About the Authors

...The Blog

"Lean Math." Now, there's a name that evokes passion in the heart of every lean practitioner!?

But, the truth is effective lean transformations require some level of math, whether it's the often deceptively simple calculation of takt time, sizing kanbans, calculating process capability, or anything in between. It's hard to get away from math-free lean and certainly math-free six sigma!

Lean Math 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.

In the end, we hope the blog, along with its fledgling community, lives up to the tag line, "Figuring to improve."

...The Bloggers

Mark R. Hamel is a co-founder of the Lean Math blog and co-author of Lean Math: Figuring to Improve. He is the Shingo Award-winning author of Kaizen…, Shingo Award-winning author Kaizen Event Fieldbook, and founder of the Gemba Tales blog.

Mark has played a transformative role in lean implementations across a broad range of industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, business services, chemical, durable goods, electronics, insurance, healthcare and transportation services. He has successfully coached lean leaders and associates at both the strategic and tactical level. Mark's 19-year pre-consulting career encompassed executive and senior positions in operations, strategic planning, business development, and finance. His lean education and experience began in the early 1990’s when he conceptualized and helped launch what resulted in a Shingo Prize winning effort at the Ensign-Bickford Company.

Mark holds a BS in Mathematics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, MS in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford and a MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He is a CPA in the state of Connecticut and has dual APICS certifications. Mark was a national Shingo Prize examiner, helped develop exam questions for the AME/SME/Shingo/ASQ Lean Certification, and is Juran certified as a six sigma black belt. Mark authored the Society of Manufacturing Engineers published book, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events. The Fieldbook was a recipient of a 2010 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. Mark is a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and was a regular columnist for Quality Digest.

Mark can be contacted at mark@leanmath.com.


Larry M. Loucka is a co-founder of the Lean Math blog. He is a lean implementation consultant, specializing in all things supply chain, and the founder of the Lean Sigma Supply Chain Blog.

Larry is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in supplier development, global sourcing, logistics, outsourcing, warehousing, integrating MRP and Kanban, logistics network optimization and modeling, demand management, visual workplace, kaizen, quick changeover, operational analysis, supply chain strategy, and accelerated change management. He has worked or coached in a number of manufacturing and service industries all around the world including: pharmaceutical, chemical, food, packaged goods, electronics, defense, automotive.

Larry has a BS Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  He is also a Certified Supply Chain Professional (APICS).

Larry can be reached at larry@leanmath.com


Michael O’Connor is an internationally recognized continuous improvement expert, author, and life-long learner and co-author of Lean Math: Figuring to Improve. Dr. Mike helps organizations improve their top and bottom line performance through client customized solutions.

Dr. Mike’s consulting services have been sought by organizations in a wide range of industries including health care, government, manufacturing, and professional services. He has worked with organizations of all sizes, from as large as over 1 million employees to organizations of less than 50 employees.  In all cases, Dr. Mike uses a results oriented pragmatic approach to help organizations realize their full potential.

Michael holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a MS in Physics from the University of Lowell, as well as BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.  He is a Shingo Prize examiner and winner of the International Quality and Productivity Center’s Master Black Belt of the Year Award.

Dr. Mike can be contacted at dr.mike@leanmath.com.