Project Management is Important for Continuous Improvement

3 min read Most businesses are run with a series of ongoing projects. The breaking up of tasks into projects results in manageable workloads with specific assignments, making them more likely to get accomplished in a timely manner. By definition, projects are sets of interconnected tasks that are targeted at meeting a certain goal. Many organizations rely on steady project completion to lead to the achievement of broader company goals. Project Phases Projects are run, overseen and monitored …

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Why Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)?

Why SMED

3 min read The path towards continuous improvement in your lean journey is not always as clear as you’d like it to be. Many of the processes and methodologies behind Lean take time before your organization has success with them. It’s a learning process well worth the investment, but can be frustrating at times. Same goes for the Lean process known as Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED). The increased efficiency and reduction of costly inventory that results …

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Hansei 101

Hansei reflections

3 min read We are reminded time and time again (and rightfully so), Lean is about culture. It is a crucial part and in most cases, the backbone of any Lean organization. A culture that believes in continuous improvement and practices what they preach day in and day out, is the key to sustaining Lean. What’s less talked about, is what goes into a culture that allows it to gain the strength needed to sustain an organization’s Lean …

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Money Can’t Buy Continuous Improvement

3 min read Money Can’t Buy Me… Money can buy a lot of things. Those with and without money, have various opinions on happiness, love and the power that wealth brings. Throughout time, money has allowed individuals and organizations to do both good and bad with their financial power. However, there are somethings in life and business that simply have no price tag. From the outside looking in, the success of continuous improvement (Kaizen) is often mistaken for …

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JIT – Just In Time Manufacturing Explained

2 min read Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing describes the process whereby companies only acquire and produce items on an as needed basis. This process in contradictory to conventional thought that focuses on carrying large amounts of product inventory and merchandise on hand to create products and fulfill orders. While the conventional approach of amassing a large inventory and keeping the parts or stock items on hand to fill orders sounds practical, the reality is the process of …

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Eight Steps To Practical Problem Solving

Problem solving

4 min read The Toyota Way To Problem Solving The art of problem solving is constantly trying to evolve and be re-branded by folks in various industries. While the new way might very well be an effective method in certain applications. A tried and true way of identifying and solving problems is the eight steps to practical problem solving developed by Toyota, years ago. The system is structured, but simple and practical enough to handle problems of the …

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A Kaizen Leaders Role

3 min read The Kaizen leader is an individual, who is responsible for a group of people, who will be working toward identifying quality improvement processes in a given company or facility. The leader will help direct the group toward identifying waste in an area, and focuses on eliminating it in the best way possible. These leaders are typically going to have significant experience working in lean environments, and participating in Kaizen groups. The leader will also be …

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Jishuken 101

jishuken measuring process eliminating waste

3 min read What is Jishuken? For those that work in a Lean inspired organization, the term “kaizen” is one of the more popular terms heard when someone talks about improvement. Kaizen though, is more of a philosophy than an actual activity. Jishuken however, is an actual activity within the kaizen philosophy that is driven by management and involves identifying specific areas in need of continuous improvement. An easy way to think of jishuken is to think of …

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Leader Standard Work

Leadership image

3 min read At the core of any Lean philosophy is the pursuit and sustainment of continual improvement. However, this continues to be a struggle for many Lean transformations as they attempt to implement these processes into their culture. Part of the problem, lies in the hands of the leaders that attempt to push new agendas into their organization. Leaders can make or break a Lean culture. With the help of Leader Standard Work (LSW) the make, is …

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Mistakes Kaizen Teams Make

3 min read Kaizen teams are an extremely effective way to produce great results, come up with excellent ideas, and foster change in just about any organization. Most people who are a part of these teams will attend Kaizen events and come away feeling energized, motivated and ready to improve the workplace. The problem often comes when they get back to the office and find that very little is actually changing. There are several key mistakes that are …

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