What is Lean Thinking and Practice?
Lean is about creating the most value for the customer while minimizing resources, time, energy, and effort. A lean approach to work is about:
- understanding what's really going on at the place where value is created, commonly known as the gemba
- improving the processes by which products and services are created and delivered
- developing and empowering people through problem solving and coaching
- developing leaders and an effective management system
Lean thinking and practice helps organizations become both innovative and competitive, which in turn allows them to become sustainable. Today, lean has become a new, more effective approach to doing work, no matter what the work is, the sector, or the size of the organization. In a lean organization, problems are opportunities for meaningful learning rather than errors to be swept under the rug or quickly resolved. Managers act as coaches, helping others get comfortable identifying problems and practicing daily continuous improvement. Leadership means creating a management system to support a new kind of engagement with the real work at hand, the way the work is being done now (not the way you and your teams hope to be doing work sometime in the future). LGN's goal is to help individuals and organizations start making things better through lean thinking and practice today.
Many People Incorrectly Define Lean As....
- Tools: 5S, Kaizen events, value stream maps, andon, visual management, metrics, dashboards, A3, etc.
- Programs: efficiency, process improvement, performance management, MBO, cost reduction, 6Sigma, etc. done to value-creators by management, outsiders or internal expert staff.
- Something that only applies to manufacturing or operations.
- Training for certifications and belts.
- Headcount reduction.
- Regimentation through standard work
What is LGN's definition of Lean Thinking & Practice?
Embracing the challenge of creating more value for each customer and prosperity for society by:
- Showing respect by developing people to continuously improve the work through problem solving
- Focusing on and continuously improving the work
- Minimizing/eliminating waste: time, human effort, injuries, inventory, capital, space, defects, rework, etc.
- Asking what type of management behaviors and management system is needed to improve and transform the organization.
To Improve (or Transform) an Organization Must Address
- Purpose - What value for customers?
- Process - How to continuously improve?
- People - How to respect, engage and develop employees?
- Aligning purpose, process, and people is the central task of management
What is Transformation?
- Enterprise transformation is the process of an organization shifting its business model to a desired future state.
- Lean transformation requires learning a new way of thinking and acting, characterized not by implementing a series of steps or solutions, but addressing key questions of purpose, process, and people.
- You can find more information on http://leanglobal.org/what-is-lean/