Digital Lean Disturbance Management
Doctoral thesis, 2024

As a realization of visualization and simplification principles in lean, lean methods typically employ physical tools. However, being physical is both strength and weakness of lean tools. Being physical is a strength, because physical lean tools are easy to implement, easy to learn and easy to use. On the other hand, being physical is a weakness, because physical tools do not have the capability to store the information registered on them long term; which causes information waste. Eliminating waste is another important principle of Lean, which this thesis aims to add to the physical lean tools. The information written on these tools can be used to create a knowledge base as a means of reducing the aforementioned information waste. The knowledge base then can be used to increase decision making capacity through various statistical data analyses.

This thesis aims to reduce the knowledge waste in Lean methods that use physical visualization tools by digitalizing them and creating a database of the entries to be re-used. To reach the aim, a case company and a Lean method (i.e., pulse disturbance management) was chosen to carry out the research. The work to reach the aim is guided by research questions that divide the work into three parts: (1) defining the barriers (2) mitigating the barriers (3) validation. In total seven barriers were defined. The barriers were mitigated. As a result, the prescribed lean digital disturbance management system has been deployed to the case company and disturbances has been captured by the employees over three years. The collected data has been analyzed for validation.


disturbance management



Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers Tvärgata 4C, Gothenburg
Opponent: Associate Professor Josef Oehmen, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, DTU, Denmark


Onur Kaya

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Introducing digital pulse as a deviation management methodology for dental product development and production

International Journal of Lean Enterprise Research,; Vol. 1(2015)p. 351-372

Journal article

Useful deviations for deviation management information systems: From pulse methodology to a generic description

2016 11th Systems of Systems Engineering Conference, SoSE 2016. Kongsberg, Norway, 12-16 June 2016,; (2016)

Paper in proceeding

Learning from digital disturbance management in an integrated product development and production flow

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management,; Vol. 11(2018)p. 295-325

Journal article

Humans strive for learning from their mistakes to improve themselves. This thesis aims to answer if and how organizations can learn from their mistakes to improve themselves. The organization in focus in this thesis was a Swedish integrated product development company within dental implants business. The mistakes were referred as disturbances (i.e., conditions that deviate from desirable or normal). The ideology that guided the improvement was lean philosophy (e.g., simplicity, visualization, continuous improvement, eliminating waste). The learning happened through doing statistical analyses on the disturbance database that was created by registering disturbances. The technology that was used to enable the aforementioned solution was digitalization, which was not possible previously. The disturbances could not be stored long-term (i.e., disturbance information became waste in lean terms). The reasons were that lean typically employs physical tools (e.g., whiteboard) and digitalization is typically discouraged because of the risk of damaging the simplicity and causing distraction.

As a result of this thesis, digital disturbance management system was deployed to the case company. Employees captured disturbances over three years. Statistical analyses were carried out over the disturbance database. The results of the analyses were useful to the company; they guided the company while making strategic decisions. This case of successfully digitalizing lean in industrial settings showed that knowledge waste in physical lean disturbance management can be reduced by combining digitalization and lean.

Visualization and IT in product and production development

VINNOVA (2012-02175), 2012-09-01 -- 2015-08-31.

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Business Administration

Areas of Advance


Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie



Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers Tvärgata 4C, Gothenburg

Opponent: Associate Professor Josef Oehmen, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, DTU, Denmark

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