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The Principles of Lean in Banking

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

We often get questions about whether the Lean management methodology can be applied in the financial services industry. Because of its manufacturing roots, many people assume that it doesn’t apply to banking or other services-oriented sectors. However, because banking is very process-intensive, the Lean approach can generate significant operational improvement and waste reduction. That’s why many financial services organizations have implemented Lean in one form or another.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process

The Application of Lean Six Sigma in Oil & Gas

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Aug 25, 2020 1:26:43 PM

Oil & Gas companies need to be ever more flexible and agile to succeed as the industry continues to face price volatility, technical innovation, and an uncertain regulatory environment. Given these unstable conditions, it’s not surprising that some Oil & Gas companies are reluctant to adopt a standardized continuous improvement method. However, when applied thoughtfully, with an eye on the long-term, the principles of continuous improvement are relevant and can drive results even in the most dynamic environments. That’s why the Lean Six Sigma model is gaining traction in oil & gas.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma

14 Benefits of Standard Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 20, 2020 12:15:38 PM

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, once said, “Without Standard Work there is no Kaizen.” That’s a pretty bold statement, but when you think about the continuous improvement cycle, it makes a lot of sense. How can you move from the current state to the desired state if the current state is a moving target? Standard Work, which documents the current best practice for performing a task or process, and ensures that everyone is applying it, is a prerequisite for improvement.

Here are 14 ways that Standard Work benefits organizations that leverage it.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

A Brief Introduction to 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 23, 2020 12:42:22 PM

Lean Thinking, by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, covers the five principles of Lean manufacturing. “Truly remarkable .... the most comprehensive, instructive, mind-stretching and provocative analysis of any major industry I have ever known," said Philip Caldwell, former Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company. Peter Drucker called it, “A very important book.” Although the book is primarily focused on Toyota’s achievement in revolutionizing manufacturing, the principles of Lean manufacturing can be applied to almost any industry.

Here are 5 principles of Lean manufacturing:

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Topics: Lean

10+ Lean Blogs That You Should Be Reading

Posted by Mark Graban

Jun 26, 2020 9:47:24 AM

For a topic with so many authors, students, practitioners, and leaders, it’s probably no surprise that there are a ton of blogs about Lean - Lean manufacturing, Lean enterprise, Lean thinking, etc. This list includes some bloggers I’ve been reading for the longest time, those who are the most active, and those whose insights are really valuable (and sometimes, people fall into all three categories). It’s hard to list just ten, but I have a longer “blogroll” list and a separate list of Lean healthcare blogs that I maintain on my site.

Note: This blog post was originally written in 2015 and was updated in 2020.

You can also check out these lists that are maintained by Chad Walters and by Joel Gross.

Here’s a list of Lean blogs, in no particular order… it’s a list, not a ranking.

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Topics: Lean

Gemba Walk Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 18, 2020 12:25:20 PM

Gemba Walks are an important part of many continuous improvement initiatives. They are designed to offer leaders the opportunity to observe work and talk with employees in the place where the work is being done, and it provides insight into current processes and opportunities for improvement.

Although some companies are still primarily remote right now, it's important that you continue to utilize this valuable improvement tool. There are ways to adapt the Gemba walking technique to support a virtual environment. For example, incorporate video conferencing to replace the typical face-to-face interaction. When your team sees you on video, they know that they have your undivided attention. You can find additional tips on how and why to walk the Gemba when everyone is working form home here.

Whether your Gemba Walks are virtual or in person, there are a few best practices to follow and a few pitfalls to avoid.

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Topics: Lean

6 Principles of Lean Construction

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 11, 2020 2:29:58 PM

A growing number of construction firms are embracing the Lean methodology that emphasizes maximizing value for the customer while minimizing waste. The approach is simple and attractive in an industry where budgets, timeframes, and safety are all critical, but the project delivery is very different than traditional construction methods. This makes proper execution of the philosophy and techniques difficult to implement.

Lean construction borrows from the manufacturing approach developed by Toyota after World War II. Of course, it is much easier to produce repeatable, forecastable results in the controlled environment of a factory floor than in the more unpredictable world of construction. Greater variation and workflow disruptions are to be expected.

It is also important to note that there is no one cookie-cutter approach to Lean construction. There are a number of tools, including the Last Planner System, Integrated Project Delivery, Building Information Modeling, 5s, and Kaizen Events, that can be used in combination to achieve Lean. This gives practitioners a wide range of options that can be applied to each project.  

There are, however, guiding principles that help firms achieve lower costs, reduced construction times, more productivity, and efficient project management. They represent a holistic approach to the construction process.

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Topics: Lean

12 Characteristics of a Lean Organization

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 29, 2020 2:36:08 PM

The renowned football coach and philosopher, Vince Lombardi, once said, “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection, we catch excellence.

That’s the mindset of a Lean organization. There’s a bedrock belief that every process, investment, employee, or action should directly translate to value for the customer with no waste. That ideal is unattainable, of course, but Lean organizations try to get close to it every day, and in doing so, reach a level of success that their competitors can only envy.  Every Lean organization is unique, but there are some core qualities that they tend to have in common.

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Topics: Lean

Avoiding the 8 Wastes of Lean While Working from Home

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 27, 2020 3:00:00 PM

Millions of workers across the globe have suddenly transitioned to working from home. There are many practical and physiological challenges to this abrupt change, so give yourself a break if everything hasn’t been smooth sailing.

Fortunately, the continuous improvement principles that help us be efficient in the office apply in much the same way at home. The eight wastes of Lean, for example, create friction and lower productivity for remote workers as much as they do on a factory floor.

Here are some ideas for spotting and eliminating them while working from home.

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Topics: Lean, Lean Software

Real Life Examples of the 7 Wastes of Lean

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 11, 2020 12:52:04 PM

Eliminating waste is at the heart of the Lean Business methodology.  The goal of Lean is to spend more of your time creating value for customers by reducing or eliminating everything else - the waste. Several common types of waste have been identified and together represent the “7 Wastes of Lean” (sometimes expressed as "8 types of waste, including the additional "waste of human potential" or "waste of talent").

Some types of waste are fairly self-explanatory, but others can be a bit difficult to grasp. Here are some practical examples of each.

 

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Topics: Lean

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