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Creating a Lean Culture


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Table of Contents

The Missing Link in Lean: The Management System
Developing a Lean Culture
Don't Wait-Start Now!
Lean Management Focuses on Process
Lean Management and Continuous Improvement
Parallel Implementations of Lean Production and Lean Management
Changing from Conventional Production
Getting Rid of the "Do Whatever It Takes" Approach
Lean Processes Need Lean Management
Focusing on the Process Produces Results
Engaging Executives with Lean: A Different Approach
Measuring the Process against Expected Outcomes
How Can You Recognize Culture?
Overcoming Cultural Inertia
New Settings with Old Habits Won't Work
How to Change Your Culture
Extinguishing versus Breaking Habits
Make Sure You Don't Slip Back into These Old Habits
Summary: Technical and Management Sides Need Each Other
Study Questions

Lean Management System's Principal Elements
The Principal Elements of Lean Management
Lean Elements Need to Work Together
Execution Is Key to Lean Management
Implementing Lean Management: Where to Begin?
Start with Visual Controls
When Implementing Leader Standard Work First Can Be Effective
Leader Standard Work in Automated Production Environments and Process Industries
Does Lean Management Apply in Process Industries?
Process Focus and Leader Standard Work in Process Production
Summary: Four Principal Elements of Lean Management
Study Questions

Standard Work for Leaders
Leader Standard Work Is Process Dependent
Leader Standard Work as Interlocking Layers
Leader Standard Work Shows What to Do-and What Not to Do
Leader Standard Work Should Be Layered from the Bottom Up
What Does Leader Standard Work Cover?
Team Leaders
Value Stream Managers
Form and Format for Leader Standard Work
Leader Standard Work: Compliance or Improvement?
The Role of Training for Lean Implementation
Summary: Leader Standard Work Is Element 1 of Lean Management
Study Questions

Visual Controls
Visual Controls Focus on Process and Actual Performance
A Variety of Tools to Visually Monitor Processes
Hour-by-Hour Production Tracking Charts
How Visual Controls Enforce Discipline
Job-by-Job Tracking Charts
Priority Board Hourly Status
Completion Heijunka
Between-Process Tracking
Noncyclical Process Tracking
Maintaining Visual Trackers and Acting on the Information They Provide
Benefits of Using Simple Visual Controls Instead of More Sophisticated Information Technology
Summary: Visual Controls and the Data for Lean Management
Study Questions

Daily Accountability Process
How Conventional Production Differs from Lean
Three Tiers of Daily Meetings
Tier One: Team Leader and Production Crew
Tier Two: Supervisor and Team Leaders
The Green Dot/Red Dot Convention
Day-to-Day Project Management
Tier Three: Value Stream Leader with Supervisors and Support Groups
Daily Accountability Exposes and Solves Problems Quickly
Further Note on Task Assignments and Follow-Up
It's Not about the Boards!
Accountability Boards and Geographically Dispersed Locations
Flat-Screen Monitors
The "Vacation Paradox" and Capacity for Improvement
Accountability in Office Processes
Summary: Daily Accountability Improves Processes
Study Questions

Lean in Administrative, Technical, and Professional Work
Lean Management in Enterprise Business Processes
Resistance: Accountability and Visual Controls
Enterprise Value Streams and Their Political Environment
Organizational Governance for Enterprise Value Streams
Process and Structure
Study Questions

Learning Lean Management: The Sensei and Gemba Walks
Your Sensei and "True North" Provide Direction
Gemba Walking
How Lean Typically Starts and Grows
Gemba Walking Teaches How to See in New Ways
Being the Sensei: Gemba Walking as a Structured, Repeatable Process
Summary: Learning Lean Management by Being a Sensei's Apprentice
Study Questions

Being the Sensei: Engaging Your Executives in the Lean Initiative
Symptoms: Orphans, New Sheriffs, and the Next Big Thing
When Gemba Walks Are Not Enough
A Framework for Understanding the Engagement Problem
Nuts and Bolts of Executive Gemba Walks
Executive Gemba Walks: Tools, Structure, and Process
Study Questions

Leading a Lean Operation
Nine Leadership Behaviors to Learn
Attribute 1: Passion for Lean
Attribute 2: Disciplined Adherence to Process-Accountability
Attribute 3: Project Management Orientation
Attribute 4: Lean Thinking
Attribute 5: Ownership
Attribute 6: Tension between Application and Technical Details
Attribute 7: Balance between Production and Management Systems
Attribute 8: Effective Relations with Support Groups
Attribute 9: Don't Confuse Measures of Process with Measures of Results
Summary: Consistent Leadership Is the Crucial Ingredient in Lean Operations
Study Questions

Solving Problems and Improving Processes-Rapidly
A Root Cause Orientation to Problem Solving
Workarounds Are Anti-Improvement
A New Way of Thinking
Should Perfection Be a Goal?
Structured Problem-Solving Process
Who Makes Improvements?
Short-, Medium-, and Longer-Term Improvements
Recommending Future Improvements
Managing Improvement Activities
Improvement Resources and Skills
A Rapid Response System
Support Groups Must Keep Pace with Production
Summary: Finding the Root Cause of Problems Is Key
Study Questions

People-Predictable Interruption, Source of Ideas
Whom Do I Expect Today? The Attendance Matrix
Who Starts Where Today? The Labor and Rotation Plan
Completing the Labor Planning Suite
Who Is Qualified for Which Jobs?
How Can I Encourage Participation? The Idea System
Who Will Work on Suggested Improvements?
A Visual Improvement Suggestion Process
Lean Training for Line Leaders
Where Conventional Training Fits In
What If Frontline People Don't Buy in to Lean?
Responding to Low Performers
Human Resources Policy Issues in Lean Management
Summary: Resolving People Issues to Support Lean Production and Lean Management
Study Questions

Sustain What You Implement
You Already Have a Management System!
What Should You Do?
Rely on Leader Standard Work
Maintain the Visual Controls
Conduct Gemba Walks Regularly
Keep Yourself Honest
Assess Your Lean Management System
Keep Asking These Questions!
A Lean Culture Is a Beautiful Thing
Summary: Maintaining Lean Management
Study Questions

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
About the Author

About the Author

David Mann is the author of Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions. The book was awarded the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence in 2006 and has become a best-seller in its field. It has been translated into Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai. In 15 years of Lean experience at Steelcase, Inc., Mann developed and applied the concepts of a Lean management system supporting 40+ Lean manufacturing value stream transformations, and led an internal consulting team that supported over 100 successful Lean enterprise business process value stream conversions. He established a Lean consulting practice in 2005 and retired from Steelcase in 2009. Mann's consulting, teaching, and coaching experience includes Lean transformation in manufacturing, enterprise business processes, and healthcare organizations. His practice includes clients in healthcare, mining and energy, discrete and process manufacturing, technology, food processing, and enterprise business processes. Mann is a frequent consultant trainer and speaker on Lean leadership and management, a Shingo Prize examiner, and a faculty member in management science at the Fisher College of Business, the Ohio State University. Mann is an organizational psychologist, earning his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1976. He lives in West Michigan with his wife, a retired criminal prosecutor. They have two daughters. For more information, visit or contact him at dmann@dmannlean com.


"This book became an instant classic in the literature of professional operations. In this third edition, David Mann updates and expands his teaching with five additional years of valuable experience and expertise derived from his very active, multi-industry consultancy. I have benefitted greatly from his writing and wholeheartedly recommend this book to be top-of-the desk of any serious Lean practitioner or performance transformation leader."
- Raymond C. Floyd, two-time Shingo Prize Winner, President and CEO, Plasco Energy Group

"David Mann builds substantially on his seminal work on the Lean management system. The book is full of new insight and polishes the most important ideas about Lean management. The new chapter on engaging executive leadership alone is worth the price of the book."
- Peter Ward, Richard M. Ross Professor and Chair, Department of Management Science, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

"This book has long been my `go-to' guide on Lean management practices that help create a culture of continuous improvement and excellence. I have recommended the book to countless healthcare leaders who rave about how helpful it is in translating Lean principles into daily management behaviors. The healthcare examples make it even more relevant as a must read for any hospital leader who aims to move beyond Lean tools.."

--- Mark Graban, author of Lean Hospitals, co-author of Healthcare Kaizen and The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen

"As more companies outside the manufacturing sector pursue Lean transformations, Creating a Lean Culture is as critical a resource as ever. Breaking down silos and navigating tricky internecine politics remain a momentous challenge, and Mann's case-based insights are an invaluable tool."
- Peg Pennington, Executive Director, Center for Operational Excellence, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

"David has once again taken the topics that trip us up and put structure and guidance around them. His new work on executive involvement is worth the price of the book all by itself. Many of us have struggled with this topic and David provides a path to success."
- Elizabeth M. King, Vice President Organizational Effectiveness, ESCO Corporation

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