaviors to change to behavior as a lean manager?

By Lean Frontiers, - Last updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
How do you undo traditional management behaviors to change to behavior as a lean manager? (What are lean manager behaviors vs. traditional manager behaviors?)
Jon Miller

Jon Miller: Value-added Percentage, and other Parlor Tricks

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Monday, February 9, 2015
"What should be the target value-add percentage in a process?" This is a very interesting question. Oddly, value is one of the least discussed and understood topics in lean. Perhaps this is because there is so much good that can be done simply by tackling the vast amounts of obvious waste in most of our organizations and processes. Even a poor definition of value is good enough, as long as it sheds light on the opportunities to covert wasted time and effort into more valuable ones. Value is subjective. Humans define value. How we define value is time-bound. Humans are very bad ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jon Miller

Jon Miller: Visual Management, Visual Control and Shop Floor Management?

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Sunday, October 19, 2014
The question from an aeronautics COO is "How do you explain the difference between visual management and visual control and what is the role of shop floor management in it?" I spent some years as a Japanese-English translator as well as interpreter. In some ways I feel it is my duty to go back through the entire vocabulary of lean and right the wrongs due to poor translation, for they are legion. For now that will have to be a labor of love undertaken piecemeal. This question of visual management vs. visual control is another quirk of translation. In Japanese the word ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jon Miller

Jon Miller: From whom do you wish to learn?

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Thursday, May 1, 2014
In lean we have a credentialing problem. At least in the United States, practically anyone can become a lean author, expert or consultant. Ironically, lean lacks good standards for credentialing. This problem has been covered up by the vast amount of low-hanging fruit that it is easy to hang up a lean shingle not fail too badly for a while. Enduring success on the lean journey however, the scientifically unverified advice goes, requires guidance by a sensei. If we strip the word sensei of its unnecessary mystique, it means "teacher". The role of the teacher is to help the student learn ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jon Miller

Jon Miller: No Time for Kaizen? Check Your Assumptions

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014
The Lean Edge: How do you make time for improvements? As CEO of my company I have a grasp of lean and have experienced it in my career, but now that I'm CEO, I find it difficult to ask my people to make time for improvement work. They’re already completely busy doing their regular work. Moreover, this company is in the outdoor sports industry, and many people join these companies because they want time to climb, backpack, canoe, etc., and I'm reluctant to ask them to work more hours and sacrifice time for these activities. Any advice?"   In 20 years of trying ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jon Miller

Jon Miller: Get a good diagnosis

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014
"How do I start with lean?" Loaded question. If you were a doctor and a new patient walked in and asked, "How do I get healthy?" what would you answer? Free advice has consequences. Pay to be asked some good questions. The might include... How will you be able to recognize lean culture? Why does your management want a lean culture? What behaviors does the management recognize today as non-lean? What level of personal commitment does the leadership team have for this (to do, not just fund and delegate)? How will customers sense that you are becoming lean? How will customers reward you for being lean? What is ...

Continue reading this entry »

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: continuous flow is the key to improving quality

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I find that creating continuous flow cells is still 1) as powerful as ever and 2) as difficult as ever. Lean tools, in my experience, have been used to improve the productivity of existing lines or cells, but people balk at creating cells wherever it’s not obvious. Sadly, they miss the opportunity to radically diminish lead-time. In one high-tech company, after several years of doing lean, the CEO finally rolled-up his sleeves and tackled the issue of making parts in one continuous flow, from pressed parts to finished, polished products. This involves many technical challenges, such as precision machining (oil ...

Continue reading this entry »

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: How can we enhance intense collaboration?

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Monday, October 21, 2013
I’ve been puzzled for years by how the Toyota Way 2001 document organizes topics around Respect and Teamwork. Respect is about 1) Respect for stakeholders, 2) Mutual trust and mutual responsibility and 3) Sincere communication. Teamwork, on the other hand is about human resources development 1) commitment to education and development and 2) respect for the individual and realizing consolidated power as a team. Hmmm – thoroughly confusing. How come individual development and respect for the individual are teamwork? And how come respect for stakeholders and mutual trust are parts of respect? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I’ll eat ...

Continue reading this entry »

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Lean thinking spreads only as fast as each individual manager learns to think lean

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013
This is a difficult question to answer because it begs, in the way that it is formulated, an answer that doesn’t exist (to my knowledge) in lean. Let’s face it: lean is not scalable. Or put it in another way, if any one knows how to scale lean, let’s patent it and sell it and make a quick buck. The key to spreading lean thinking (and obtaining the associated performance improvement) is to develop the kaizen spirit in every person. The only known way any specific person can learn the kaizen spirit is to be coached on the gemba by a ...

Continue reading this entry »

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Learning from The Lean Startup movement

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Monday, June 24, 2013
I can see at least three divergent ways of answering this question – which makes it an interesting one to mull over! First, the Lean Startup clearly hit a good topic (and a nerve) by focusing on the numero uno principle of lean “understand value from the customer’s point of view.” Jim and Dan have been very clear on this point from the outset, but the lean movement has hitherto not come up with a methodology (tool?) to address the how? As a result, most lean programs out there are focused on cost improvement, cash improvement rather than customer value improvement. ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: The Lean Startup

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
There is a lot we can learn from the Lean Startup movement. I am grateful that this question provoked me to read the book again more carefully, and I urge others to do so too. First it tells a good story well – better than most lean books. Second it is written by an entrepreneur and business person, rather than an expert or consultant, who has struggled to use lean ideas to solve a very different set of business problems in his own businesses before sharing his results and reflections with others. The book stretches our experience and should help ...

Continue reading this entry »

Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Standardization and Lean

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Discussions about standards and standardisation should always include a discussion of the context. Establishing standards in a traditional “command-and-control” environment or even using Tayloristic “do-it-to-people” consultants is very different to the intent and experience in a lean environment. What is important is how standards are established and for what purpose. In a lean situation standards are a manifestation of the scientific thought process that underlies lean thinking. Deeply understanding your own work and how this creates value for customers and end users and how to improve it is the right place to start learning how to think using the scientific approach. ...

Continue reading this entry »

Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Learn to solve your engineering problems of today to design better products tomorrow

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013
First, beware:  there be dragons. My advice would be to take out “rapid” and “deploy” out of the vocabulary concerning new product development work. Any mistake made on the production shop floor can be fixed by putting the process back the way it was and catching up the missed production over the night shift or a week end shift. Mistakes in new product development won’t appear for a couple of years, and can cost the company its life – so slow and careful is the order of the day. The one catastrophic mistake to be wary of is to hire consultants ...

Continue reading this entry »

Theme by Matteo Turchetto|Andreas Viklund