Gemba Academy Blog

Blog Archive

What Is a Milk Run?

By Jon Miller - July 19th, 2021

The milk run is a method for connecting material movement between multiple sources and a storage location nearer to the point of use or processing.  The name comes from a practice in the dairy industry. A tanker truck makes rounds to

Hypotheses from Hansei in Odd Times

By Jon Miller - July 12th, 2021

The  Independence Day weekend has turned into sort of a second holiday of thanksgiving for me. It’s a chance to appreciate  improving weather, fresh produce, and a moment to reflect on the last half-year. For the past decade or

Vestrahorn Iceland

Reconstructing Degraded Processes and a Yearning for Darkness

By Kevin Meyer - July 9th, 2021

Yesterday I returned from almost two weeks in Iceland, which was tacked on to two weeks exploring Maine. Nearly a month away from the home and office, and our first international trip in well over a year. We had a fantastic time with g

what problem are you trying to solve

What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

By Ron Pereira - July 2nd, 2021

One of my responsibilities here at Gemba Academy is to coach our Black Belt and Master Black Belt candidates. And, without question, the most common question I ask during the project selection phase of the journey is “What proble

The Five Steps to Getting Better at Anything

By Jon Miller - June 28th, 2021

Jerry Seinfeld is an immensely successful comedian. He has achieved fame and fortune through his skill at making funny observations about everyday things. An Inc. magazine article asks him why he still works so hard and receives a simp

Learning from a Blogging Experiment Failure

By Jon Miller - June 21st, 2021

We’re about ten weeks into running an experiment in blog post writing. The purpose is to be less deadline-driven, allow time for quality checks and make the writing process less of a weekly struggle. It was going well until this week

Respect for Soft Skills

By Jon Miller - June 14th, 2021

In lean circles we talk a lot about respect for people. Along with continuous improvement, it’s one of two core elements of the Toyota Way brand of lean thinking. In contrast to the tools and techniques of continuous improvement,

How to Think Long Term

By Jon Miller - June 7th, 2021

One of the 14 Toyota Way principles is to think long term. In fact, it’s the first on the list. What does it mean exactly to base decisions on the long term, in the context of lean management? Reading carefully, we can see that n

The Surprisingly Positive Power of Deception

By Jon Miller - May 31st, 2021

Recently I wanted to persuade an acquaintance to try something. It was a simple solution that I was pretty sure would work for them. There was very little practical downside. And yet as anyone who has ever tried to present a solution t

The Value of Lean Certifications

By Steve Kane - May 28th, 2021

It’s often argued that certifications are not required to practice Lean. This is absolutely true. Lean and other continuous improvement methods can and should be practiced by anyone in any organization without a certification or

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