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Lean is Not Common Sense

How many times have you heard that lean is “just common sense?”  Over the years, I’ve noticed that those who say this are generally the ones who resist lean the most.  Referring to lean as nothing more than common sense is often an excuse to ignore transformation and continue to do things in the same … Continue reading

The Effect of Structure on Performance

Lean requires a systems thinking mindset; meaning that the success of an individual function is measured in terms of how it contributes to the organization, as a whole. Over an over again, I have seen examples in functionally-structured companies where individual areas – intentionally or unintentionally – focus on their own goals with little or no regard to the effect it as on other areas. Continue reading

What Is Lean Six Sigma & Why Is It Necessary?

Several years ago, the term Lean Six Sigma (LSS) appeared on the scene and since then, countless books, seminars, and conferences have popped up referencing the term.  I’ve read books and articles on the subject but continue to have trouble understanding the distinction between LSS and just plain lean. I’ve had people tell me that … Continue reading

Addressing Problems With Countermeasures Rather Than Solutions

Within the Toyota Production System, virtually every action, tool, or system is considered a countermeasure rather than a solution in an effort to prevent the mindset that changes are, in any way, permanent resolutions to problems. Although some actions may, in fact, be permanent solutions to a problem, acting in this way can lead to static thinking and interfere with the development of better methods in the future. Continue reading