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The Lean Thinker



Thoughts and insights from the shop floor.



Last Build Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:44:05 +0000

 



Heavy Equipment Overhaul: Flow at Takt in 1938!

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 03:45:53 +0000

This is a great contemporary film from 1938 describing the complete overhaul of a mainline 4-6-0 steam locomotive in the U.K. What is interesting (to me) is: The overhaul involves stripping the locomotive down to individual parts. Each of the parts, in turn, flows through a process of inspection / repair or replacement, with a […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Heavy Equipment Overhaul: Flow at Takt in 1938!




Are You Overproducing Improvements?

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:52:20 +0000

Imagine a factory with a large monument machine. It takes several days to set up. When it does run, it runs very fast, much faster than you can actually use its output. Therefore, you take the excess output and store it to use later. Actually, you don’t know how many items you need to make, […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Are You Overproducing Improvements?




The Ecosystem of Culture

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 02:06:02 +0000

An organization’s culture and mindset evolve over time. When confronted with a problem or challenge, the organization (or more accurately, the people in the organization) view it through a filter of their experiences. Ideas that they believe have worked for them under past similar conditions are more likely to be applied again. Ideas that have […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

The Ecosystem of Culture




Executive Rounding: Taking the Organization’s Vitals

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 17:59:06 +0000

Background: I wrote an article appearing in the current (October 2017) issue of AME Target Magazine (page 20) that profiles two very different organizations that have both seen really positive shifts in their culture. (And yes, my wife pointed out the misspelling “continous” on the magazine cover.) The second case study was about Meritus Health […]

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Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Executive Rounding: Taking the Organization’s Vitals




Make Sure Failure = Learning

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:00:55 +0000

Take a look at this cool video from Space-X that highlights all of the failures that preceded their successful (and now more or less routine) landing of a recoverable orbital booster rocket. Then let’s discuss it a bit. (Here is the direct link if you don’t get the embed in your feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ) When we see […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Make Sure Failure = Learning




Creative Safety Supply: Kaizen Training and Research Page

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:18:29 +0000

Normally when I get an email from a company pointing me to the great lean resource on their web page, I find very little worth discussing. But Creative Safety Supply in Beaverton, Oregon has some interesting material that I think is worth taking a look at. First, to be absolutely clear, I have not done […]

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Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Creative Safety Supply: Kaizen Training and Research Page




There Are No Silver Bullets

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:00:19 +0000

There are no quick, simple solutions Occasionally I get an email from someone who asks a question like “How can I improve cycle time in the [fill in the blank here] industry?” Generally my reply is along the lines of “I don’t know, but I can help you figure it out.” I’ll give them some […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

There Are No Silver Bullets




Learning Starts With “I Don’t Know”

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 04:15:34 +0000

If an organization wants to encourage learning, they have to get comfortable with not having all of the answers. Learning only happens when we discover something we don’t know, and then actively pursue understanding it. Many organizations, though, equate “having the answers” or “already knowing” with “competence.” Thus, if I say “I don’t know” then I am […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Learning Starts With “I Don’t Know”




Obstacles: Right Now vs. Longer Term

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:36:37 +0000

A couple of weeks ago Gemba Academy filmed my Toyota Kata class and some shop floor work with a live audience at one of their customer’s sites. One of the participants asked a really good question. Upon reflection, I think I can answer it better here than I did “live,” so I’m going to take […]

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Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

Obstacles: Right Now vs. Longer Term




A Machine Productivity Search Question

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:39:25 +0000

Here is another test or quiz question that showed up in my search logs: a machine tool is producing 90 pcs per day .using improved cutting tools,the output is raised to 120 pcs per day. what is the increase in productivity of the machine? I guess the answer seems pretty obvious… 90 x 1.33, rounded […]

Fed from The Lean Thinker.
Copyright © 2015, Mark Rosenthal

A Machine Productivity Search Question