Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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05 December 2003             

Implementing Lean Manufacturing

Imitation or Innovation

Thus, then, in Strategy everything is very simple, but not on that account very easy.

--Carl von Clauswitz    




Implementation Issues

A Mental Model for Implementation

Lean Manufacturing Leadership



Planning, Leading, and Managing The Lean Journey


Lean Assessment


Implementing Lean Manufacturing is a murky topic. Not much has been written because few understand it. Our new series on implementation examines many of the relevant questions such as:

What are the key issues?

The available literature is full of lists; mostly lists such as 5S, TQM, workcells,...,etc. Lists give little guidance on priorities, sequence, timing or other relevant issues. The initial page in our series identifies these issues.

How do we think about a Lean Manufacturing Implementation?

Our "Mental Model" page provides a framework for thinking about the issues and  adapting the tools and techniques to your specific situation.

Which of the many tools and techniques should we employ?

There are at least 24 elements, tools and techniques associated with Lean Manufacturing. Do you really need them all? If not, which are most important? This is where we move from lists to strategy. An upcoming page tells how.

How do we develop an action plan?

Strategy starts with ideas, policies and general direction. Our upcoming page on action planning shows how to turn these into executable project plans. It will have hints, how-to's and guidance for execution.

The originators of Lean Manufacturing, Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo, have given us much guidance on this, not through their writing but through their original actions. Indeed, from the written record, it appears that they did no fully understand what they were doing. However, this is true of most pioneers.

If these topics interest you, check out our pages on Implementation Issues and the Mental Model. Our upcoming Lean Briefing continues the discussion with specific steps for strategies, project plans. budgets and tasks. 

Quarterman Lee

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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video