Category Archives: Make Your Business Lean

What Is a Lean ISO 9001 System?

The old adage frequently applied to ISO 9001 is “Say what you do and do what you say?” Some organizations seem to take this to mean “Write down everything you do,” but that is really not required by the standard. The actual requirement is that processes are well-defined and responsibilities clearly communicated. Continue reading What Is a Lean ISO 9001 System?

What are the Similarities and Differences between Lean and Six Sigma?

There are a lot of different process improvement programs on the market today and everyone has their favorite. I am sure you recognize a few of these programs. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between each of these? There are many consultants in the market that are advocating the use of one of these improvement methods to solve all of your organizational problems. But will all of these work in any situation? Or, are there specific situations that are better suited for a particular approach? Continue reading What are the Similarities and Differences between Lean and Six Sigma?

How to Find Improvement Opportunities

The first pass assessment is used to understand your metrics, flows, and constraints to flow. In the second pass assessment, we perform a more detailed analysis and produce the data for a Value Stream Map. Next, we build the analysis documents we use to communicate the issues to others. Then we need to put it all together to select improvement opportunities. Continue reading How to Find Improvement Opportunities

Are Lean Japan Tours Worth It?

Lean Japan Tours, or lean trips to Japan, are becoming more popular. Does going to the gemba today mean going to Japan? Some have mixed feelings. Mark Graban, in his lean blog questions if it’s necessary to travel all that distance, the expense, and time. I have not gone on any of these trips and cannot recommend any of them. So what does it mean to go to Japan to see lean? Continue reading Are Lean Japan Tours Worth It?