Preparing for Lean Transformation
Every lean transformation effort is unique to the specific company. However, there are reasonable questions that help guide your company’s lean journey. Many people stress that picking the best time to invest in lean transformation is necessary for success, but lean transformation is a process and benefits can be realized all the way along.
Waiting until the company is in a perfect situation to start is a trap we run into with many companies. They want to start their lean transformation, but either do not know how or continue to wait until the right time which, in reality, never comes. The experienced lean consultants from Prosit will help you prepare, implement and maintain the process and resulting benefits regardless of when you start.
The first step is to review what your company currently measures:
Do you measure the value created by each person in the organization?
Do you measure the value of each labor hour worked to compute a revenue number?
Do you measure performance indicators? Are they shared throughout the company?
Do you only measure profit?
Does everyone in the company understand these measureables? Can they turn them into effective processes and procedures?
If employees are not able to turn the data into meaningful actions, it will be very difficult to define if improvements have impacted the outcome in a direct way or were simply random. High level measurements like profit are not the most applicable for the department or team levels, i.e., customer service, accounting, or packing processes, unless you can successfully quantify your measurements at the user level.
Is your company leadership team ready and willing to embrace lean concepts and processes?
Has your company implemented multi-level and cross functional teams?
Has the company established processes for instituting root cause corrective actions?
Are there accurate and accessible data systems in place? If so, does that data drive corrective actions?
Do employees have authority to stop a process if an abnormal condition occurs? Is the company financially committed to implement lean and make the necessary changes?
If the answers are not yes, work is necessary to prepare for lean transformation. Again, this does not mean it is impossible or that you should stop working to prepare. Prosit again can help guide you through these preparation steps and be positioned well for the process.
A New Way of Thinking:
Depending on all the above, some departments or teams will likely require a larger transformation than others. This will involve a new approach that will take time and require constant communication between management and the employees. There will be different parties that need to adjust in different ways – those happy with the status quo will need to be convinced these changes are worth the investment and even those advocating for change need to see how this lean approach align with their vision. Everyone will need to be flexible, willing to listen and work together to make it successful. They will eventually see that the lean transformation can produce excellent results.
Hold informational sessions and trainings where everyone can be informed and feel heard. It may take some time to integrate lean into your organization, especially if you already have deep roots in other problem solving methods. But once you have gotten over that initial barrier of communication and can reach everyone on an equal level, the transition should be a seamless one.
Please contact Prosit to ask questions or start your lean transformation journey today.