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#Lean *IS* about Doing More with Less, But Be Careful Saying That

by Mark Graban on April 15, 2014 · 7 comments

do more with less 215x300 #Lean *IS* about Doing More with Less, But Be Careful Saying That lean

It’s often said that Lean is about “doing more with less.”

Historically, and practically speaking, it’s true. But, it’s a phrase that we should be careful about, for a number of reasons.

Looking back at the origins of the term “Lean” as “Lean Production” 25 years ago (read more here). Generally speaking, the term “lean” was used because Toyota (and to some extent other Japanese automakers) did more with less. That was a fact and it was backed by data.

The idea of “do more with less” is helpful as a comparison between organizations in the sense of, ew, benchmarking. It’s less helpful (or even dangerous) as a prescription for an organization.


Mark Graban 2011 Smaller #Lean *IS* about Doing More with Less, But Be Careful Saying That leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.


photo by: Chris Piascik

My Comments on #Lean Healthcare in These Challenging Times

by Mark Graban Apr 14, 2014 2 comments

Thanks to Dodge Communications for interviewing me for their blog: “Improving healthcare–there’s no instant pudding.” I was, of course, citing the late great Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his “There is no instant pudding” admonition. Hospitals and health systems are facing a lot of pressure right now, especially with lower reimbursements. Lean is powerful, but […]

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My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

by Mark Graban Apr 11, 2014 8 comments

I have a new article posted on LinkedIn: “My New Program: Speak Up About “Speak Up for Safety” at GM.” GM seems to continue their “blame the employees” game, as they’ve suspended two engineers (in my mind, blaming individuals for systemic cultural problems). CEO Mary Barra says that some executives may be punished, but starting […]

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