Remember – We Want to See Problems

This info is from Bryan Zeigler’s Lean is Good blog. (

Posted on May 25, 2010 by Bryan Zeigler

Ok, you’ve followed your formula for your lean transformation.  Maybe you value stream mapped, put in some standard work, developed some pull systems, improved your critical changeover times, trained all your teammates, and ran a few simulations.  Now the big moment comes and you flip the switch on the system.  You are now running to the new principles and methods.  What happens next?

Well if you designed your system to truly follow the lean ideals, you have PROBLEMS!  That’s the whole point!  Make your problems visible instead of hiding them with inventory, extra labor, long lead times, etc.  Problems are a good thing but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people flipping out when the new lean systems aren’t perfect!

I’ve even seen production leadership yell and scream at the teams that they are sick and tired of the problems.  Caution, this is not the time to get excited and tell your team to hide the problems and recreate the “icebergs” like before.  Stay calm, analyze the situation, and teach your team to solve the system deficiencies.  Utilize A3′s, five why’s, quick and easy kaizen, whatever fits.  But do not let them revert to the old ways and abandon the system.  This is a crucial time to be a leader.  Everyone of your teammates, their families, and in many cases the community depends on you to stay the course and make your journey work.

So as you progress down your path, remember how important it is to be able to see the problems and empower your teams to solve them based on the principles you have taught them.  The chaos that always entails from flipping the switch will improve and so will your business results!


This info is from Bryan Zeigler’s Lean is Good blog. (

Posted on May 25, 2010 by Bryan Zeigler


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