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A Lean Simulation for Clemson Students


Clemson students learn by building a better clock

The article I've linked to above describes a hands-on simulation being run for Lean students at Clemson University. This is great, since it's hard to understand Lean principles from just reading books. When I learned about Lean as an undergrad (in Professor Mark Spearman's outsanding “Factory Physics” class), it was a pretty mathematical, theoretical exercise (that pull and WIP controls were far better than “push”).

It's nice to see the hands-on exercises entering the curriculum. I'm sure what Clemson is doing is being repeated in universities around the world.

Tuesday, I'm speaking to a class at Wharton (half MBA, half engineers) and I was happy to see that one of their early exposures to Lean was a day-long simulation at a local manufacturing training center. I'll be talking about Lean in healthcare… kind of hard to do a hands-on simulation there, but I'll be bringing pictures and examples from that “gemba” to help them see the potential for Lean in improving healthcare.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

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