This lean thinking webcast from India actually does a pretty decent job of providing an overview (for a business TV channel) even if they get some things a bit confused. The discuss TQM in India preceding lean which is an accurate view in my opinion – quality management shared many lean principles. They even talk of lean at Ford doing lean first. But they get the decades for that a bit off. They seem to mash together the “quality is job one” refocus on quality lead by Dr. Deming in the 1980’s with Henry Ford in the early 1900’s.
The webcast includes Jim Womack discussing lean thinking. He mentions the misunderstanding of lean as primarily cost cutting.
Related: Curious Cat Lean Management Resources – 2008 Deming Prize: Tata Steel – Lean management in India – TVS Group Director on India, Manufacturing and the Economy
For me, Lean is a label we apply to designate the North American version of Deming’s work. Lean seems to take the practices of the Toyota Production System, but it drops off the human aspect, as Deming would say, “the system.”
It is interesting to me that Toyota very seldom mentions the word “lean.” This is Womack’s invention. It is a reductionist view of Toyota’s and Deming’s work. It is what has been applied at GM, Chrysler and other American companies, which predictable effects.
Womack tries to lump services companies together with manufacturing. That always drives me crazy. People are trying to use Lean in software development, for example, without understanding the differences between services and manufacturing. Here’s a question. Does Toyota use Lean for software development? They don’t.
Womack has created a great consulting practice for himself, which I do respect. But his advice, sanitizing TPS and Deming by removing human factors, isn’t very good.