Gemba Academy Blog

Blog Archive

One Piece Flow & Standard WIP

By Jon Miller - October 12th, 2004

I learned a lesson about how easy it is to assume people understand something that sounds simple to you. Near the end of a recent Lean study mission in Japan, one of the participants who is a Six Sigma Black Belt, a dynamic change agen

If You Want to Pull, Don’t Deliver

By Jon Miller - October 5th, 2004

We received a nugget of wisdom from Mr. Nojima of the Logistics group of Yazaki (makers of Creform and Japan’s largest privately held company) during our October study mission to Japan. Mr. Nojima made a statement that “all

Why Kaizen Teams Should Be Cross-Functional

By Jon Miller - October 1st, 2004

The rule of thumb to have a good mix of kaizen team members from different areas is: 1/3rd of the people from the area or process targeted for kaizen, 1/3rd of the people from upstream or downstream processes (customers and suppliers)

Kaizen: Start with Production or “The Office”?

By Jon Miller - September 24th, 2004

Most Lean transformations and kaizen programs start at the Gemba (workplace, actual place where value is created) which for manufacturers is the factory. A question Lean Champions often come across is “Why are we starting kaizen

Flow Counterclockwise for a Good Reason

By Jon Miller - September 23rd, 2004

I came across an interesting article while riding the bullet train in August during our last Japan Kaikaku Experience (Lean study trip). On page 69 of the September 2004 of Wedge magazine (Vol. 16 No. 9) there was an article by science

Making Standard Work Stick

By Jon Miller - September 18th, 2004

During a recent sales presentation to a prospective client, the issue of Standardization came up. This company has multiple factories around the globe and is struggling with a lack of harmonization between them. As an example, differen

Product Development Performance Metrics

By Jon Miller - September 9th, 2004

On our Japan Kaikaku Experience trip in August, we visited Omron, a manufacturer of sensors and factory automation products. They have been implementing TPS step by step and they are very Lean in the factory. They have relocated their

Lean and Green

By Jon Miller - September 6th, 2004

During the week of August 22-28 we conducted a private Japan Kaikaku Experience (Lean study mission) which was a great learning experience for everyone. There were many take-aways in Lean management (of which more later). One of my gre

Takt Time for Executives

By Jon Miller - August 19th, 2004

We recently had the opportunity to host 15 top executives from a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company for 3 days of Lean training, benchmarking tours, and strategizing. During this process we gained insight into Takt Time. These

Extreme Programming & the Lean Office

By Jon Miller - August 3rd, 2004

Extreme Programming is an approach to software programming that puts two or more people in a team to work on one piece of code, at the same time, on the same computer. It might seem counterproductive to have two sets of hands and brain

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