It has been said many times that a successful lean practice requires a culture of lean thinking. This culture must be nurtured within leadership, throughout the organization and, ultimately, across the supply chain. The first step in this process is learning; the second is trial; and the third is consistent application. But, without the first step, there is nothing. Access to effective learning resources is therefore very beneficial. In our last post, we identified technologies that are helpful in implementation. In the same spirit, today we offer five blogs that are very good learning resources for lean manufacturing and lean construction practices.
Our recommendations start with blogs by preeminent "lean thinkers" who write primarily about lean manufacturing practices. The last two are blogs specifically dedicated to lean construction. Read them all regularly and you will be well primed to make your own contributions to lean infrastructure.
1) Womak's Yokoten, by Jim Womak, one of the founding fathers of the lean movement and co-author of the seminal book about lean manufacturing, The Machine That Changed the World, Written in 1990 about the Toyota Production System that came to be known as lean manufacturing, the book established Jim Womak as one of the worldwide leading authorities on lean practices. Technically,Womak'sYokoten is not a blog per se, it is a regular column that he writes for Planet Lean, an international organization of lean practitioners. If you want to learn from a master, this is a good place to start.
2) Lean Pathways, a blog by Pascal Dennis, author of Lean Production Simplified, another excellent book that provides a very practical guide to starting and effectively implementing lean systems in manufacturing and service companies. Mr. Dennis worked for decades at Toyota and wrote the book about what he learned there. He now offers consulting services and writes his blog. Dennis' posts are concise and very insightful.
"LEI is a nonprofit education, publishing, research, and conference organization with an action plan. Compared with traditional "think" tanks, we are a "do" tank. We carefully develop hypotheses about lean thinking and experiment to see which approaches work best in the real world. We then write up and teach what we discover, providing new methods for organizational transformation. We strive to answer the simple question of every manager, "What can I do on Monday morning to make a difference in my organization?" And, by creating a strong Lean Community through our website and public events we try to give managers the courage to become lean change agents".
4) The Lean Construction Blog is a blog that crowd sources posts from practitioners of lean construction. As its web sites states, the blog is: "A Resource for the Industry by the Industry". Through the blog, readers can connect with others and share best practices. The blog is curated and edited by industry experts who are dedicated to reforming the construction industry by working to make "lean" an industry standard. A good source for industry best practices.
5) Lean Perspectives, the Skender Construction blog. Skender is a commercial construction company located in Chicago. The company was one of the founding firms of the Lean Construction Institute's Chicago Community of Practice and is dedicated to applying and sharing its lean culture. The blog provides a nice perspective from Skender employees about their experiences and learning. Very practical and engaging.
Whether you are researching, starting or actively implementing lean practices for your company, these blogs will all serve you well.
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