Lean Thinking is dead or seriously ill ?

Or simply quite often one's "throw out the baby with the bath water" meaning that an impropre execution of lean methods and lean procedures brings many improvement projects to failure.

Nilakanta Srinivasan (Neil) wrote: -------------------------------------------
Daniele, Lean is a philosophy. Its like a religion. You believe in it and it works.. dont believe and its of no use. Lean philosophy like religion, there will use, misuse and abuse which will bear its on fruits. It doesnt mean that the doctrine is incorrect. Practitioners largely at fault and not the philosophy! Cheers...neil
William Buck, PE wrote: -------------------------------------------
Projects fail for a variety of reasons. Most often they fail because they were bad ideas or mismanaged in execution. I wouldn't put lean thinking itself as the root cause.

David Stouffer wrote: ------------------------------------------- If a project fails, it is usually due lack of follow through after a lean event. If a company uses lean just as a tool, then it will probably will fail. To become a lean company, is a cultural change for the company. Companies that are able to change their culture to lean thinking are not failing. To make sure a project doesn't fail requires constant monitoring and adjusting the employees to the "new way of thinking" until it becomes a behavior for them.

Raveen S. Nathan wrote: ------------------------------------------- Lean thinking now permeates every aspect of the North American business world. Agri- business, banking, bio technology, pharmaceuticals, government services to name a few. It cannot die. How to you kill efficiency and effectiveness from any process ?

Guy Dixon wrote: ------------------------------------------- Quite the reverse. I believe lean thinking is emerging as the best way to effect properly targeted and quantifiable change that brings business results that lead to improved quality, delivery, safety, cost reduction, and empower people. Where there are problems I would argue that the message has got confused, or misinterpreted, or that there are errors in execution. I would argue that lean thinking is the overarching methodology that is being subscribed to, and that theory of constraints (bottlenecks) and six sigma are increasingly seen as toolsets to be used as apropriate, under the overall lean methodology.

Ed Pound wrote: ------------------------------------------- I agree that the tools and techniques of Lean are very valuable. I think Lean has unfortunately, in many instances, descended to the level of folklore in practice. I had a client that worked at Toyota for a number of years tell me that he was told to "Go to Gemba" and stand there for 8 hours to understand how the operations worked. While I think there is value in observation, I wouldn't recommend that people learn how to build bridges by watching other people build bridges. Where Lean falls short is in providing a practical, scientific and comprehensive framework for understanding how processes work. Six Sigma on the other hand typically gets too detailed and tends to treat problems as black boxes. For example, "Let's do a Designed Experiment to determine the drivers of cycle time," but, in fact, the elements of cycle time are quantified and well known. At Factory Physics Inc., we believe that if design is done well, planning is easier, if planning is done well, execution becomes easier. Most Lean efforts that I have seen in the last 25 years are heavily focused on execution issues without proper consideration of design and planning requirements for processes. Future state value stream maps are typically wish lists and are fairly ineffective models for predicting future performance or cost implications.

Doug Lambert wrote: ------------------------------------------- Satchel Page was once asked how he threw so fast? He thought for a minute and said " first I learned to throw straight then I learned to throw fast." Daniele: Everything works to some extent. Look at Westinghouse and the famous lighting experiments. The trick is to know what to fix and why. Lean means less than nothing. Understanding the real problems and having authority to fix them is the only valid concept that works every time it is tried. Doug