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19 October 2005

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Excellent post. I read the post and comment from yesterday, and was busily doing some research on Delphi's awards at www.shingoprize.org (where you can find the case studies on the winners). But your post today told me it didn't matter... looking lean vs being lean. That is something that will make me think for a while and probably look at my own operation in a different light.

Although I do think Delphi has some top notch lean plants, plants that by themselves were "being lean", the overall company didn't seem to embrace it. That's true "being lean." Maybe the Shingo Prize shouldn't be at the plant level?

By the way a couple weeks ago I came across your articles on Superfactory.com. That, along with your posts here, are really great. I hope you write a book some day.

Good post. Gemba Panta Rei has a similar perspective:

http://www.gembapantarei.com/archives/000255.html

Great post, and a step beyond Miller's on Gambapantarei which was also worthwhile. What Dr. Womack seems to stress is a strategy of more; more application of lean tools, more focus on costs, more effor to be lean in all the individual functions. And therein lies what I have found in the discussion of this event - that it cannot be about the functions, it must be about the system. This relates directly to Bill's point about Shingo: to know why is to understand the system, and vice versa. A healthy system does not hold an antagonistic relationship within itself, nor does it allow itself to be configured or manipulated to depend on an unstable, short-term market for its livelihood. A lean enterprise means the entire enterprise. And I wonder if even the term 'enterprise' is too restrictive, creating too small a vision. For now though, that seems to be challenging enough.

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