Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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25 April 2007      

The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing

Hope, Fear, Intention and behavior in Factory Design

In the 25 years since Lean Manufacturing was introduced to the U.S., progress has been painfully slow. This tardiness usually results from neglect of the Human Side, i.e. those elements of lean and corporate culture that impact people's attitudes, interactions with others and interaction with technology.

Neglect of the human side is evident in the popularity of Value Stream Mapping. VSM is a great tool for analyzing and envisioning the technical process, but there is no place on the map for people.

Ideas and concepts about the human side are not new. They date from, at least, Lillian Gilbreth in the 1920's. However, the many failures and half-baked implementations of Lean are bringing it new attention. Our web page, The Human Side of Lean, explores some of the issues. This involves much more than being nice and training a lot.

Eric Trist's concept of the Socio Technical System (STS) provides a framework for thinking about and learning about these vague, indeterminate and conditional phenomena. STS views the workplace as an interrelated system of people (socio) and machines (technical) that require joint design and implementation for success.

There are many examples on our website. Our DVD video, The Human Side of Lean Manufacturing, has other dramatic examples expressed by workers with direct experience.

I hope this is all helpful and we wish you great success.

Best Regards,

Quarterman Lee

Quarterman Lee's New Book

"The Strategos Guide To Value Stream & Process Mapping"

163 pages - Detailed Steps - Facilitation - Strategy

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The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it.


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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video