Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lean Examples - Pictures Tell the Story

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. If that's the case, then the following lean site is like a library of stuffy Russian literature. A lot of pictures = a ton of words. is a blog featuring pictures of actual lean practices in different work areas.

 "Photos of lean enterprise examples, concepts, ideas, and critiques."

Recent posts include:

  • Replenishment bins with visible markings indicating refill points. 
  • Stand-up meeting board with colour coded cards indicating staus of different equipment. 
  • Tool storage shadow boards
  • Visual suggestion box
  • Colour-coded tool status board.
Pictures are the best way to show visual management practices. Have you ever tried to describe a shadow board without drawing one? People don't always get it until they see it. And when they see pictures of a whole tool crib set up with shadow boards, then they really start to understand the practical applications.

I usually like to pull up a few of these pictures during a training session to show people what types of things are being done at other places. It gets the juices flowing and starts everyone thinking about how it would work in their situation.

And the best part is that you can challenge everyone to come up with ways to improve on the example. We love to critique other people's solutions and that can easily be flipped back to our own processes. If we did something similar, we could improve on it by changing this or adding that. And now we're talking about our own process, so let's just go and do it. is an excellent resource for all kinds of lean visual examples. Head on over and use the photographic evidence in your next training session.

I've added this site to my list of Lean Tools and Downloads.

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