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 'teamwork'
Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Lean engineering tools can be lifeless or brought to life with exceptional leadership and teamwork

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Saturday, March 16, 2013
With my associates at Liker Lean Advisors we have been working with product development organizations for the last ten years ranging from $1 billion businesses to Fortune 50 businesses.   As in all of my published work we believe in an organic approach, rather then an mechanistic tool-based approach.   There are many tools that Jim Morgan and I talk about in The Toyota Product Development System, such as a chief engineer's concept paper, value stream mapping, know-how databases, the big room (obeya) for project meetings, and the use of A3 reports.   These are all tools which can be ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Changing the structure doesn’t change the work – don’t reorganize, teach teamwork

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012
I often think that questions like this suggest a misunderstanding of the problem.  Simply stating the problem is we have silos and we want to turn the organization sideways to focus on business processes is not a  good problem statement.   Presumably there is a process that cuts across silos and the silos need to work together to solve specific problems to achieve specific objectives. The reason they currently do not work together to solve those problems is because of the history of the company, what they were taught, how they are evaluated, and how they have been led.  Organizations often ...

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Jeff Liker

Dan Jones: Lean problem solving and teamwork

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Friday, May 27, 2011
There is more to problem solving and teamwork in a lean organisation. This was brought home last week during another Gemba walk through a plant making fast moving consumer goods. As we snaked our way past a maze of hoppers, ovens, pipes and packaging lines it became clear than nothing was visible at all, to me or to the managers accompanying me. I kept asking what was today's plan, were they behind or ahead, what were the biggest problems and what actions were they taking to address them. The managers I was with could only answer these questions by going ...

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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: What is Lean Teamwork?

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Question:  Lean focuses on individual problem solving, yet stresses the importance of teamwork. What would be your definition of teamwork in the lean sense? (Who says Lean focuses on “individual problem solving”?! I’ve never seen an individual solve a problem solely by him- or herself. Think about it.) You can say a team is a group of people working on a shared objective. In regard to teamwork in the lean sense, I think something Toyota does that sports teams do, but many business organizations do not, is deliberately teach team members a common and systematic means for achieving objectives. A kata. So we ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: Teamwork is not “work teams”

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I had in interesting experience about fifteen years ago when we were doing research for a book about Japanese manufacturing in the U.S. (called Remade in America).  We were studying a Japanese auto supplier with overseas plants in the U.S.   One question we had was how the Japanese would bring teamwork to the American culture.  At the time there was a lot of discussion about the use of work groups in Japan--work groups that were part of quality circle programs, natural work groups on the shop floor with team leaders, collocated cross-functional teams in product development and so on.  In ...

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The Lean Edge

The Lean Edge: What does “teamwork” mean in lean?

By The Lean Edge, - Last updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Lean focuses on individual problem solving yet stresses the importance of  teamwork. What would be your definition of teamwork in the lean sense?
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