Lean Production

The four levels of Lean Maturity

As a real lean enthusiast, I am stunned how many people introduce lean tools in their processes without success. How can you spend time on implementing a tool without making sure that it helps you achieve your goals?

I have written a book about it, lean Transformations, and in this book, I discuss a LEAN MATURITY MODEL (shown in figure 1) that should help you break the cycle of actions that do not lead to measurable improvement.

The Lean Start-up - E.Ries (summary)

In ‘the Lean Start-Up’, Eric Ries describes the challenges of starting a new business, and how the lean philosophy can help taking critical decisions faster. A central theme in this book is the build-measure-learn-cycle in which products and services are designed and improved. The shorter the cycle, the faster you learn, and the faster your service or product will become successful. This article is focused on the same cycle.


Lean Transformations - T.Panneman (summary)

In Lean Transformations, Thijs Panneman (me, so this summary is not very objective) describes how to use lean tools in the way that they add value to your business. To explain how this works, the book is split into five different parts: the role of the lean transformation leader, understanding the lean philosophy, four steps of lean maturity, redesigning processes to improve flow and some lean tools that were described along the way in more detail. This article will shortly address each of these five parts.


Leading With Lean - P.Holt (summary)

In his book, Leading With Lean, Philip Holt describes the role of leaders in any organization in transforming the organization in to a lean organization. He does this by dividing the book in five parts: planning to lead, learning to lead, leading at scale, leading excellence and leading with lean. In this article, each of these five parts will be shortly described with the two topics that I enjoyed reading most.


Lean Audit - J.Muenzing (summary)

In his book Lean Audit, Joerg Muenzing describes how an effective Lean Audit can help assess the maturity of a lean culture, and give direction for improvement. The book contains five parts. Part 1 presents the concept of the Lean Audit Lean Audit, part 2 explains the 20 keys to world-class operations, part 3 guides the readers through the assessment process, part 4 shows to interpret results, and part 5 explains the certification process.
This article will focus mainly on part 3 and 4 of the book: how to measure performance on different keys and what operational excellence looks like, and how to interpret the results to define an improvement plan.


The Five Diseases of Project Management - A.Elder

D2MAIC projects (3/3): Improve & Control

D2MAIC projects (2/3): Measue & Analyse

D2MAIC projects (1/3): Discovery & Define

Projects are an important part of every lean program. First, you have the small problems that can be solved within the team and then you have the larger problems that can be solved with the use of A3 thinking. There are however bigger structural problems that can not simply be solved within a few weeks. These are the projects. Projects can take up to six months to complete and traditionally follow 5 Phases within (Lean) Six Sigma: define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC). I prefer to use the D2MAIC structure described by Abramowich (2005), which starts with a Discovery phase before the Define phase. This article describes the first two phases of the D2MAIC structure: the discovery and de define phase.

Design for Operational Excellence - K.J.Duggan (summary)

In his book Design For Operational Excellence (Duggan, 2012), Kevin J. Duggan describes the missing part of many lean programs: creating opportunities for business growth. Yes, lean has to do with reducing waste, but why do we want that? The answer is business growth.

In this book, Duggan describes different questions that help us think about the improvement activities we have and how to improve our improvement plan. This article describes the two parts of the book that inspired me the most: how to design a self healing flow and the 9 steps of value stream mapping in an office environment. Because only when there is a self healing flow, management can focus their attention on growing the business.



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