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Creating a Lean Culture

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Creating a Lean Culture

Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions

Productivity Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Many lean conversions fail because they lack a lean management system and managers who know the basics. Start here.

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Lean production offers the promise of competitive, high-quality, low-cost manufacturing, but operating it successfully requires a lean management system. David Mann, head of lean management and organizational development at Steelcase, an office equipment manufacturer, helps you understand how to implement a simple, effective, proven lean management system. He explains how to take action, leverage a few simple processes and create a culture that will sustain your gains in the long term. Obviously, no system is a panacea, and Mann says you have to spend time every day comparing your actual performance to what you expected from each process. By focusing your management efforts on actively closing those gaps, you can find the right ways to improve your lean production system. The book includes a very useful glossary to help you understand the specialized vocabulary of lean management, and provides charts, forms, pictures and diagrams to aid you in implementing each chapter’s principles. getAbstract recommends it as a hands-on manual, not a theoretical read. Though Mann targets managers and other leaders, anyone involved in lean manufacturing can benefit from his practical advice.


“The Missing Link in Lean: The Management System”

Many companies flounder after they convert to lean production. Why? Because they established lean processes, but retained their mass-production management systems. Lean management is crucial to the success of lean production; it both “sustains and extends the gains” from establishing lean procedures.

For best results, implement your lean management system as early in your lean conversion process as possible – preferably before you put the finishing touches on the “physical changes” you’ve implemented to support lean production, such as “new layouts to establish flow.” Lean production and lean management are intertwined; do not change one independently of the other. Any technical modifications must correspond with changes in your management system. If you don’t coordinate your conversion by aligning lean management with your production processes, your system will soon lose its cohesiveness.

The Core of Your Lean Management System

The basic outline of lean management is simple. However, even simple systems require close attention and maintenance. Various elements of lean production systems and lean management...

About the Author

David Mann has worked at office equipment manufacturer Steelcase since 1987, contributing to more than 30 conversions to lean manufacturing at the firm. He serves in many industry organizations that focus on lean processes and is an adjunct faculty member at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

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