Lean on me

Posted on 4 Dec 2012

Roberto Priolo, editor of Lean Management Journal sums up what 2012 has meant to the publication and what readers can look forward to in 2013.

Another year over, a new one has just begun. Such times are made for reflection and anticipation.

What a year has it been for Lean Management Journal! We have shared the stories of dozens of companies, analysing the most important issues facing the lean community worldwide and offering practitioners pragmatic advice on how to progress their lean journeys.

I recently completed the list of themes for coverage in the new year and let me tell you – I can’t wait for January to get started.

In 2012 we have seen LMJ editions focus on very specific topics and practical subjects, from scheduling to assessment methods, from setting a lean strategy to supply chain collaboration in continuous imporvement.

In 2013, we will adopt a more conceptual approach. For example, an entire issue dedicated to dispelling lean myths: is Toyota still the Holy Grail of lean? The latest news coming from the company seems to suggest the contrary. Is lean just common sense? If it is, why don’t all lean programmes succeed?

We will let the case studies do the talking and get practical as we cover the implementation of lean in small businesses. We’ll also analyse how large corporations ensure their global lean programmes deliver sustainable and consistent results across borders and cultures.

One of the things that seems to be most difficult for companies in all sectors is to see the entire value stream and realise that, while value flows horizontally in a business, most are still organised in vertical silos.

How do you make a smooth transition from traditional, hierarchical management systems to a lean system where people are engaged, autonomous and empowered problem solvers? Read LMJ in 2013 to find out.

“In 2013, we will adopt a more conceptual approach. For example, an entire issue dedicated to dispelling lean myths: is Toyota still the Holy Grail of lean?”

The final edition of 2012, which is also the first of 2013, is a perfect example of the mix of lean experiences that readers will have access to next year. Organisations of all sizes and from every sector have contributed to the December/ January edition: among others, we have heard from; a research institute in Rome, yogurt manufacturer Yeo Valley, a UK NHS Trust and even an entire city (Irving, Texas, which has saved $45 million thanks to its lean six sigma programme).

Learning comes from observing what others do and benchmarking your own experiences or performance against what others have achieved. And sustaining to learning culture in a lean business is essential for true improvement and returns on investment. In recognition of this the February issue will be entirely devoted to lean training and learning including an exclusive interview with the Head of the Lean Academy at Airbus’ Broughton plant.

In 2013 we’ll keep bringing you thought provoking commentary and analysis, and case studies from around the globe. Personally, I look forward to hearing what our Lean Diary company in Serbia, SCGM, will be up to next year – I can already tell you that the Serbian manufacturer will present its lean journey at the LMJ Conference, on 21 May. Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

This year LMJ has expanded its scope and coverage, sharing its content with an increasingly international and diverse audience. It is my sincere hope that, as a reader of The Manufacturer, you will consider joining our expanding group of readers – you will learn valuable lessons on how to improve your business and change the culture on which it builds its success.

In the meantime, I wish you a Merry (though probably not very lean!) Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you are interested in learning more about Lean Management Journal visit www.leanmj.com, or email the Editor on [email protected]