A Relationship Between Bias, Lean Tools, and Waste
Purpose This study aims to highlight the system-wide potential relationships between forms of human bias, selected Lean tools and types of waste in a manufacturing process.
Design/methodology/approach A longitudinal single-site ethnographic case study using digital processing to make a material receiving process Lean was adopted. An inherent knowledge process with internal stakeholders in a stimulated situation alongside process requirements was performed to achieve quality data collection. The results of the narrative analysis and process observation, combined with a literature review identified widely used Lean tools, wastes and biases that produced a model for the relationships.
Findings The study established the relationships between bias, Lean tools and wastes which enabled 97.6% error reduction, improved on-time accounting and eliminated three working hours per day. These savings resulted in seven employees being redeployed to new areas with delivery time for products reduced by seven days.
Research limitations/implications The single site case study with a supporting literature survey underpinning the model would benefit from testing the model in application to different industries and locations.
Practical implications Application of the model can identify potential relationships between a group of human biases, 25 Lean tools and 10 types of wastes in Lean manufacturing processes that support decision makers and line managers in productivity improvement. The model can be used to identify potential relationships between forms of human biases, Lean tools and types of wastes in Lean manufacturing processes and take suitable remedial actions. The influence of biases and the model could be used as a basis to counter implementation barriers and reduce system-wide wastes.
Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that connects the cognitive perspectives of Lean business processes with waste production and human biases. As part of the process, a relationship model is derived.