kaizen

Valuing the small improvement

02.12.2015

Small improvements matter. Yet, organizations often de-value them because they are small. They don’t always do it intentionally. They may simple OVER-value the big improvements, through recognition and reward. Here are three important reasons to value making small improvements: 1. It’s how you learn and build culture. Improvement is a muscle. Lots and lots of […]

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Technology’s evolving role in supporting continuous improvement

07.25.2013

Continuous improvement has always had a strained relationship with technology, for both good reasons and bad. One of the good is that doing things manually and building your own systems can be a one of the most productive means of learning you can create. One of the worst reasons is that because Toyota wasn’t using […]

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How to trick yourself into thinking you’re doing lean (and trick others at the same time)

01.10.2012

What to do when problem solving tools become the problem? One of the funniest blogs in the world, in my opinion, is The Oatmeal. However, this one about pros and cons struck a cord because what makes it funny is exactly that it’s how people work. Here’s the heart of the problem: Image by The […]

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Building a kaizen (event) team

10.12.2011

Kaizen doesn’t literally mean a weeklong event with a cross-functional team for focused improvement. However, in many organizations, that’s what it’s come to mean. Regardless of your name for it – kaizen, kaizen event, Rapid Improvement Event, or something else – these focused kaizens are often a part of a lean strategy. As Mike Rother […]

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Learning Continuous Improvement [Guest Blog]

05.02.2011

Guest Post: Donald Sweigart worked with “The Body Shop @” which developed the “Star-Link Certified” Lean business model improving Profitability, CSI, and Cycle Time in the Collision Repair Industry. This model is now licensed by a Fortune 100 in it’s Industry-wide Lean Training. His passion is implementing Lean solutions in industry. Continuous incremental Improvement is […]

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Plan for Sustainability, Don’t Just Hope For It

05.06.2010

Kaizen event, A3 projects, DMAIC projects – you name it, projects get done and results are generated. But… Are the results sustained? Too often the gains deteriorate over time. There are many reasons from the culture to changing priorities. But at the very least, we should be doing what we can within the project to […]

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Why we won’t do 100 kaizens for you

04.08.2010

Every day at the Lean Learning Center is an adventure. We approach our work with clients with an extreme bias towards flexibility. We do have standard work for activities, but how we might engage a client will be different every time. And that starts with a wide range of requests. But some of them we […]

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Projects do not define a lean company

04.01.2010

No organization can become lean just from running lean projects and events. One organization did over 14,000 lean projects and still failed as a company, because they relied entirely on those events. Some of the problems include: If the methods, tools, and behaviors are not consistent with lean, project results will have a half-life. The […]

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An idea is not always enough.

03.24.2010

A useful fable from Aesop, one of my all-time favorite writers, The Mice in Council. Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he […]

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Organizational Design and the Role of HR in Lean

02.19.2010

This originally appeared on the Lean Career Compass blog. Lean is a human system. And human resources deals with humans, right? So HR should have a pretty active role in lean. In most cases, I see them sitting on the sidelines. This is sad. It’s not that they don’t want to get involved, they don’t […]

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