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GA 341 | Exploring Quantum Lean with Sean Fields and Michael Sanders

By Jessica Bush Updated on October 15th, 2020

This week’s guests are Sean Fields and Michael Sanders. Together with Ron they discussed the concept of quantum lean and how it can be used to streamline processes. They also explored how quantum lean compares to value stream mapping and other elements of lean. A MP3 audio version of this episode is available for download here.

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • Sean and Michael’s favorite quotes (2:49)
  • Sean’s background (4:21)
  • Michael’s background (6:42)
  • What quantum lean is (11:45)
  • A reference to the movie Castaway (16:57)
  • The three classifying elements (18:22)
  • The unique methods and tools they use (25:30)
  • A recap of their approach (31:38)

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What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on the concept of quantum lean?

  1. Scott King

    October 16, 2020 - 1:26 pm

    I was not able to distinguish QL from “regular lean”. Sounded like the exact same thing except they used 3 symbols to determine what to work on. I guess I need to review the book to gain a better understanding.

    • Sean Fields

      October 19, 2020 - 6:25 pm

      Quantum Lean (QL) works for the same goals as “regular” lean and that’s where the similarities end. The big difference is that Quantum Lean methods are a lot simpler. As you mentioned, the QL diagramming method uses three symbols as opposed to VSM’s 26+. Also, instead of identifying 8 wastes, QL strictly focuses on minimizing a PRODUCT’s time in fulfillment. By going from 26 to 3 and 8 to 1, this dramatically reduces complexity and greatly accelerates a workforce’s learning curve. Although there wasn’t time to cover it during the podcast, QL also enables users to easily determine what to work on and what lean tool to apply. There’s more but I do hope you will review the book and let me know your thoughts. I think you will be pleased with what you read.

  2. Tomas Adolfo Zavala

    October 17, 2020 - 12:27 am

    Lean Cuántico:
    Se enfoca en la reducción del tiempo en que la pieza o articulo llega hasta el cliente, desde que se generada la P.O. Apoyándose en el VSM para enlazar los tres grandes flujos de la cadena de valor “Comunicación, Materiales y Proceso”.
    Al encontrar donde la pieza o el articulo se detiene o retrasa en el proceso se generan un kaizen que para eliminar o reducir la muda o mudas que provoquen el retrasó.
    Cuando un articulo o pieza esta esperando solo se debe a tres razones:
    a.- Esta esperando a que empiece el proceso …… Inventarios en almacenes de entrada ( Contenedores o Rags )
    b.- Esperando a que continúe el proceso…..Inventarios generados por sobre producción, defectos, maquinaria en mal estado, Métodos, cambio de estilos y otros.
    c.- Esperando ser embarcado….. Retenido por calidad, ordenes fuera de tiempo, pedidos incompletos, contenedores compartidos y otros.
    En cada una de estas razones Lean cuántica genera acciones encaminadas a agilizar el flujo del producto desde la perspectiva del VSM armonizando y mejorando el flujo de la pieza o articulo.

    Quantum Lean:
    It focuses on reducing the time in which the part or article reaches the customer, since the P.O. Relying on the VSM to link the three great flows of the value chain “Communication, Materials and Process”.
    Finding where the piece or article stops or delays in the process generates a kaizen to eliminate or reduce the change or changes that cause the delay.
    When an article or part is waiting, it is only due to three reasons:
    a.- You are waiting for the process to begin …… Inventories in incoming warehouses (Containers or Rags)
    b.- Waiting for the process to continue… .. Inventories generated by over production, defects, machinery in poor condition, Methods, change of styles and others.
    c.- Waiting to be shipped … .. Held for quality, out of time orders, incomplete orders, shared containers and others.
    In each of these reasons, quantum Lean generates actions aimed at streamlining the product flow from the VSM perspective, harmonizing and improving the flow of the part or article.

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