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 'true'
Jon Miller

What is the true value of a work cell?

By Jon Miller, - Last updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
"Twenty years later, have workplaces moved to multi-process cells or do you still find many isolated operators?" The answer to this question is not either-or, but a "Yes" to both. Progressive workplaces are moving closer to cells, and we still find many isolated processes a.k.a. islands. Agile development, scrums, sprints and so forth engage in cell-like continuous flow within non-production environments. Hospitals and clinics are being designed for patient flow, moving the care to the patient continuously rather than delivering islands of care among oceans of waiting time. Discrete manufacturing processes are increasingly being reconnected to flow like it's 1913. But ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Toyota’s True North Concept

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2011
There are several points raised in this month's question about the concept of True North in Lean Thinking. First what is its role, second how can we define the concept, third in what way does it contribute to lean results, and fourth can lean be done without True North? I'll give my perspective on these topics one by one in the paragraphs below. True North is one of the common buzzwords of the past decade used to help explain parts of the Toyota Production System or Toyota Way. For starters I am not a big fan of buzz words like True ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: True North is key because building capability feels like failure on the spot

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Monday, October 31, 2011
“You’re the problem” told the Toyota coordinator to the shop manager when the latter complained about the level of the operators he had to work with. It took the manager a full year to understand what the sensei meant, and come back with “okay, I’m the problem – not the operators. What should I do?” His sensei then got him to start a training dojo. It took that manager a year to accept that he was the problem. It’s taken me fifteen to reach the same conclusion: if lean is rarely carried out beyond cost-cutting programs, we’re the problem. So: what ...

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Jeff Liker

True North: Find the gap to the ideal state to stretch yourself

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Sunday, October 9, 2011
"True North" is used quite a bit around Toyota, though the hard-core TPS folks do not like it preferring "ideal state."  Either concept has a similar meaning which is that you should understand the gap between the ideal and the actual so you can see how far you need to go.  Toyota Business Practices, which replaced practical problem solving, has an explicit step to define the ideal state.  Then the gap between the ideal and the actual is broken down to manageable steps and an explicit target for the kaizen activity.  Then root cause analysis proceeds for the gap relative ...

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Steven Spear

Steve Spear: The True North “Ideal”: A source of tension for continuous improvement

By Steven Spear, - Last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In Toyota thinking, there are at least two indicators that a problem is occurring that needs to be resolved. -- The first is a sign that the process is not in control and that the process is understood imperfectly. -- The second, the 'True North Ideal,' as we called it in "Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System," is a source of relentless tension for improvement and innovation--even when the system is capable and in control. 1- Specification, Built in Tests, and Problems as sign of gap between expectations and actual experience. "Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System <http://hbr.org/1999/09/decoding-the-dna-of-the-toyota-production-system/ar/1> " begins ...

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The Lean Edge

The Lean Edge: What is True North?

By The Lean Edge, - Last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
"What would you say is the role of True North in Lean Thinking? How do can we define the concept, and it what way does it contribute to lean results? Can lean be done without True North?"
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Leaning processes is about seeking true cost

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010
Lean can certainly help in getting commitment on specific financial targets and seeing that these targets are met on schedule, but not in the way one thinks, which is again one of the interesting paradoxes of this new way of management. First, the lean approach is definitely more precise about costs. For instance, I was recently looking at purchasing practices in the automotive industry. In a traditional group, purchasing assumed a ballpark figure of a few percents of the part cost for transportation and holding. In a company that has been doing lean for years, there are tables to calculate the ...

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