Month: October 2017

Total 12 Posts

15 Lean Failure Lessons from Software Development, 1/3

Reading the Atlantic Monthly article The Coming Software Apocalypse helped me see the question of “Why do lean transformations fail?” in a new context. This question is usually preceded by statements like “95% of lean transformations fail” and some prescriptions against failures. Nobody so far has cited a source to

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GA 186 | How to Transition into Different Lean Roles with Jess Orr

This week’s guest is Jess Orr. Ron sat down with Jess at AME Boston to discuss her transition from working at Toyota to taking on a new role at another company. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn: Jess’s background (3:54) The

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Why Aliens Have Yet to Visit Earth

Space is big. The scale of outer space is so grand that humans can’t comprehend it. To boot, humans have difficulty with long-term thinking. This has resulted in an emerging tragedy of the commons, in orbital space. About 95% of what’s up there is in orbit space junk such as

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How Fresh Starts Motivate Us to Keep Improving

When a method works, it works even when we don’t understand how. If we do understand, we can find wider application for the method. So it was interesting to stumble across a human behavior called the fresh start effect as a possible explanation of what makes frequent PDCA cycles such

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From Linear to Roundabout Thinking

Ever since I visited Italy over a decade ago my inner geek has had a fascination with traffic engineering.  If you’ve visited Italy, or many similar places, you probably know why.  Traffic appears chaotic, thanks in part to what appears at first glance to be a lack of signals and

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GA 184 | How to Become a Better Problem Solver with Kelly Moore

This week’s guest is Kelly Moore, longtime friend and customer of Gemba Academy. Ron and Kelly discussed problem solving and all the different ways you can approach it, including Toyota Kata, PDCA, and more. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here. In this episode you’ll learn:

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Why Don’t You Try TPS?

“We need to improve our operation.” “Why don’t you try TPS?” “We don’t make cars.” If I had a dollar for every time a client brought up the “we don’t make cars” objection to trying to learn from the Toyota Production System, I could make a downpayment for the Tesla

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The Dangers of Benchmarking Lean Exemplars

A common practice for folks getting started with lean is to benchmark lean exemplars in order to see what “good” looks like.  In fact, there are benchmarking tours to Japan where you can visit companies like Toyota.  I actually attended one of these trips many years ago and it was

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