Lean Training for your lean journey



Ponder, Think, Reflect

"Thinking is the hardest work there is. That's why so few people do it." Henry Ford


By far the most important step

of any problem solving method is

to pause long enough to analyze, ponder, and reflect

on what has been discovered, what has been learned, what is still unknown...

to conceive possible countermeasures

that go beyond "obvious" initial thoughts

to daydream about alternate futures

that are more desirable, more compelling, more...

While brainstorming and consensus-building are by nature group activities,

deep thinking is by nature best done alone —
in a silent, focused state of deep reverie.

Knowing this, most experienced teams
allow at least a day or two
after identifying problems and root causes
before moving into proposed countermeasures.

PDCA Cycle


Hansei is the Japanese word for this form of self-reflection,

and it should be the single most important activity to happen
every time that you enter the 'check' or 'study' phase of any PDCA cycle.

How to use this hansei page

This page is not meant to be read like a book.

It is overflowing with questions...

each one worthy of focused attention

at different times, to solve different problems

The most successful way to use these questions

is to bookmark this page, and come back to it

each time that you have completed another cycle of Process Analysis
and you are ready to (again) begin thinking about Process Improvement

(in a never-ending cycle of continuous improvement)

Then in a quiet, comfortable setting...

(perhaps with a warm beverage)

return to this page,

and then with partially focused eyes,
just allow your attention to wander as your eyes dance over the somewhat blurry words...

until your attention effortlessly settles on one question that draws you to it

Ponder that question

hansei - ponder

Ponder that question...
scribbling short notes,
but not getting too detailed yet


Then repeat that same habit...
again and again...

until you surprise yourself
with how many creative and useful ideas
you have come up with.


Later... come back to your scribbled notes,
and choose which ones you want to flesh out in greater detail

Perhaps using your decision making tools

and/or perhaps using your Change Management template (ChangeMgmt.xlsx)
to think about how to best present your ideas
to the various stakeholders that might be affected by the changes.

Create Change

Complete the final phases of your chosen Problem Solving Method to:

  1. Physically implement change
  2. Validate whether or not those changes produced your expected results
  3. Either Start Over - with ideas,
    or Standardize and Socialize your success

Perhaps use your Tool Selection Matrix (1ToolSelection.xlsx)
to choose useful Process Improvement Tools and Systems to implement your ideas.

And then don't keep this a secret

People that consistently come up with well-conceived and well-presented great ideas
will inevitably be promoted to higher levels of responsibility and influence.

One of the most important roles of any leader is to groom others
to improve their own habits and systems for creative thinking and problem solving...

ideally using teachable, repeatable systems for continuous improvement

like this one

Reflection Idea-Starter Questions

for continuous process improvement

Apply Systemic Thinking

Tool Selection Matrix

To find tools to expand your thinking,
filter the 'Expand' column
in your Tool Selection Matrix

Systemic Thinking consists of both:

1) Analytical thinking

(very common)

Thinking about parts or elements.

Taking apart.

Isolating root causes.

2) Synthetical thinking

(much less common)

Thinking about how parts and elements interact as part of a greater whole.

Looking for repeating patterns and themes.

Identifying similar processes that could also benefit from your most recent learning lessons.

Idea Generation Tools

for continuous process improvement

Some of the more popular Idea Generation tools for lean process improvement include:

Leader Standard Work
Lean Management Systems
Muda Observation
Waste Observation
Process Analysis
Process Analysis
Issues & Ideas template
Problem Solving Tools
Event Checklist
Kaizen Events
Decision Matrix
Decision Making tools
A3 Report
A3 Problem Solving
8D Problem Solving
8D Problem Solving
PDCA Coaching
PDCA Coaching
Fishbone Diagram
Root Cause Analysis
Brainstorming template
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning
Relations Diagram
Relations Diagram
Change Management
Change Management
X Matrix
Hoshin Team Catchball
Voice of the Customer
Voice of the Customer
One Good Idea
Idea Storyboard
value stream mapping basic design value stream mapping volume mix
Value Stream Design Forms
Flowchart template
Flow Charts
Standard Work for Hansei
Standard Work
Value Stream Management
Value Stream Analysis
SMED hansei
SMED Setup Reduction
Yamazumi hansei


Tool Selection Matrix


There are many more lean tools that can be used to expand your team's thinking.

To find them,

filter the 'Expand' column
in your Tool Selection Matrix

Lean Process Design Objectives

Objectives to keep in mind when getting into more of the details
of doing lean process engineering


The most important lean objectives

Technical Design objectives

Idea poppers

Alien thinking


Bookmark = social

Hansei Social Design Objectives

Empower Customer Contact Personnel

Design simple processes and fulfilling jobs

In general, process redesign should:

Reduce organizational boundaries

Re-draw organizational boundaries to:


Every lean tool needs
a corresponding
Lean Coaching System

Recast management as a supporting role

When front-line people are empowered, they need:

They don't need:







You already knew about Systems2win?

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Your purchase price is usually justified with the 1 or 2 templates that you use most

The others are a really nice
"gift with purchase"

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