Norman Noble, Inc. 
Beginner level
Intermediate level
Theme: Industry 4.0

What to do when it feels like you’re failing

How to learn from failure and successfully implement lean into your organization


Practitioner Presentation
Thursday, Nov. 2 Location Code
11:00am-11:45am Huntington Convention Center ThS/51



This content will not be available on-demand.

Join Andrew Murphy and James Yaeger in a presentation on embracing each failed attempt as a chance to learn and get back on course.


Few people will admit that they are failing. Part of the job of a lean practitioner is determining the present condition, failures included. In this presentation, Andrew Murphy and James Yaeger will explore the various pitfalls they’ve encountered and the strategies they’ve taken to climb back out and keep going. Not all of these strategies have worked. In fact, most of them haven’t. But each failed attempt is a chance to learn what doesn’t work, making the wins much sweeter. This presentation will focus on the lessons learned and key wins with digitization, hoping that others experiencing similar trials on their journeys can take away a piece of insight that will help them stay on course.


Since Norman Noble commenced business operations in 1946, the company has expanded to 5 facilities and more than 275,000 square feet of combined manufacturing space. Today, Norman Noble is the United States’ largest laser contract manufacturer of medical devices and implants. It provides its customers with unmatched manufacturing capabilities and first-to-market success through organizational agility, industry-leading know-how and process innovation. 


Andrew Murphy is the director of Manufacturing Excellence at Norman Noble, Inc. In 2007, Murphy complained his way into his first continuous improvement role as a manufacturing supervisor with Lisi Aerospace in Torrance, California. After serving in various roles at Lisi, an OEM of aerospace fasteners, he transitioned into the contract manufacturing space with Lisi’s medical device division. As the plant manager, Murphy learned that lean was even harder to start in contract manufacturing than at an OEM. In 2020, having still not learned his lesson, he took a job in Northeast Ohio with a medical device manufacturer, Norman Noble, Inc., with the goal of implementing a lean culture from scratch. At Norman Noble, Murphy focuses on the long-term adoption of lean manufacturing principles. 

James Yaeger has worked at Norman Noble for the last five years, where he has focused on maintaining training compliance for critical ISO, FDA and GMP-required trainings. He has also maintained his reputation as a walking repository of information related to quality system documentation and compliance. Before Norman Noble, Yaeger worked in various production and project management roles in the pharmaceutical industry. Yaeger’s current role is driving the implementation of TWI methodologies within Norman Noble.