Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lean Assessment Excel Tool and Over 70 Other Lean Templates!

I was looking for a lean assessment form and I found this document on This is not just a lean tool, it's more like a lean tool box. Including the lean assessment form, there's over 70 excel and word files!!!

Seriously... 70 different documents. Someone put a lot of time and effort into these forms.

Some of the more interesting and useful templates include a lean scorecard, a lean assessment, control plan, FMEA, red tags, gauge r and r's, capacity planning sheets and really much, much more. These are all free and you can just click on the filename and it will download to your computer.

And there's more!

In addition to the templates and tools, there's a ton of .pdf files showing many lean presentations covering history of lean, 5S, kanban, kaizen, capability etc.

There's so many that I haven't really had time to look through all of them. I'm posting this more as a bookmark for myself as well as to share with everyone else. I'm hoping that if I'm ever looking for a certain document, I'll find it in this list.

This is truly a one stop shop for lean documents. There's even an attendance sheet!

Make sure you sign it.

Lean Six Sigma Tools Free

If you can't see the embedded version above, then you can view all the files directly here. 

I've added this post to my list of lean tools and downloads, which includes other fun documents like the Online Takt Time Calculator and Changeover Analysis Template.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kanban Pizza Game - Lean, Meet Your Nemesis, the Bake Oven!

There's a new lean Pizza game out there called the Kanban Pizza game. Created by the people at, this kanban game bears more of a resemblance to Mr. Happy Face, then the VSM Pizza game. Instead of making paper heads, your team assembles pizza slices.

I have to admit that any game with Hawaiian pizza as a product choice is okay in my book!

Although developed from an IT background, the purpose of the Kanban Pizza Game goes beyond the software industry:
With the Kanban Pizza Game from agile42 you can find out how Kanban feels like. While common Kanban games are usually focussing only on the flow in an existing Kanban system, our new Kanban Pizza Game shows in addition how to get from an existing process to a Kanban system.
Like many lean training games, the Kanban Pizza game uses a phased approach. Start with an existing process, make pizza slices as fast as you can. Then introduce work-in-process limits and see how the process improves.

What I like about this game is that they've incorporated a wait time into one of the processes, the pizza oven! Many times we have to wait for something in our processes, whether it's a curing oven in manufacturing or a decision to be made in a service environment. It's hard to naturally fit this type of feature into a paper simulation, but the pizza oven is a good match.

The game documentation gives a decent overview of the process and how to run the Pizza Game, but lacks a detailed step by step instruction set. I'm sure you can easily divide up the work (cutting, gluing, colouring, baking) among the people in your training session, depending on the size of your group. The process steps don't matter so much in these games, as long as you can create a bottle neck somewhere, so the work builds up.

It would be nice to know how the pizza oven was physically represented. I've left a comment on their blog to see if they will divulge this information.

You can see a few pictures of the Kanban Pizza game in action on Flickr! And I think the oven is a just a letter-sized piece of paper.

Overall, I think this a great exercise to demonstrate the benefits of Pull systems vs batch production. Whether you're working in an IT environment or a manufacturing plant, these types of games are universal.

And afterwards you can order real pizza for the group!

Check out all the details for the Kanban Pizza game on, including a downloadable .pdf file.

I've found a little video of some people messing around with this game (or something very similar):

Update: There's even more descriptions, slides and pictures in my new post on the kanban pizza game. 

I've added this game to my collection of Lean training games.

Don't forget to drop in and say hello on my Introduce Yourself page!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5S Process Tip - The Easiest Way to Dispose of Red Tagged Items

The first step in the 5S process is to "Sort." This is simple. Take whatever you don't need and remove it from the work area. Only the tools necessary for the job remain.

The next steps in the 5S process are to "Set-in-Order" and "Shine." Soon your work cell will be lean and clean. But wait! Before you get there, you need to get rid of the items you took out of the area.

Using the red tag process, items are dutifully tagged, tracked and ultimately reused somewhere else, or trashed. But there are always some obviously useless items that don't need tagging. They will go straight to the garbage. Unless it is sensitive and confidential material, then it needs to be delicately removed, monitored, shredded and disposed. You can pay companies big bucks to come and shred all your stuff.

Or you can improve the 5S process with this elegant solution for disposing of sensitive material.

5S Process Tip: Blow it to Smithereens!

Please note: Using this method may make the "Shine" phase a little more cumbersome.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lean News - October 2011

Lean news bits from the last month.

I know I'm a little late with this, seeing as it's November 8 already. but most of the articles are from the last two weeks or so. Older news can still be interesting too. 

Don't forget to say hello in the new "Introduce Yourself" comment section!

Lean manufacturing's oversized claims
Canadian Business

For Ariens, weather trumps economy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Hospital’s vital signs improving
Standard Freeholder - Cornwall, Ontario

Lean Manufacturing Operations Propel Caterpillar Forest Products
Industry Week

Lean: getting a better grip on King County's cost-spending curve
Seattle Times

Adopting Toyota philosophy saves healthcare business
Vancouver Sun

Hi! Managers: Choose 'Lean' to stay keen and meet the challenges of business
The Nation - Thailand

'Error proofing' helps prevent mistakes, boost customer satisfaction
Petoskey News