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 'Tools'
Steven Spear

Steve Spear: All tools are based on key capabilities

By Steven Spear, - Last updated: Monday, October 20, 2014
In answering the question about the use of particular tools, it helps to anchor in the fundamentals first and then elaborate on the use of tools in pursuit of those fundamentals second. In engineering, for instance, we start with Newtonian mechanics and then introduce tools like finite element analysis for testing the integrity of structures, or we introduce concepts of feedback and control before introducing matlab and other tools for simulation.  Likewise, in finance, we introduce concepts of discounted cash flow, option theory, and risk diversification before constructing models based on those concepts.  In these professions, grounded in causal theory, we ...

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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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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Tools, Rules, Principles, and Lean Wallpaper

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I have had a long and somewhat tortured fascination with regards to this topic and other similar questions. In terms of background when I returned to the United States from Japan in the mid 1990's after working for Toyota Motor Corporation it was difficult for me at least to recognize many of the efforts that were supposedly modeled after the Toyota Production System (TPS).  Some of it was frankly bewildering. The Lean movement has gone through many phases and efforts and I am certain that this will continue. I have commented in speeches, articles, and other areas over the past ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: There are no particular tools that are better than others to get to continuous improvement.

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010
In my new book in progress we talk of three levels of lean (inspired by David Meier).  The outer level of the sphere is proliferation of tools by the experts which by itself is a "lean facade."  This level is not sustainable.  If the experts teach managers the tools and they embrace and apply them they can get to the next level of "management as lean implementers."    This level is sustainable, but typically managers tend to be sporadic in making improvements "when they have time."  The best companies then advance to "continuous improvement by the work group."  The final step ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: All Companies Need Problem Solving Tools Based On Deming’s PDCA

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010
The relationship between lean and six sigma  is one of my favorite topics....Not!  It is fitting that this question came at Easter time which is famous for the Easter egg hunt.  Let's assume that lean eggs are red ones and  six sigma eggs are blue ones.  If you gather only the red eggs you will have an imbalance.  It will allow you to gather the eggs very quickly and efficiently but the red eggs are all different sizes and therefore there is a lot of variation.  On the other hand the blue eggs are very uniform so gathering some of ...

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