Top 134 Lean Manufacturing Questions to Grow

What is involved in Lean Manufacturing

Find out what the related areas are that Lean Manufacturing connects with, associates with, correlates with or affects, and which require thought, deliberation, analysis, review and discussion. This unique checklist stands out in a sense that it is not per-se designed to give answers, but to engage the reader and lay out a Lean Manufacturing thinking-frame.

How far is your company on its Lean Manufacturing journey?

Take this short survey to gauge your organization’s progress toward Lean Manufacturing leadership. Learn your strongest and weakest areas, and what you can do now to create a strategy that delivers results.

To address the criteria in this checklist for your organization, extensive selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information.

Start the Checklist

Below you will find a quick checklist designed to help you think about which Lean Manufacturing related domains to cover and 134 essential critical questions to check off in that domain.

The following domains are covered:

Lean Manufacturing, 5 Whys, A3 Problem Solving, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Cargo cult science, Cellular manufacturing, Continuous-flow manufacturing, Control charts, Cycle time variation, Design for Manufacture, Efficiency Movement, Factory Physics, Fixed Repeating Schedule, Genichi Taguchi, Heijunka box, Industrial engineering, Interchangeable parts, International Motor Vehicle Program, Ishikawa diagram, Just-in-time manufacturing, Just In Time, Key performance indicator, Kiichiro Toyoda, Library of Congress Control Number, MIT Sloan School of Management, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Overall equipment effectiveness, Poor Richard’s Almanack, Principles of Scientific Management, Production flow analysis, Production leveling, Research and development, Sakichi Toyoda, Scientific management, Scientific method, Shigeo Shingo, Single-Minute Exchange of Die, Six Sigma, Spaghetti plot, Taguchi Loss Function, Taiichi Ohno, Takt time, The Machine That Changed the World, The Toyota Way, The Way to Wealth, Total productive maintenance, Toyota Production System, Value Stream Mapping, W. Edwards Deming, Work in process:

Lean Manufacturing Critical Criteria:

Use past Lean Manufacturing governance and clarify ways to gain access to competitive Lean Manufacturing services.

– Who are the people involved in developing and implementing Lean Manufacturing?

– How important is Lean Manufacturing to the user organizations mission?

– What are the Essentials of Internal Lean Manufacturing Management?

5 Whys Critical Criteria:

Analyze 5 Whys decisions and learn.

– How do you determine the key elements that affect Lean Manufacturing workforce satisfaction? how are these elements determined for different workforce groups and segments?

– Can we add value to the current Lean Manufacturing decision-making process (largely qualitative) by incorporating uncertainty modeling (more quantitative)?

A3 Problem Solving Critical Criteria:

Troubleshoot A3 Problem Solving goals and probe A3 Problem Solving strategic alliances.

– Think about the functions involved in your Lean Manufacturing project. what processes flow from these functions?

– Why is it important to have senior management support for a Lean Manufacturing project?

American Society of Mechanical Engineers Critical Criteria:

Unify American Society of Mechanical Engineers governance and perfect American Society of Mechanical Engineers conflict management.

– What are your key performance measures or indicators and in-process measures for the control and improvement of your Lean Manufacturing processes?

– What may be the consequences for the performance of an organization if all stakeholders are not consulted regarding Lean Manufacturing?

– How will you measure your Lean Manufacturing effectiveness?

Cargo cult science Critical Criteria:

Survey Cargo cult science tasks and stake your claim.

– What other jobs or tasks affect the performance of the steps in the Lean Manufacturing process?

– Is Lean Manufacturing dependent on the successful delivery of a current project?

– Have you identified your Lean Manufacturing key performance indicators?

Cellular manufacturing Critical Criteria:

Analyze Cellular manufacturing management and research ways can we become the Cellular manufacturing company that would put us out of business.

– Does Lean Manufacturing create potential expectations in other areas that need to be recognized and considered?

– What knowledge, skills and characteristics mark a good Lean Manufacturing project manager?

– Why should we adopt a Lean Manufacturing framework?

Continuous-flow manufacturing Critical Criteria:

Consider Continuous-flow manufacturing risks and get going.

– Is there any existing Lean Manufacturing governance structure?

– How is the value delivered by Lean Manufacturing being measured?

– Why are Lean Manufacturing skills important?

Control charts Critical Criteria:

Co-operate on Control charts engagements and innovate what needs to be done with Control charts.

– What other organizational variables, such as reward systems or communication systems, affect the performance of this Lean Manufacturing process?

– What are our needs in relation to Lean Manufacturing skills, labor, equipment, and markets?

– Risk factors: what are the characteristics of Lean Manufacturing that make it risky?

Cycle time variation Critical Criteria:

Merge Cycle time variation tactics and be persistent.

– What about Lean Manufacturing Analysis of results?

Design for Manufacture Critical Criteria:

Deduce Design for Manufacture issues and mentor Design for Manufacture customer orientation.

– Do we monitor the Lean Manufacturing decisions made and fine tune them as they evolve?

– How do we Improve Lean Manufacturing service perception, and satisfaction?

Efficiency Movement Critical Criteria:

Apply Efficiency Movement management and ask questions.

– what is the best design framework for Lean Manufacturing organization now that, in a post industrial-age if the top-down, command and control model is no longer relevant?

– How do we maintain Lean Manufacturings Integrity?

Factory Physics Critical Criteria:

Disseminate Factory Physics quality and catalog Factory Physics activities.

– Does Lean Manufacturing systematically track and analyze outcomes for accountability and quality improvement?

– How to Secure Lean Manufacturing?

Fixed Repeating Schedule Critical Criteria:

Depict Fixed Repeating Schedule governance and customize techniques for implementing Fixed Repeating Schedule controls.

– What is the purpose of Lean Manufacturing in relation to the mission?

– How do we go about Comparing Lean Manufacturing approaches/solutions?

– Is Lean Manufacturing Required?

Genichi Taguchi Critical Criteria:

Sort Genichi Taguchi leadership and get out your magnifying glass.

– What is our formula for success in Lean Manufacturing ?

Heijunka box Critical Criteria:

Audit Heijunka box issues and cater for concise Heijunka box education.

– Record-keeping requirements flow from the records needed as inputs, outputs, controls and for transformation of a Lean Manufacturing process. ask yourself: are the records needed as inputs to the Lean Manufacturing process available?

– Are there any disadvantages to implementing Lean Manufacturing? There might be some that are less obvious?

Industrial engineering Critical Criteria:

Collaborate on Industrial engineering quality and oversee Industrial engineering management by competencies.

– How do senior leaders actions reflect a commitment to the organizations Lean Manufacturing values?

– Can we do Lean Manufacturing without complex (expensive) analysis?

Interchangeable parts Critical Criteria:

Transcribe Interchangeable parts engagements and do something to it.

– Is Lean Manufacturing Realistic, or are you setting yourself up for failure?

– What are the barriers to increased Lean Manufacturing production?

– Who needs to know about Lean Manufacturing ?

International Motor Vehicle Program Critical Criteria:

Systematize International Motor Vehicle Program results and probe using an integrated framework to make sure International Motor Vehicle Program is getting what it needs.

– Does Lean Manufacturing include applications and information with regulatory compliance significance (or other contractual conditions that must be formally complied with) in a new or unique manner for which no approved security requirements, templates or design models exist?

Ishikawa diagram Critical Criteria:

Jump start Ishikawa diagram visions and clarify ways to gain access to competitive Ishikawa diagram services.

– How do your measurements capture actionable Lean Manufacturing information for use in exceeding your customers expectations and securing your customers engagement?

– How do we go about Securing Lean Manufacturing?

– Why is Customer Service substandard?

Just-in-time manufacturing Critical Criteria:

Value Just-in-time manufacturing issues and find the ideas you already have.

– Which individuals, teams or departments will be involved in Lean Manufacturing?

– What business benefits will Lean Manufacturing goals deliver if achieved?

Just In Time Critical Criteria:

Consider Just In Time engagements and shift your focus.

– Do several people in different organizational units assist with the Lean Manufacturing process?

– Is Supporting Lean Manufacturing documentation required?

Key performance indicator Critical Criteria:

Contribute to Key performance indicator results and perfect Key performance indicator conflict management.

– Think about the people you identified for your Lean Manufacturing project and the project responsibilities you would assign to them. what kind of training do you think they would need to perform these responsibilities effectively?

– What is the importance of knowing the key performance indicators KPIs for a business process when trying to implement a business intelligence system?

– Choosing good key performance indicators (KPI Key Performance Indicators) did we start from the question How do you measure a companys success?

– What is the difference between Key Performance Indicators KPI and Critical Success Factors CSF in a Business Strategic decision?

– Kpi key performance indicators opportunities. are there opportunities to use the field/table to measure performance?

– What are the record-keeping requirements of Lean Manufacturing activities?

– Which are the key performance indicators for Customer Service?

– Does our organization need more Lean Manufacturing education?

Kiichiro Toyoda Critical Criteria:

Facilitate Kiichiro Toyoda projects and figure out ways to motivate other Kiichiro Toyoda users.

– Are we making progress? and are we making progress as Lean Manufacturing leaders?

Library of Congress Control Number Critical Criteria:

Check Library of Congress Control Number decisions and spearhead techniques for implementing Library of Congress Control Number.

– Are assumptions made in Lean Manufacturing stated explicitly?

– Is the scope of Lean Manufacturing defined?

– How can we improve Lean Manufacturing?

MIT Sloan School of Management Critical Criteria:

Transcribe MIT Sloan School of Management risks and assess what counts with MIT Sloan School of Management that we are not counting.

– Who sets the Lean Manufacturing standards?

– What is Effective Lean Manufacturing?

National Institute of Standards and Technology Critical Criteria:

Detail National Institute of Standards and Technology tasks and assess what counts with National Institute of Standards and Technology that we are not counting.

– What are the disruptive Lean Manufacturing technologies that enable our organization to radically change our business processes?

– What are our Lean Manufacturing Processes?

Overall equipment effectiveness Critical Criteria:

Guard Overall equipment effectiveness adoptions and intervene in Overall equipment effectiveness processes and leadership.

– What are our best practices for minimizing Lean Manufacturing project risk, while demonstrating incremental value and quick wins throughout the Lean Manufacturing project lifecycle?

Poor Richard’s Almanack Critical Criteria:

Generalize Poor Richard’s Almanack issues and attract Poor Richard’s Almanack skills.

– What new services of functionality will be implemented next with Lean Manufacturing ?

Principles of Scientific Management Critical Criteria:

Accelerate Principles of Scientific Management goals and explain and analyze the challenges of Principles of Scientific Management.

– Does Lean Manufacturing analysis show the relationships among important Lean Manufacturing factors?

– How do we measure improved Lean Manufacturing service perception, and satisfaction?

– Do we all define Lean Manufacturing in the same way?

Production flow analysis Critical Criteria:

Learn from Production flow analysis adoptions and assess what counts with Production flow analysis that we are not counting.

– What is the total cost related to deploying Lean Manufacturing, including any consulting or professional services?

Production leveling Critical Criteria:

Differentiate Production leveling leadership and sort Production leveling activities.

Research and development Critical Criteria:

Discuss Research and development outcomes and probe Research and development strategic alliances.

– A dramatic step toward becoming a learning organization is to appoint a chief training officer (CTO) or a chief learning officer (CLO). Many organizations claim to value Human Resources, but how many have a Human Resources representative involved in discussions about research and development commercialization, new product development, the strategic vision of the company, or increasing shareholder value?

– A vital question in new product management is: how should the business most effectively invest its research and development (r&d) and new product resources?

– Is the Lean Manufacturing organization completing tasks effectively and efficiently?

– How can the value of Lean Manufacturing be defined?

– Are we Assessing Lean Manufacturing and Risk?

Sakichi Toyoda Critical Criteria:

Derive from Sakichi Toyoda quality and integrate design thinking in Sakichi Toyoda innovation.

– Is maximizing Lean Manufacturing protection the same as minimizing Lean Manufacturing loss?

– Who will be responsible for documenting the Lean Manufacturing requirements in detail?

– What are the long-term Lean Manufacturing goals?

Scientific management Critical Criteria:

Mix Scientific management issues and finalize the present value of growth of Scientific management.

– Will Lean Manufacturing have an impact on current business continuity, disaster recovery processes and/or infrastructure?

Scientific method Critical Criteria:

Gauge Scientific method risks and shift your focus.

– How do we Identify specific Lean Manufacturing investment and emerging trends?

– Have all basic functions of Lean Manufacturing been defined?

– How do we keep improving Lean Manufacturing?

Shigeo Shingo Critical Criteria:

Graph Shigeo Shingo decisions and find the ideas you already have.

– What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of Lean Manufacturing product and process performance that are important to and directly serve your customers? how do these results compare with the performance of your competitors and other organizations with similar offerings?

Single-Minute Exchange of Die Critical Criteria:

Recall Single-Minute Exchange of Die governance and frame using storytelling to create more compelling Single-Minute Exchange of Die projects.

– What are the key elements of your Lean Manufacturing performance improvement system, including your evaluation, organizational learning, and innovation processes?

– Do we aggressively reward and promote the people who have the biggest impact on creating excellent Lean Manufacturing services/products?

– What are your most important goals for the strategic Lean Manufacturing objectives?

Six Sigma Critical Criteria:

Brainstorm over Six Sigma engagements and acquire concise Six Sigma education.

– What process management and improvement tools are we using PDSA/PDCA, ISO 9000, Lean, Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, something else?

– How does the organization define, manage, and improve its Lean Manufacturing processes?

– Does Lean Manufacturing analysis isolate the fundamental causes of problems?

– How is lean six sigma different from TOGAF architecture?

Spaghetti plot Critical Criteria:

Cut a stake in Spaghetti plot results and display thorough understanding of the Spaghetti plot process.

Taguchi Loss Function Critical Criteria:

Consider Taguchi Loss Function strategies and don’t overlook the obvious.

– How do you incorporate cycle time, productivity, cost control, and other efficiency and effectiveness factors into these Lean Manufacturing processes?

Taiichi Ohno Critical Criteria:

Review Taiichi Ohno engagements and explain and analyze the challenges of Taiichi Ohno.

– How do mission and objectives affect the Lean Manufacturing processes of our organization?

– Can Management personnel recognize the monetary benefit of Lean Manufacturing?

Takt time Critical Criteria:

Unify Takt time risks and ask questions.

– Think about the kind of project structure that would be appropriate for your Lean Manufacturing project. should it be formal and complex, or can it be less formal and relatively simple?

– What are all of our Lean Manufacturing domains and what do they do?

The Machine That Changed the World Critical Criteria:

Grade The Machine That Changed the World engagements and differentiate in coordinating The Machine That Changed the World.

– What will be the consequences to the business (financial, reputation etc) if Lean Manufacturing does not go ahead or fails to deliver the objectives?

– Who is the main stakeholder, with ultimate responsibility for driving Lean Manufacturing forward?

– How can you measure Lean Manufacturing in a systematic way?

The Toyota Way Critical Criteria:

Face The Toyota Way decisions and figure out ways to motivate other The Toyota Way users.

The Way to Wealth Critical Criteria:

Focus on The Way to Wealth tactics and get the big picture.

– How do we ensure that implementations of Lean Manufacturing products are done in a way that ensures safety?

– How would one define Lean Manufacturing leadership?

– How do we Lead with Lean Manufacturing in Mind?

Total productive maintenance Critical Criteria:

Communicate about Total productive maintenance risks and achieve a single Total productive maintenance view and bringing data together.

– Which customers cant participate in our Lean Manufacturing domain because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?

– Are there recognized Lean Manufacturing problems?

Toyota Production System Critical Criteria:

Graph Toyota Production System decisions and question.

– What role does communication play in the success or failure of a Lean Manufacturing project?

Value Stream Mapping Critical Criteria:

Be responsible for Value Stream Mapping engagements and budget for Value Stream Mapping challenges.

– How can you negotiate Lean Manufacturing successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate client, or a deceitful coworker?

W. Edwards Deming Critical Criteria:

Guide W. Edwards Deming projects and create W. Edwards Deming explanations for all managers.

– Who is responsible for ensuring appropriate resources (time, people and money) are allocated to Lean Manufacturing?

Work in process Critical Criteria:

Discuss Work in process issues and achieve a single Work in process view and bringing data together.

– What are specific Lean Manufacturing Rules to follow?


This quick readiness checklist is a selected resource to help you move forward. Learn more about how to achieve comprehensive insights with the Lean Manufacturing Self Assessment:

Author: Gerard Blokdijk

CEO at The Art of Service |

Gerard is the CEO at The Art of Service. He has been providing information technology insights, talks, tools and products to organizations in a wide range of industries for over 25 years. Gerard is a widely recognized and respected information expert. Gerard founded The Art of Service consulting business in 2000. Gerard has authored numerous published books to date.

External links:

To address the criteria in this checklist, these selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information:

Lean Manufacturing External links:

What is Lean? – Lean Manufacturing | LEI | Lean Services

[PDF]Lean Manufacturing – ASQ-1302

Lean Manufacturing Jobs, Employment |

5 Whys External links:

[PDF]“The 5 Whys” – Massachusetts Department of …

5 Whys – A Problem Solving Technique – Revolution …

5 Whys – Problem-Solving Skills From

A3 Problem Solving External links:

[PDF]A3 Problem Solving: Introductory Reference Pack

A3 Problem Solving: Step 1 – Problem Statement

American Society of Mechanical Engineers External links:

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) – …

ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers

American Society of Mechanical Engineers – USU ASME

Cargo cult science External links:

“Cargo Cult Science” by Richard Feynman – YouTube

“Cargo Cult Science” – by Richard Feynman

Cellular manufacturing External links:

Cellular Manufacturing. (Book, 2015) []


Control charts External links:

How to Create a Control Chart (with Sample Control Charts)

[PDF]Control Charts as a Tool in Data Quality Improvement

Diabetes Health Control Charts | Diabetes Health

Cycle time variation External links:

Cycle time variation –

Design for Manufacture External links:


Doerfer Companies – Design For Manufacture

Factory Physics External links:

Factory Physics For Managers | Factory Physics

Factory Physics by Hopp – Goodreads

Factory Physics – AbeBooks

Fixed Repeating Schedule External links:

Fixed Repeating Schedule –

Fixed Repeating Schedule –

Genichi Taguchi External links:

ASQ: About: Genichi Taguchi | ASQ

Genichi Taguchi – Quality Gurus

Genichi Taguchi: Grand-Daddy of Quality – …

Heijunka box External links:

Heijunka Box – Creative Safety

Heijunka Box | Graphic Products

Heijunka Box in the Lean Lexicon

Industrial engineering External links:

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

School of Industrial Engineering – Purdue University

Department of Industrial Engineering Technology –

Interchangeable parts External links:

Interchangeable Parts – Inventions –

Eli Whitney and Interchangeable Parts | WeaponsMan

International Motor Vehicle Program External links:

[PDF]Overview of the International Motor Vehicle Program

[PDF]Presents: The International Motor Vehicle Program … IMVP Agenda.pdf

[PDF]International Motor Vehicle Program;sequence=1

Ishikawa diagram External links:

Fishbone Diagram Template – Ishikawa Diagram – Cause …

Ishikawa Diagram – Investopedia

Just-in-time manufacturing External links:

business – Just-In-Time Manufacturing – Entrepreneur

just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) | business |

Just In Time External links:

Just In Time Medicine

Just in Time – AbeBooks

Just in Time (1997) – IMDb

Key performance indicator External links:

[PDF]Key Performance Indicators – KPI’s

KPI: What Is a Key Performance Indicator? – Mashable

18 Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Examples Defined

Kiichiro Toyoda External links:

Sakichi & Kiichiro Toyoda (Book, 2000s) []

Library of Congress Control Number External links:

Library of Congress Control Number – Balboa Press

Library of Congress Control Number – iUniverse

What is an LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)?

MIT Sloan School of Management External links:

[PDF]MIT Sloan School of Management, the business school … Workplace Center Article New.pdf

[PDF]MIT Sloan School of Management

Overall equipment effectiveness External links:

OEE Software | Overall Equipment Effectiveness System

[PDF]how to calculate Overall Equipment Effectiveness …

Poor Richard’s Almanack External links:

Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1743 | Benjamin Franklin | …

30 Money Quotes from Poor Richard’s Almanack – TipHero

Production flow analysis External links:

Production Flow Analysis through Value Stream …

[PDF]Production Flow Analysis (PFA)


Production leveling External links:

Heijunka | Production Leveling and Smoothing

Production Leveling Heijunka – University of Kentucky

Research and development External links:

Research And Development Jobs – Apply Now | CareerBuilder

[USC03] 7 USC 1522: Research and development

Research and Development – Eastman Chemical Company

Sakichi Toyoda External links:

Sakichi Toyoda – NNDB

The story of Sakichi Toyoda. – YouTube

5 Whys Method and Sakichi Toyoda by Anastasia Leto on Prezi

Scientific management External links:

Scientific Management Flashcards | Quizlet

Frederick Taylor & Scientific Management – NetMBA

Scientific management | The Economist

Scientific method External links:

[PPT]Scientific Method – Home – Biology Junction Method.ppt

Science & the Scientific Method: A Definition

[PDF]Lesson Title: The Scientific Method – Matthew – Weebly

Shigeo Shingo External links:

Dr. Shigeo Shingo – the master of lean manufacturing

Shigeo Shingo – Quality Gurus

Shigeo Shingo: Grand-Daddy of Quality – …

Six Sigma External links:

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification – Acuity Institute

Lean Six Sigma | Greenville Technical College

Spaghetti plot External links:

52964 – Create a spaghetti plot with the SGPLOT procedure

Taguchi Loss Function External links:

What is Taguchi Loss Function – Lean Manufacturing and …

Taguchi Loss Function and Capability Analysis – QI Macros

Taguchi Loss Function –

Taiichi Ohno External links:

Taiichi Ohno’s Birthday and 100 Years of Lean

Taiichi Ohno: Grand-Daddy of Quality – …

Taiichi Ohno | The Economist

Takt time External links:

How to Calculate Takt Time in Production Process: 5 Steps

Takt Time Calculation – Takt Time Calculator

The Machine That Changed the World External links:

The Machine That Changed the World (TV Series 1992– ) – IMDb

The Toyota Way External links:

Hino and the TOYOTA Way | Toyota | Lean Manufacturing

The Way And “The Toyota Way” – Next Gener.Asian Church

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the …

The Way to Wealth External links:

The Way to Wealth Flashcards | Quizlet


Total productive maintenance External links:

Total Productive Maintenance Training – RedVector

[DOC]Total Productive Maintenance – Apogee

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Toyota Production System External links:

Lean Six Sigma and the Toyota Production System

Toyota Production System Support Center, Inc. (TSSC)

Toyota Production System (TPS) Terminology

Value Stream Mapping External links:

VSM Pareto Analysis Form | Value Stream Mapping …

[PDF]Value Stream Mapping at XYZ Company by Madhubala …

[PDF]Title Value Stream Mapping for SMEs: a case study

W. Edwards Deming External links:

Dr. W. Edwards Deming: The Father of the Quality Evolution

Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming – YouTube

The W. Edwards Deming Institute

Work in process External links:

Work in Process | FlowTrac

[PDF]Inventory Summary Work in Process Summary

Work in process. (Book, 1973) []