The Lean Marriage with Tracy and Ernie Richardson

The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book It’s about their marriage.

The question, “How do you deal with it?” comes when an interlocutor learns that not only are they married, they work together as co-owners of Teaching Lean Inc., and travel together three weeks per month.

“We’re together about 97%” of the time; pretty much 24 x 7,” Tracey says in this entertaining Lean Talks presentation that they call “The Lean Marriage with Tracy and Ernie Richardson.”

They met when both worked at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. They continue to apply the lean principles learned there in their personal and married lives.

“Lean wasn’t something we just did at work,” says Ernie.

He’s not kidding. They have a takt time for grocery shopping. They’ve organized the attic by numbered boxes so finding anything is as easy as looking up its location on the downstairs master sheet.

“We even talk about how we level load running errands,” says Tracey.

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