Gemba Academy Blog

Blog Archive

Where to Start the Lean Journey: 5S or With VSM?

By Jon Miller - February 1st, 2005

From time to time the question comes up, as it did again this week, or where an organization should start their Lean journey. Should they do 5S first and remove the obvious clutter? Or should they Value Stream Map the entire process, i

Why does Toyota Share the Secrets of TPS?

By Jon Miller - January 25th, 2005

During an overview of TPS given during a Just In Time training class, one of the participants asked why it was that Toyota was willing to share their secrets with their competitors. This is a question worth thinking deeply about. Certa

Planning a Lean Journey? Take the Toyota Way

By Jon Miller - January 14th, 2005

A survey of members by the Lean Enterprise Institute’s in February of 2004 found that 36% of those surveyed were in the planning or starting phase of Lean implementation. This number may be even higher if the level of requests we

Genchi Gembutsu

By Jon Miller - January 11th, 2005

As we being a new year, there have been humbling reminders of one of the fundamentals of the Toyota way, namely Genchi Gembutsu. In short this means “go to the actual scene (genchi) and confirm the actual happenings or things (ge

TPS is the Thinking People System

By Jon Miller - December 1st, 2004

A friend of ours who is a Lean Manager for a local aerospace company gave us some insight into how Toyota is presenting TPS to the world these days. Our friend is an avid student of kaizen and recently spent time studying at several To

Gemba Keiei, Chapter 2: If You Are Wrong, Admit It

By Jon Miller - November 29th, 2004

In the second chapter Taiichi Ohno continues to gently lecture senior managers. He begins by answering the question of based on his earlier assumption “Why are we wrong half of the time?” by saying that our thinking is wron

A Sense of Urgency Like Smokey & the Bandit

By Jon Miller - November 28th, 2004

On a recent trip to Brazil, I had the opportunity to visit a 270-employee automotive components manufacturer that is doing Lean. I was very impressed by the openness to change and the energy I felt among both the management and workfor

Gemba Keiei, Chapter 1: The Wise Mend their Ways

By Jon Miller - November 22nd, 2004

Taiichi Ohno begins the chapter by saying that he doesn’t believe it’s easy to influence people on the Gemba to change. In order to get people to do kaizen, you need to convince them and help them understand. How are people

The Trap of Managing by Computer Screens

By Jon Miller - November 18th, 2004

One of the things that I notice when I go to offices in the US is walls everywhere and a computer screen at each desk. I recently lead a group of clients to Japan to visit a Toyota group company office that had taken the principles of

TPM Metrics & Financial Impact

By Jon Miller - November 17th, 2004

What metrics are available when utilizing TPM to show the financial impact of your program? During a recent kaizen event, we reviewed the TPM program for one of our clients. The Operations Manager raised a good question regarding TPM m

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