How to Get Started with Lean

In this Gemba Talk, Ron walks through 3 things to help you jump start your lean journey.  He also talks about which of the "5S's" is the hardest.

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So how do you get started with lean?

Here are the 3 things you need to know before you start any continuous improvement initiative.

1. Know why before knowing where 

Starting at 00:48 in the video, always ask yourself "What problem am I trying to solve?".  This simple, yet fundamental question can keep you on track and not creating solutions to problems that do not yet exist.  Also, make sure that everyone in your organization understands the problems being solved by embarking on a CI journey.  Failure to do so can derail your progress by not getting people on board, and in fact can reward you by getting more minds working on solving the same problems.

2. Follow the money

Starting at 01:33 in the video, looking for quick wins early in your journey can cement your CI ideals and show success to all stakeholders.  However, it is important to make sure quick wins are both measurable and real.  For instance, saving floor space in an office is not that impressive.  What would be impressive is what you plan to do with that increased floor space.  Sublease for more revenue? Install new workstations for future growth without having to open new facilities?  Think about those possibilities, and what effect they could have your your orgs bottom line.

3. Visualize the future

At 02:24 in the video, we all need a north star to guide our paths and keep us on the right track.  One of the most powerful ways to help establish your north star is to visit lean minded companies who have been in your same situation, started, struggled but now ultimately sustain continuous improvement in their operations.  One of the best ways to see lean minded companies in action, right from your own desk or mobile device is with our Gemba Academy Live! "At the Gemba" series of videos that take you right inside the action of some amazing organizations.

Bonus Tip

At 03:32 in the video, we have a bonus tip on getting started with 5S.  Do you know which of the 5S's is the hardest?  The hardest is to Start.  


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