A Look at “Think Systemically”

by Ken Snyder

“Think Systemically” is a principle in the Enterprise Alignment dimension of the Shingo Model. Through understanding the relationships and interconnectedness within a system we are able to make better decisions and improvements. This principle is largely based on the pioneering work of Russ Ackoff and Peter Senge. An example of thinking systemically is looking at the entire value stream to make improvements. Continue reading “A Look at “Think Systemically””

NEW: Shingo Journey Page

It’s common for people who use the Shingo Model™ as a standard of excellence to talk about their organization’s “Shingo Journey” much like you hear people talk about the Lean journey. They’re talking, of course, about the evolution of their organizations toward the use of the principles prescribed by the Shingo Model. However, until now there has been no visual representation of what a Shingo Journey might look like. We recently rectified that situation with a new page on the Shingo.org website. Continue reading “NEW: Shingo Journey Page”

Shingo Japan Study Tour Recap 


This year’s Japan Study Tour was based mostly in the Tokyo/Yokohama area with one trip by bullet train up to the Sendai area. After a delicious and authentic sushi lunch, the group visited the Meiji Shrine and the Imperial Palace. The first two days of the tour were spent in the classroom discussing the Shingo Model and how it applied to the specific challenges being faced by the tour participants. It included presentations from Mike Martyn, Dominic Bria, and Ken Snyder.

Most companies ask that we don’t take photos; however, below are a few authorized photos with brief descriptions of each site we visited.
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Transforming from the Inside Out

by Norbert Majerus

When I talk at conferences about leading a lean transformation, I like to ask the audience for the most important metrics they track in their organizations. I write down their answers, which range from lead time to cost to inventory. Then I ask: “What is the most difficult part in your transformation — changing the process or managing the people?” Continue reading “Transforming from the Inside Out”

A Look at “Flow and Pull Value”

Ken Snyder

“Flow and Pull Value” is a principle in the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. This principle seems to be the most difficult for students of the Model to understand. The confusion experienced in learning this principle has caused us deep reflection on how we might better explain and teach this principle. Continue reading “A Look at “Flow and Pull Value””

A Look at “Focus on the Process”

by Ken Snyder

“Focus on the Process” is a principle in the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. This principle holds the distinction of being the only principle about which no one has suggested an improvement. This is a sign of what we have witnessed numerous times – it is a principle that is so evident that everyone seems to understand instinctively. There will be no changes to this principle as we consider an improved set of principles. Continue reading “A Look at “Focus on the Process””

Interview with Chris Butterworth About Enterprise Alignment and Results Book

The Shingo Institute is publishing a series of books to support the Shingo workshops. The first book “Discover Excellence” was published in 2018 and we are delighted to announce that the second book in the series “Enterprise Alignment and Results ” will be available in early 2019 .  The book was edited by Chris Butterworth*. Dominic Bria of the Shingo Institute interviewed Chris about the book .

Continue reading “Interview with Chris Butterworth About Enterprise Alignment and Results Book”

A Look at “Assure Quality at the Source”

by Ken Snyder


“Assure Quality at the Source” is a principle in the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. Perfect quality can only be achieved when every element of work is done right the first time. If an error should occur, it must be detected and corrected at the point and time of its creation. This is done through error-proofing – i.e., taking countermeasures to prevent quality problems from occurring again.

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A Look at “Embrace Scientific Thinking”

by Ken Snyder

“Embrace Scientific Thinking” is a principle in the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model™. This principle is included in the Model to guide people on how to do problem-solving. Embrace Scientific Thinking requires standard work. Without standard work we have no basis for making changes. With standard work, Embrace Scientific Thinking becomes a relentless and systematic exploration of new ideas. It allows for failures. It enables us to constantly refine our understanding of reality. It forces us to look for the root cause. It helps us find the problem in the system and fix the system so the problem doesn’t reoccur. Anyone in the enterprise can look at a problem and generate cycles of experimentation and improvement. Innovation and improvement are the consequences of repeated cycles of experimentation, direct observation, and learning. Continue reading “A Look at “Embrace Scientific Thinking””

A Look at “Seek Perfection”

by Ken Snyder

“Seek Perfection” is a principle in the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model. It is the principle that best describes that dimension because it embodies the purpose of the dimension, while the other principles in the dimension describe how to improve. This is the principle that best gets to the heart of the spirit of kaizen that it is something that “everybody” does, that happens “everywhere” in the organization, and happens “everytime” (or all the time), as Shingo Academy member Imai Masaaki sensei so eloquently explains. This is the principle which drives all of us on our quest to improve! Continue reading “A Look at “Seek Perfection””