Lean Math

Lean-Math-croppedWe would like to announce a new entrant into the lean blogosphere, it’s called Lean MathTM (leanmath.com).

We know what you’re thinking, “Lean Math?!” Now, that’s a subject that evokes passion in the heart of every lean practitioner…right?

But, the truth is effective lean transformations require some level of math, whether it’s the often deceptively simple takt time calculation, sizing kanban, calculating process capability, or anything in between. It’s hard to get away from math. There is no such thing as math-free lean and certainly not math-free six sigma!

Lean MathTM is not intended to be some purely academic study and it does not pretend to be part of the heart and soul of lean principles. Rather, it’s a tool and a construct for thinking. Here we want to integrate lean math theories and examples with experimentation and application.

Some background. Within the next year, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers will be publishing a book, tentatively entitled, Lean Math. Mark Hamel, author of the Shingo Award-winning book, Kaizen Event Fieldbook and founder of the Gemba TalesTM blog, and Michael O’Connor, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Mike) are co-authoring this work. They are also getting a ton (!) of help from Larry Loucka, friend, colleague, and fellow-blogger at Lean Sigma Supply Chain.

No surprise, we’re the three folks who are launching this blog. The formal launch date is February 14th – because we LOVE math! Ok, love may be a bit strong. We really LIKE math.

Here are some of our first blog posts:

  • Time
  • Cycle Time
  • Square Root Law
  • Min/Max Cut Theorem
  • Coefficient of Variation

Ultimately, we hope that you will join our fledgling Lean MathTM community and that it lives up to our blog tag line, “Figuring to improve.”

Best regards,


Mark Hamel, Larry Loucka, Michael O’Connor, Ph.D.