So You Think You Need an A3 Template

Problem solving is a core part of continuous improvement and lean management. The so-called A3 problem solving method has become mainstream popular. I’m often asked to recommend a template by the people I coach. I’m reluctant to provide A3 templates without first understanding why people are asking for it. Why

Continue Reading

No Overburden, No Gain?

In lean thinking we say there are three undesirable conditions related to any work: waste, variability and overburden. In Japanese they are muda, mura and muri. Of the three, waste is often the main focus of continuous improvement activity. It is easier in many ways to identify and to remove waste than the

Continue Reading

Safety In Numbers: What Message Are We Sending?

Jamie Parker practices Lean and is passionate about learning and sharing Lean leadership. She has 15 years’ experience in operations management / leadership across retail, service, and manufacturing environments. Jamie serves as an internal coach to her organization’s operations managers across the country while supervising P&L and operations management responsibilities

Continue Reading

How to Start a Fire

Humanity’s ability to use fire at will has transformed the quality of life for our species. Fire provides warmth, light, protection from animals, slash-and-burn agriculture, and the ability to make our food tastier and easier to digest by cooking. Taming fire allowed humans to make fired pottery and bricks, to smelt and

Continue Reading

Performance, Not Policy

Few people realize how employee policy manuals, usually given to you on your first day and then mostly forgotten, shape an organization’s culture and thereby its fundamental performance. To give you a reference point, one company I worked for had a forty-plus-page employee manual that started every section with “COMPLIANCE IS

Continue Reading

GA 114 | How to Apply Lean to Healthcare with Mark Graban

Today’s episode features Mark Graban, a recurring podcast guest and good friend of Gemba Academy. Ron and Mark discussed lean healthcare, the third revision of Mark’s book Lean Hospitals, and some of the main misconceptions about lean. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll

Continue Reading