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15 February 2006


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Thank you for the wonderful article.

I am quite mad that I never heard of Lean Manufacturing until my sophomore year at Iowa State. A lot of state colleges and universities seem to be doing a good job of passing lean concepts in front of their students, but we need to start lean earlier in the education system. Think of the changes we could effect if basic lean concepts were taught at our elementary or junior high schools! I certainly want to be a part of this, but I'm not sure how to start...

I am reading your book, Bill, and enjoying it very much!

Jay is making my case - Iowa State? Under 10K for an MBA, the Cyclones were 7-4 and went to a bowl game - and they teach lean to sophomores. Why would anyone even consider Wharton when they have Iowa State as an option?

In all seriousness, Jim Womack makes a similar point about lean in the schools, advocating teaching kids even at the elemntary school level the significance of value streams.

Bill, a very funny and useful post!

The concept of controlling the variables we CAN control (in this case, lead time) is, like most lean things, so simple that many stumble over it.

Academics don't like this becuase it is so very simple it does not lend itself to winning large grants for research and it also does not demand complex algorithms. The Person of Normal Education can comprehend the concepts quite easily.

We carry on anyway!!

Sorry to be picky but Warwick is very much in England, not the beautiful land. Corus uses it for the internally funded MBA programme and having recently started a Lean transformation, perhaps Warwick is using this to better taylor itself.

If you can, try and access the IEE Manufacturing mag this month www.iee.org/manufacturing much better!

Thanks for the correction. The article I used for the primary source did not say where Warwick is located, so I made the faulty assumption that it was in Mr. Stuart's neighborhood. I have no excuse, however. I even visited the Warwick web site and failed to notice the location. Thanks.

By the way, some of the smartest, hands on lean guys I have ever talked to spend much of their off hours in the pubs along the quayside in Newcastle - not far from the border with the "beautiful land" - bemoaning the current mediocrity of the Newcastle United. If these guys were the beneficiaries of higher eductaion at all, I would be surprised, but they sure know how to run a lean factory. I suspect that the gist of my writing applies in the UK, even though the word 'football' has an entirely different meaning there.

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