#ThrowbackThursday: Past #Lean April Fools’ Day Fun


Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 7.58.04 AMIt's been a tradition of mine here, since 2010, to present a Lean April Fools' Day joke.

You might have noticed, but I've had more guest posts the past two weeks. My wife and I have been finally doing our physical move from San Antonio to the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

Last week, we closed on a house and I had to manage some contractors. This past week, I was helping manage the movers… lots of things going on and blogging wasn't a high priority.

There's a blog post in me (to be written) about our attempt to buy a house that was being built… and why we chose to back out due to a number of problems with the builder. So, we bought an existing home… which always has different types of problems. But, we're in.

Anyhoo… here are my past April Fools' gags:

2010: A New Way to Learn Lean? Wii Lean!

This post, imagining a game for Nintendo Wii that would somehow teach you Lean in an interactive way was a lot of fun to put together. The “Wii Ohno Circle” coffee mug that I still use still makes me smile. Yes, this was a game that measured how long you could stand in an “Ohno Circle” watching people, like Charlie Chaplain, work. This one might have fooled a few people for real, based on the comments… or maybe they were playing along.


2011: New “A3″ App Utilizes Two iPads & Virtual Sensei Technology

This post allowed me to imagine how you might use two iPads to create a workspace that's roughly 11″ x 17″, the size of an A3 to actually draw and do an A3 on that device instead of paper. The post foreshadowed LEI's (now defunct?) “A3 Creator App,” a project that I had no inkling of when I created this (their app only used a single iPad).


2012: April Fool: Back to the Future: Hospital CEOs and Virtual Reality “Gemba Bots”

This post, where I imagined a mobile robot that would allow executives to “do Gemba walks” from their home or office, probably made me laugh more than others.

The thing I enjoyed the most was creating some audio of what an earlier-generation “Blame Bot” might sound like on the move… included bad, forced chit chat with employees and blaming people instead of having real in-depth discussions or actually listening.

2013: Baby's First Lean Book

Not having any children myself, I could only imagine what a Lean book for kids might be, but this post was my attempt at creating this. To my knowledge, this has NOT foreshadowed a Lean book series for kids.

Probably my favorite part of this project was commissioning the “Baby Lean Guru” pictures (although I wouldn't readily accept that label for myself). Strange that we all have facial hair.

lean babies

Nobody sued me over this, thankfully.


2014: The 10 Best Lean Management Secrets You'll Ever Want to Learn & Use

lean blog goldMaybe not my best work in this genre, but it was a “clickbait” headline with a post where I announced that I was turning LeanBlog.org into a paid membership site.

I don't think anybody believed that one, which is good, I guess…

Unrelated Posts Not Recommended For You:

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.10.18 PM


2015: April Fool 2015 — Announcement: Lean Blog is now “Lean Buzz” with Listicles, Polls, and MORE CATS!

Last year, I announced that Dr. Les Muda (the world's first Lean standup comic) had bought the site and was turning it into a Buzzfeed-type site, with listicles, silly polls, and more goofiness.

lean buzz les muda

2017: Coming Soon – 4th Revised Edition of “Lean Hospitals”

2018: Special Announcement: Our New @KaiNexus Suggestion Box Builds on Proven Box Technology

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  1. Bob Rush says


    My sensei introduced me to Dr. Les Muda years ago and I have been chasing him since. Are you still in touch with him?

    1. Mark Graban says

      You can find him on Twitter as @DoctorMuda


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