How to make sure Lean Management doesn't fail
First of all let's clear up the breadth of areas in a company that Lean Management can and does get applied. A common misperception about lean is that it focuses mainly on process redesign.
In fact, although the ideas underpinning lean ultimately originated in manufacturing, they encompass far more than just processes.
Fundamentally, lean seeks to refine a company’s basic systems to meet changing customer needs more effectively.
The four disciplines of lean management are supported by a set of tools and techniques that shape day-to-day work for managers and frontline employees throughout the organisation.
The organisation learns how to adapt and implement the tools through a transformation that aligns performance targets for transparent results, redesigns processes to be more efficient from end to end, builds organisational structures that encourage cooperation and capability building, and wins the support of employees and managers.
The process of an organisation becoming more lean, starts with a Current State Map, which is often a visual overview of where the business is and how it operates and a Future State Map, which highlights where the business needs to be and the associated behaviours required, to deliver the required higher performance targets.
Once the Board has decided the future performance targets to be achieved, the plan to deliver lean management into an organisation can be intrinsically linked to them.
We have witnessed many internal and third party lean management practitioners who have constructed excellent lean plans within an organisation, geared towards identifying the roadmap to achieve the new targets. All looks good at this point….so why does it sometimes go wrong?
The answer is because we are human beings and we don’t like change.
In large, complex organisations hundreds and sometimes thousands of employees will ultimately have to perform differently, for the overall performance target of the entire entity to be achieved.
At times, that must feel like trying to turn an oil tanker in a specific direction, whilst everybody else wants to have a quick steer at some point.
Lean should only be attempted with (either internal or third party) not only skilled lean managers but ones with a deep background in successful engagement, communication and interaction with large teams…..this is a skill that is rare in life and the same goes for the lean industry.
For more information as to how we are able to deliver the all important company engagement part of lean management, each and every time, drop us a line: email@example.com or call us on 0207 412 8995 and we'd be delighted to have a chat with you.