Institut for Forretningsudvikling og Teknologi

Hidden Waste Factors in LEAN Management: Towards Improved Shop-floor Communication and Management

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


  • Anna Nilsson, Aarhus Universitet, Danmark
  • Trine Terese Eide Brobak, Department of Business Development and Technology, Norge
  • Nikolaj Deleuran Jørgensen, Department of Business Development and Technology, Danmark
  • Mette Knak Larsen, Department of Business Development and Technology, Danmark
  • Rasmus Davids Damhus, Department of Business Development and Technology, Danmark
  • John Bang Mathiasen
  • Torben Tambo
Shop-floor management (SFM) following LEAN thinking employs predominantly analogue whiteboards for daily communication between floor management and floor employees. Whiteboards as communication platforms are integrated with daily stand-up meetings. The purpose of this paper is a comparative study between analogue and digital approaches with the hypothesis that continued use of analogue LEAN boards leads to (excessive) waste occurrence compared to going digital. This paper is based on two qualitative, interpretivist case studies of manufacturing organisations. Data include styles of management data visualisations, observations of LEAN board meetings, and process analysis of data management. The communication processes as a core activity of the SFM are studied from a lens of value stream mapping (VSM) for communication and also management style and impact. Key findings are that waste occurs when staying loyal to analogue LEAN boards, as several of the processes can be limited or even eliminated by rightfully utilising digital LEAN boards. Given the higher effectiveness of digital approaches, this paper concludes that the dogma of continuous use of analogue LEAN boards must be discussed as a key factor in modernising LEAN SFM and the outreach to the employees involved. This paper’s originality comes from LEAN-based SFM as increasingly founded around daily stand-ups and styles of LEAN boards, alongside industrial megatrends of digitisation. This paper adds to the discussion of approaches for optimal SFM and the relationship among communication media, management paradigm, and LEAN waste factors. The case companies are at different levels of maturity of LEAN; however, the fundamental management philosophy is the same and largely points to the same results. When it comes to digital LEAN boards, this paper suggests opportunities to reduce waste and have a transparent knowledge base, decision-making foundation, and conscious organisation of operational management.
TitelProceedings for the 15th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance
RedaktørerAnabela Mesquita, Paulina Silva
Antal sider8
UdgivelsesstedReading, UK
ForlagAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
ISBN (trykt)978-1-912764-47-1
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-912764-46-4
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedEuropean Conference on Management Leadership and Governance - Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Varighed: 14 nov. 201915 nov. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 15


KonferenceEuropean Conference on Management Leadership and Governance
LokationPolytechnic Institute of Porto

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