lean journey

Words Make Meaning

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 03-17-20

The language and names that we select and use matter. They help add context or perspective to the object or task and can affect the accessibility of ideas and connection between ideas. For example, when Starbucks started scaling, they used different words for drink sizes, from Tall to Grande to

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Takt Time On Unsteady Work

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-25-19

How do you match your flow rate to your customer demand rate when you are executing unsteady or unpredictable work? Is it even possible? The answer is yes. Watch my video and learn how to use this lean method and eliminate waste.

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Avoid These Three Lean Pitfalls

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-20-19

I have worked with hundreds of companies on their lean journeys and want to share with you some of the pitfalls and challenges businesses experience. Here are three things to avoid as you continue or start your lean journey.  Watch the video for a deeper dive into each pitfall. Lean

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Beyond the Lean Initiative [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-08-15

Through my IndustryWeek column, Lessons from the Road, I’ve been exploring some of the issues associated with the ongoing maturing of a lean journey. In this installment, Beyond the Lean Initiative, I explore issues with making lean an integral part of the organization. It can no longer be an initiative.

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Lean Confusion? You can say that again

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 09-17-10

Recently Industry Week published an article called Lean Confusion. In it was the following data from their surveys: What really shocks me is that 25 percent of companies feel that their lean journey is “complete”. How is this possible? Here’s my real struggle with this idea. If they have gotten

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Your own worst enemy

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-11-10

I witness lean change agents get in their own way all the time. I’m sure I do it too. This is a common example that really can hold back an entire organization on the journey. It is the response to an inflection point. Change agents, of any kind of change,

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Plan for Sustainability, Don't Just Hope For It

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-06-10

Kaizen event, A3 projects, DMAIC projects – you name it, projects get done and results are generated. But… Are the results sustained? Too often the gains deteriorate over time. There are many reasons from the culture to changing priorities. But at the very least, we should be doing what we

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Don't Do 5S

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-04-10

I know I’ll catch plenty of flak from the lean stalwarts out there. This will certainly go against conventional wisdom and common practice. But sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong. I don’t believe companies should start their lean journey with 5S. Many believe is should be done early. Many believe is

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Projects do not define a lean company

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-01-10

No organization can become lean just from running lean projects and events. One organization did over 14,000 lean projects and still failed as a company, because they relied entirely on those events. Some of the problems include: If the methods, tools, and behaviors are not consistent with lean, project results

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Dream Big, Act Small

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 03-10-10

Yesterday I was working with a team who was working on a very long-term kind of change. They were really stuck, spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to achieve the end state. That is a mistake. Abraham Lincoln said: “The best thing about the future is

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