Jon Miller

Total 1353 Posts

Lean Literacy

Michael Ballé wrote a thoughtful reply to the question of what should be included in an MBA-level course to teach Lean concepts. It is a tough question because as Michael points out, there are some deep differences that must be reconciled between MBA thinking and Lean thinking. The LEI blog article

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What is the Right Amount of Slack?

The Kraft Heinz company reported poor financial performance this past week, causing its stock price to dive more than 20%. It has lost nearly half of its value over the past year. A Wall Street Journal article said of Kraft’s management “cut costs relentlessly but failed to spend on new

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Words of Taiichi Ohno: Build a System that Loses Money

At one level, a lean transformation means improving existing systems and building new systems where required. People and organizations cannot avoid systems. We all work within systems, be they regulatory, financial, logistical, political or eco. These systems influence each other to varying degrees and at different rates. Some systems are

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Not All Costs Exist To Be Reduced

Taiichi Ohno declared, “Costs don’t exist to be calculated, costs exist to be reduced.” His point was that traditional accounting can fool us into justifying inefficient operations, building up inventory or acquiring assets because the numbers look good. Instead of being creative with accounting, Ohno advocated reducing cost by being

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The Life-Affirming Science of Tidying Up

When book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was published a few years ago, I read it with interest. It describes an unintentional application of 2S principles in the home (sort & straightening / set in order). Author and consultant Marie Kondo has reportedly been obsessed with tidiness since childhood. As

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How Wrong Should We Be?

A Scientific American article titled How Wrong Should You Be? offered an answer to a question that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Like many answers, this one raises further questions. Taiichi Ohno’s wrote in Workplace Management that even the best of us are

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How to do Direct Observation of Knowledge Work

Knowledge workers are people who make their living primarily by thinking. They include software programmers, scientists, academics, physicians, lawyers, engineers, managers, architects, designers, accountants and various other white-collar professions. It was not long ago that hospitals, banks, software developers, federal and local government offices, and other knowledge workers viewed lean

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