The Writing's on the Wall - Lean in Pictures

These comics are no longer available online. If anyone finds them posted elsewhere, let me know so I can update the links!  

Lean gurus have been preaching the benefits of a Visual Workplace for years. Take your critical information and put it up on the wall for everyone to see. If you can see it sooner, you'll act on it sooner.

Whether the writing's on the wall or on a big screen or encoded in stacks of inventory, it seems like people are taking their media in any form. TV, podcasts, blogs, video blogs, websites, smoke signals. Borders is going bankrupt, video killed the radio star, newspapers are folding and now television is on the way out. Wasn't it only a few thousand years ago that joining Columbia House gave you 11 free scrolls?

Did you know that ancient cave dwellers were actually the forefathers of Lean?  Not letting a small thing like language get in the way, they used pictures on the walls of their caves to get their message through. And they didn't build obsolescence in, either!

BC . . . make it visual!

Now BC's back with some visual teaching. Actually, not BC, the stone unicyclist, but the province of British Columbia, Canada. The website, Pull Ahead BC, has a series of comic strips covering basic Lean concepts.

While the comics aren't LOL funny, people are visual beings and pictures are great teaching tools. Covering such topics as 5S and the 8 Wastes, people in the comics struggle with a terrible "Current Condition," then show the benefits of the Lean "Target Condition."

I like the 8 Wastes comic. Starting with a one waste per panel strip, the 8 Wastes are expanded with an individual strip written for each.

I think these would make good handouts for a kaizen event or workshop. Or you can post them on a board in your workplace. People are naturally drawn in to pictures. And once you hook them with the comics, you can reel them in with your kanban calculations!

Update: Unfortunately, the site and the comics are no longer available.

I've added this post to the list of Helpful Lean Tools and Downloads, even though it's not really a tool, just a great resource!


  1. It's a pity, the comic doesn't seem to be online anymore...


  2. Yeah, too bad. I've tried to Google it unsuccessfully, and sent a few emails, but it appears to be gone for good. I'll have to update my links.


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