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Beyond the 5 Whys

We’re all familiar with the 5 Whys as a path for root cause analysis. But is it enough? What’s beyond the 5 Whys? Are there times they shouldn’t be used? Are there other alternatives? We’ll explore those questions and provide answers from experts. First, Paul Allen, Lean Six Sigma consultant of Allen and Partners Limited, [...]

Lean Six Sigma in Paper Manufacturing

We will look at two examples of Lean Six Sigma applied to paper manufacturing. First to generic papermaking, and second to producing baby diapers. In a paper titled “An Application of Customized Lean Six Sigma to Enhance Productivity at a Paper Manufacturing Company” Nabeel Mandahawia, Rami H. Fouad, and Suleiman Obeidata present a process improvement [...]

The Last Planner System and Pull Planning

In a recent blog titled Lean and Six Sigma in Construction, the concept of Lean Construction was discussed.  The Last Planner System and Pull Planning are key parts of Lean Construction. What are they, and how are they used in Lean Construction? Unified Works, a lean advisor for the construction industry, introduces the Last Planner [...]

Moral or Prudential Algebra – Decision-Making with Ben Franklin

There are many methods for making multi-objective decisions described in Lean Six Sigma and other disciplines. Benjamin Franklin developed a simple but effective one. In 1772, Joseph Priestly, the discoverer of oxygen, had an important decision to make that had several advantages and disadvantages. He turned to his friend, Benjamin Franklin for help. In the [...]

6S: 5S+1 = 5S Plus Safety

We are quite familiar with Lean’s 5s. How can we use them to improve safety? Enter the 5s + 1 or 6s approach. We learn how from Gary Beaudette, Lean Consultant and owner – Baudette Consulting, Inc. 5s can improve safety, quality, and productivity. In particular, 5s can have a tremendous positive impact on safety. [...]

The 8th Waste of Lean – Underutilized Skills and Talent

Most of us are familiar with the seven wastes in Lean. But often we hear of an additional eighth waste – Underutilized Skills and Talent. What contributes to it, and how can we improve? To address this, we will hear from two Lean experts and then the authors of a recent research article. First, in [...]

Standardized Work: Definition, Role, and Implementation

What is standard or standardized work? What is its role in Lean? Is it difficult to implement? What are some examples? We will use several sources to address these topics in order.  What is standard or standardized work and its role in Lean?  Standard work defined: A precise description of each work activity, specifying cycle [...]

Lean Assembly Cell Design – 10 Rules

In a video from WorkSmart Systems, learn the 10 rules for assembly cell design based on over 25 years of experience at the time of the video. As you will see, these rules incorporate steps to minimize the 8 wastes. Keep it Moving One-piece flow with minimum effort Balance production and have limited work in [...]

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