Knowledge Centre


See links to various online resources to learn more about Lean Thinking and Practice both locally and globally.
We are constantly learning so please let us know if you find any other sites you think should be added.



Most research conducted by the Lean Institute Africa is done in association with MBA students of the UCT Graduate School of Business. To access free copies of MBA research reports, please contact GSB. Here is a recent list of Lean-related Research Reports.



The Lean Institute Africa is the local, authorised distributor of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) in the USA and as such, distributes books, DVDs and training materials on their behalf.

Newsletters, Articles and Webinars

On death and dying and organisational change

Written by Charmaine Cunningham ‘Buy-in’ is a term commonly used when talking about change in the workplace. We want everyone to buy in to the change.  Often, supervisors and managers appear completely perplexed when people do not simply buy in or change their ways...

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Showing Respect – May 2015 Newsletter

Some of us are not very good at showing respect. It is not just events in South Africa over the past month that make me say that. ‘Show respect’ is one of the core calls we make to lean leaders. That simple phrase was presented to me at a Lean Summit in the USA around...

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Standard work & mistake-proofing lessons from an Antarctic swim

Written by Charmaine Cunningham In 2005 Lewis Pugh undertook the world’s most southerly long-distance swim at Peterman Island in the Antarctic Peninsula at South 65⁰ latitude. Antarctica is the world’s coldest and windiest continent with more than 98% of the continent...

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Doing is understanding: A3 … a profound Lean tool

By Professor Norman Faull I have before me a book entitled Understanding A3 Thinking (Durward Sobek and Art Smalley, Productivity Press 2008). In meetings with American and European Lean practitioners this book seems to be respected universally as an introduction to...

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LIA Helping Gauteng Hospitals Get Lean

The GDoH and Lean Institute Africa (LIA) have initiated a programme to improve staff efficiency and reduce patient waiting times in provincial hospitals. The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), in collaboration with the Lean Institute Africa (LIA), has initiated a...

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A match made in healthcare improvement heaven

Written by Charmaine Cunningham I’ve been collaborating with the Lean Institute Africa for the past six months and the collaboration has now been formalised.  As such, Lean Institute Africa will be posting some of my blogs on the news section of their webpage. A bit...

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Toyota Kata – the key to sustained improvement

The first ever Toyota Kata conference took place two weeks ago in Florida, USA. I was very fortunate to attend, and particularly that Mike Rother gave me ‘Kata Geek’ status to be on the inside track of the learning. Why am I interested enough to fly across the world...

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Harmony – should lean organisations strive for this?

Written by Charmaine Cunningham Paging through textbooks on how to manage people I noticed how much time is dedicated to the importance of establishing harmony within the workspace.  The picture is painted of the utopian workspace where everyone is in agreement on...

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Our Global Network


The Double-Loop PDCA

How “Double-Loop PDCA” was discovered due to a problem with implementing a lean  daily management system in a South African hospital.

Future Work and the Evolution of Lean

On the Cusp of the next Industrial Revolution Last year a student approached me to take part in her research entitled ‘The adaption of lean implementation techniques for an industry 4.0 revolution’. I admit my immediate reaction was: ‘This...

Helping Africa reach its full potential using lean thinking

In the first of a series of interviews with Lean Global Network directors, Rose Heathcote – the new CEO of Lean Institute Africa – shares her thoughts on the future of Africa and on women in business.Read the full interview with Rose Heathcote...

Lean Management Relieves State Healthcare Headaches

A ground-breaking project in which lean management is being applied in South African state hospitals is delivering impressive results in various departments – including reducing patient waiting times by up to 86%, an 80% reduction in neo-natal...

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