Keep It Simple

Abstract:Lean technology has been successfully used in manufacturing for a long time, yet today many lean Six Sigma initiatives fail. Lean supports the long-term success and short-term growth of an organization, but the three inherent principles of lean are often forgotten by practitioners, leading to failure. Lean is about people and must be thought of as a continuous improvement journey, rather than a project with a set beginning and …

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Nice article! it has given me an idea of how lean my company thinks.
--Gabe, 04-03-2014

Full of important concepts and very easy to understand. Really "lean."
--Maurizio Bray, 09-28-2010

Good article, I agree that it is a continuous approach with no end date. I like the fact that it explains that success is people oriented and cannot be achieved with mere tools or techniques.
--Srinivas Kasturi , 09-23-2010

--Dewayne Freeman, 09-15-2010

I have never seen the secret of lean explained that way. Sure, people are important, but so are the strategic approach and implementation plan. I hope the statistics are accurate. Good article overall.
--Marc Tremblay, 09-08-2010

--Marek Oles, 09-08-2010

Excellent article. I have been in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years and consider myself a "lean thinker" since many years before I began my lean Six Sigma Black Belt training. Without formal training in lean techniques, I implemented many changes to remove what later I learned were known as wastes. For this reason, I totally agree that lean thinking is a way of life. The techniques help detect the needs, the creativity helps establish solutions, but the people that perform the process must buy in to the idea if you want a successful implementation. The key to success is a balance among people, techniques, training, engagement, empowerment, direct supervision, management support, quality and safety. Each one of these elements involves people, and it is why the author says people are the key. After all, what do you need the techniques for if you don't have anyone to use them?
--Ariel Cruz, 09-08-2010

Lean is about people, not techniques.
Lean is a mind-set, not a toolset.
Lean is a journey, not a destination.
Good. Keep it simple. Lean is a kind of culture, rather than a technology, a tool or a trip. I agree with the author's opinion.
--David wei, 09-08-2010

I have serious objections to the statement: Lean is about people, not techniques. Successful implementation of lean of course requires people's involvement and commitment, but they should also know how to do lean work or should be trained to do lean work. You cannot implement lean production if you don't have people who can make a flow diagram and identify bottlenecks and redo the layout. People should at least know the basic tools of quality improvement, such as Pareto analysis, histograms, fishbone diagrams and control charts, and be able to discover causes of defects and eliminate them to prevent defective products. Quality is a major part of lean. Designing a just-in-time system using kanbans is another technique they should know. They should know how to balance a production line and get the cycle time below the takt time, and they should know how to smooth the demand and provide an even production schedule. Yes, lean depends on people's involvement and their passion to improve the system continuously. But if you do not provide them the training in the tools of lean, they are going to face problems without knowing how to solve them. Often times, if you see people not engaged, it may be because they don't know how to become engaged and contribute.
--K.S. Krishnamoorthi, 09-07-2010

Great article that may inspire every human being to practice "LEAN" at work or home or whatever they are doing to improve.
--Shivhari Srivastava, 09-07-2010

Great article. I needed something for inspiration, and this was perfect.
--Mike Halbirt, 09-07-2010

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