Lean augmented: A human-centric framework for managing frontline operations
Nathan Linder and Trond Arne Undheim
Wiley (October 2022)
“If what you do is what you’ve always done, it’s probably wrong.” Charles Kettering
Years ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. observed, “I would not give a penny for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity.” I was reminded of that statement again when I started reading this book in which, as I soon realized, Natan Linder and Trond Arne Undheim take the reader to the other side of the complexities of Lean methodology. (Note the plural). I agree with them that when juxtaposed with Classic Lean 1930-19789) and Digital Lean (1980-2009), Augmented Lean (2010-2029) offers a significant improvement when compared to its two predecessors (see Figure 5.1 on page 122).
Augmented Lean has eight basic principles. They understand their WHAT. In summary, here are four of the eight: “Every process begins and ends with learning, reflecting, and applying what has been learned to the next challenge… Industry organizational changes must come from the bottom up. They should be human-centric, emphasize self-service over centralized teaching, and be implemented as low-code/no-code applications that require no software development skills… Build human capacity; don’t just place or automate… Locate responsibility and control; Think of operations as a network of people, places, and systems.
Here is the WHY of Augmented Lean: “Frontline workers are knowledge workers in operational environments, working with tacit knowledge, data, information, and machines to assemble, install, test, or repair products and make things that society needs. and depend on, or move parts and products (logistics), often with substandard digital tools (for decision support, process control, reporting and feedback), especially compared to office workers” .
Linder and Undheim provide a wealth of information, insights, and advice in their brilliant book explaining HOW to design and implement “a new management framework that is equally valuable to front-line operations and executives”…and of course, managers as well. customers in terms of the derived value.
Here are some of the dozens of other passages that also caught my eye:
o Four Industrial Revolutions: A Summary (pages 30-48)
o Beyond Point Solutions (63-67 and 68-72)
o An outlier reshaping the industry (81-84)
o The appearance of manufacturing systems (88-91)
o How Digital Lean is a journey far beyond digital (103-109)
o The Augmented Lean Frame (119-144)
or Classic Lean vs. DigitalLen vs. Augmented Lean (121-122)
o Basic Principles of Augmented Lean (123-127)
o Decentralize IT: extend responsibility to the edge (132-135)
o The Global Lighthouse Network: Best practices synthesized from the top down (148-152)
o Four different ways to digitally transform an industrial organization (163-174)
o Leveraging organizational capabilities (188-197)
o The Evolution of the Field of Industrial Engineering (205-211)
o How to avoid training the workforce to (232-235)
o From Automation to Augmentation (255-257)
o The current state of industrial robotics (258-264)
o What is the increase and what will it become (270-273)
o The promise of machine monitoring (288-290)
o The size and shape of the future industrial pie (316-320)
o Augmented Lean Management for the Frontline Workforce (367-372)
This is a research-driven book. I commend Linder and Undheim for their masterful use of hundreds of primary and secondary sources, as noted in the comprehensive REFERENCES section at the end of each of their 14 chapters. They also make brilliant use of other easy-to-read features including a CONCLUSION at the end of the chapter that focuses on key points, tables, figures, and checklists, as well as dozens of supplemental interviews and other easily accessible resources. with an electronic device. .
Whatever their size and nature, most (if not all) industrial organizations now need, or will soon need, a human-centric framework to manage their operations. I think Lean augmented is a “must read” for C-level executives (or their equivalent) because your organization will face unique and severe challenges in the months and years ahead, especially in a global marketplace that is more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than it was at any earlier time that I can remember. Almost everything you need to know is in this book.
On their behalf, I dare to say “Thank you, Natan Linder and Trond Arne Undheim. Well done! Bravo!”