Lean Features

Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Each day we receive data that seek to quantify the Covid-19 pandemic. These daily values tell us how things have changed from yesterday, and give us the current totals, but they are difficult to...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Football is a tough sport, tougher than most who play it. Almost everyone who plays will eventually sustain at least a minor injury. It certainly took a toll on my body. At 15, I broke my leg in two...
Jason Chester's picture
Jason Chester
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit every industry with a barrage of challenges. The impacts on the manufacturing sector are already extending far beyond factory walls. And for now, the depth of those...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
Every endeavor we undertake starts with a goal. A goal starts as an idea, which morphs into a desire, which becomes a goal. Ideas are vague, desires are inspiring, and a goal is actionable...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
In today’s column, I am looking at wu wei, which is an important concept detailed in the Chinese classic text, Tao Te Ching. This term is generally translated into English as wu = no, wei = action,...
Sensei Friedrich Fachidiot's picture
Sensei Friedrich Fachidiot
Mea culpa! I have a reputation for mercilessly bashing management, but I’ve finally come to realize that I owe executives an apology. As I have been constantly reminded in my career, these are very...
Ken Maynard's picture
Ken Maynard
When educational and public sectors consider applying a proven method like lean Six Sigma, the perception persists that this “manufacturing program” will not work in a nonmanufacturing environment....
Jesse Allred's picture
Jesse Allred
Imagine a manufacturing facility prioritizing cleanliness and organization—aisles are kept clear, equipment is well maintained, the plant floor is regularly cleaned, operators can easily locate tools...
Anonymous's picture
This is supposed to be trade-show season. The time when companies send their employees to industry tech shows and user-group meetings to see and experience the latest offerings in their field. A time...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
In a recent article I discussed the traditional 5S audit, shared a set of reservations, and offered some remedies—“The Five Tweaks,” as I called them. Remedies are important because most of you have...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
A couple weeks ago a consultant friend of mine, who coincidentally focuses his practice on lean in healthcare, was complaining about issues with his healthcare providers. It’s a story we hear often:...
Ben Aston's picture
Ben Aston
A large portion of a digital project manager’s job is making sure the right parts of the project are being worked on. Projects need to be prioritized. Tasks within projects need to be...
Nico Thomas's picture
Nico Thomas
Each new year brings about a period of reflection, where one can think back on the path that the previous year took us on. 2020 represents an even larger opportunity for reflection as the world...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
Let’s talk about the 5S audit, a mechanism many companies use as their major means to stimulate employee creativity and trigger continuous improvement.  There are three fundamentals of the 5S...
Jody Muelaner's picture
Jody Muelaner
The seven basic tools of quality are a standard set of graphical methods for improving quality. They can help with understanding variation and determining the root cause of errors in processes. The...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Lean production is built on the explicit assumption that each step is operated predictably and capably. Predictable operation can only be achieved and maintained by using process behavior charts....
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
Almost half of Americans work in low-wage jobs despite the nation’s low unemployment rate. Aimee Picchi, writing for CBS News, cites a Brookings study that says “44 percent of U.S. workers are...
Casandra Robinson's picture
Casandra Robinson
Perhaps for as many as 40,000 years, people have been protecting their feet with some type of covering, initially using animal hides and fur. Today, footwear has become high-tech, sophisticated, and...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
As readers of my columns know, I am an ardent student of the Toyota Production System (TPS). One of the core philosophies of TPS is kaizen, often translated from Japanese as “continuous improvement...
Paavo Käkelä's picture
Paavo Käkelä
After two decades of offshore productions in low-cost countries, manufacturers are now struggling with the rapidly growing salaries and countereffects of cheap production. The question that...