Lean Conformance vs. TPS Performance

Art Smalley
Here is a response to a question about multi-purpose cells I gave to a question over on the Lean Edge. The main question asked here is “have workplaces moved to multi-purpose cells or do we still see isolated operators on the shop floor (現場 / Genba)”? The statement implies that was what “Toyota” was teaching us 20 years ago.  Well that last part I sort of doubt it. In re...
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Toyota and In-sourcing vs. Outsourcing Decisions

Art Smalley
Here is a response I gave over on the Lead Edge to a question about Toyota and in-sourcing versus outsourcing decisions. I honestly don’t know if there is a specific “lean way” for organizing value through out the supply chain. Lean is a pretty subjective term these days and I find as much difference of opinion on the topic as I do agreement. I expect a lot of different ...
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Dynamics of Problem Solving

Here is a response I gave over on the Lead Edge to a question about problem solving, the scientific method, and cooperation across departments. This particular questions asks why it is so hard to cooperate across functions to solve problems by using the scientific method. Not the exact wording but close enough for short discussion. Problem solving via any method (scientific ...
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Reflections on the Lean Start Up

Here is a response I gave over on the Lean Edge to a question pertaining to the success of the "Lean Start Up". I think there is a lot to like about the book The Lean Start Up and certainly something to learn from it as well. The book has done extraordinarily well in terms of sales and recognition. There are some shortcomings of the book when it comes to actual Lean practice...
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Houshin Kanri Advice

Here is a response issued to a question from a practitioner over on the Lean Edge site about implementing Houshin Kanri. For a company which is pulling in different directions I think that spending some time establishing and improving their Houshin process will yield significant benefits. The trick like in most things to make sure you get it right or the “tool” will not nece...
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Degrees of Pressure

Here is a response I gave to a question issued over on the Lean Edge. The question pertains to highlighting problems and increased pressure on workers I am not sure that this particular question is really about “Lean”. I think this is mainly a question about performance in general and why certain groups excel in the long run while others slowly enter the gravitational field ...
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Standard Lean Logic Flaw

This is a cross posting from over at the Lead Edge website. The Lean Global Networks asks a question about changing standards and having to re-train everyone. This implies improvement is limited by the ability to conduct training. This question unfortunately reminds me of the old adage in problem solving that vague fuzzy problem statements lead to poor causal analysis and th...
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Determine the Driving Need

This is a cross posting from a question I received over at the Lean Edge website from Joel Stanwood Partner at Industrial Operations. "How should we take Lean into Product Development?" Toyota or Lean Product Development is a really large discussion topic. In all honesty I cannot begin to do justice to the entire content or even really suggest where to begin without greater ...
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Productivity and Improvement

Here is a cross posting from the Lean Edge Website. The question from the Lean Global Network was regarding productivity:  "Is there a Lean Way to Measure Productivity"? In theory this issue of measuring productivity is pretty simple but in reality it is usually complex for a variety of reasons…In general however I don’t like the question of “is there a specific lean way to ...
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