"A real irony is that ‘respect for people’ requires that people feel the pain of critical feedback." — Akio Toyoda Yes, that's me; the Bad Boy of Lean. For those of you who don't already know, I have a bad reputation. I tend towards the negative (I'm an engineer, details matter) and I freely … [Read more...] about The Bad Boy of Lean
In early January 2019, I decided to conduct an experiment to test if a great advocate of human and technical progress is just that, or if it is more comfortable with the status quo. My new book, The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management: How Tradition Prevails and What to Do About It, … [Read more...] about The Shingo Experiment
Fundamentally, what was the development of Toyota's production system about? Why was there a need for it? It was about employees in a small start-up company working to find ways to produce motor vehicles in low volume and at low cost. So what? Well, what that means is TPS was (and is) a lived human … [Read more...] about Fulfillment by Status Quo, Inc.
In Lean management, we speak of the current state, the future state, and the ideal state. But what about the past state? Why isn't the past state also of interest? It should be, because the past informs the present -- the current state -- which in turn determines the probability of achieving desire … [Read more...] about What About the Past State?
For many years now, there has been a great emphasis in the Lean movement on the development of problem-solving skills. Specifically, teaching people how to think scientifically through the use of PDCA, kata, coaching, etc. Typically, the target audience for training in scientific thinking is … [Read more...] about Where Scientific Thinking Lives and Dies
Advancing Lean management is a relay race. The first leg is nearing completion. The baton was held by those who brought the Toyota production system (TPS) and Lean to public attention in the late-1970s through the mid-1990s. They ran the first leg well, but this first generation of Lean leaders is … [Read more...] about Passing the Lean Baton
Don’t ignore the elephant in the room.It started with value stream maps in 1999. It was the first tool used for the purpose of generating additional interest in what was then called "Lean production." From there, kata, A3 reports, coaching, leader standard work, gemba walks, Lean strategy … [Read more...] about The Elephant in the Room
My full-time job since 1999 has been as a professor of Lean management at a university, where I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. My areas of specialization are: Lean leadership, Lean management, management history, management decision failure analysis, and supply chain management. One … [Read more...] about Sharing the Knowledge
One of W. Edwards Deming's great accomplishments was his creation of the "System of Profound Knowledge" (read more details here). The System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) is described in Deming's book, The New Economics. In its most basic terms, SoPK is a framework designed to enable progress in the … [Read more...] about Profoundly Antagonistic Systems