Five Lean Transformation Tips

By Steven Kane • April 19, 2017

Sign Challenges Ahead

Any lean journey will be challenging much of the time.  Continually facing problems can be overwhelming.  It can be very easy to lose sight what is important or what you're trying to accomplish.  Here are five simple tips to keep in mind on your lean journey.

1. People first.  Show respect for everyone.  Demonstrate the values and principles you'd like to see in others.  Maintain a blame free environment where people can experiment, fail, and eventually succeed.

2. Lean is about solving problems and developing people.  Teach people to solve their own problems and give them the responsibility, autonomy, and support to do it.  Leaders will have to get used to giving people space to work and experiment.

3. Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.  Go for small incremental improvements from everyone every day.  Don't worry about making things perfect with the first iteration of an improvement.  Work quickly in small PDCA cycles to make incremental improvements.  Keep at it and before you know it, all of your small improvements will add up to big improvements!

4. Know the 7 Deadly Wastes.  Everyone in the organization needs to know the 7 deadly wastes and work relentlessly to eliminate them--again, small improvements every day.  Learn to see waste in all processes.  Develop a system to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement.

5. Connect each team member to the goals and vision of the organization.  Create clear and open two-way communication cascading from the top of the organization through every level of the org chart.  Brief stand up meetings at the beginning of the day are a great way to do this.  In some organizations, this might mean some people will attend multiple stand up meetings every day.  For example, a manager might attend a management team stand up meeting then attend a supervisor's meeting.

Gemba Academy is your continuous improvement partner.  Please contact our customer success team to talk about how we might be able to further support your lean journey.