Many organizations have had some exposure to Lean Training. A small number of these organizations have actually attempted to apply the various Lean tools. Unfortunately, they often report that their experience and more importantly, their results, have not met their expectations. These organizations are left wondering if Lean works in their business sector.
So, what went wrong?
The best way to answer that is to consider what Lean is. It is much more than a collection of tools or standalone initiatives.
Lean, first and foremost, is a client centered philosophy
Lean focuses on exceeding the service expectations while achieving the highest quality and efficiency. This commitment has to be reflected in the organizational Strategic Plan. Many organizations profess to do this and many actually go through that seemingly painful exercise of developing a plan. Turning the plan into action is where the disconnect occurs. Unfortunately these good intentions often get over-shadowed by the day-to-day issues that arise.
Lean is about developing the right processes
Lean is about reorganizing how we do the work to support the efforts of everyone in the organization. If today, you are falling short in achieving the results that your client wants then it is time to challenge the status quo. Doing the same old thing will inevitably give you the same results.
Lean is about enabling your staff
Lean is about enabling staff within their respective areas of expertise to actively participate and contribute to improvements that will better meet the needs of clients both internal and external. These activities are not haphazard but focused on supporting our Key Performance Indicators.