LEAN THINKING (Book Summary)

Muda means “waste,” specifically any human activity which absorbs resources but
creates no value:
 mistakes which require rectification,
 production of items no one wants,
 processing steps which aren‟t actually needed,
 movement of employees and transport of goods from one place to another without
any purpose,
 groups of people remaining idle because an upstream activity has not delivered
on time,
 goods and services which don‟t meet the needs of the customer.
Lean thinking is the antidote to muda. It provides a way to specify value, line up valuecreating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption
whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively. Lean
thinking means doing more and more with less and less human effort, less equipment,
less time, and less space – while coming closer and closer to providing customers with
exactly what they want.
Lean thinking also makes work more satisfying by providing immediate feedback on
efforts to covert muda into value. Unlike process reengineering, it provides a way to
create new work rather than simply destroying jobs in the name of efficiency.
Understanding Value
Value must be created by producers for customers. Yet for various reasons, value is very
hard for producers to accurately define. For example, in Germany, since the end of the
cold war, complex, customized designs and sophisticated processing technologies
favoured by German engineers have become too expensive for customers to afford and
are often irrelevant to their real needs. This has landed segments of the German industry
in a crisis.
Lean thinking starts with a conscious attempt to precisely define value in terms of
specific products with specific capabilities offered at specific prices through a dialogue
with specific customers. The way to do this is to ignore existing assets and technologies
and to rethink firms on a product-line basis with strong, dedicated product teams.
The value stream is the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product
through the three critical management tasks of any business: the problem-solving task
running from concept through detailed design and engineering to production launch, the
information management task running from order-taking through detailed scheduling to
delivery, and the physical transformation task proceeding from raw materials to a
finished product in the hands of the customer
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Thinking Beyond Lean (Book Summary)

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