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How To Implement Lean In Your Organisation In 15 Steps

Lean is a popular method for reducing waste and increasing efficiency in organisations. It has been used extensively in manufacturing settings but can be applied to any type of business.

 

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There are many different ways to implement Lean, but all share some common principles. In general, Lean involves identifying and eliminating waste, streamlining processes, and improving communication and collaboration.

The following are 15 steps that you can use to implement Lean in your organisation:

  1. Define the problem you are trying to solve.
  2. Identify the value stream for the process you are trying to improve.
  3. Map out the current process.
  4. Identify areas of waste in the current process.
  5. Eliminate the waste.
  6. Simplify the process.
  7. Standardise the process.
  8. Introducing Visual Management.
  9. Implement Pull Systems.
  10. Use Kanban to Control Workflow.
  11. Encourage Continuous Improvement.
  12. Empower employees to make changes.
  13. Foster a culture of continuous improvement.
  14. Measure progress and results regularly.
  15. Make improvements an ongoing part of your organisation’s culture.

Before we go into each step, let’s first take a look at Lean principles and the benefits it brings to an organisation.

What are Lean Principles?

Lean is a set of tools and principles that can be used to streamline any process and make it more efficient. Lean has its roots in the manufacturing industry, but it can be applied to any type of business.

There are many different ways to implement Lean, but all share some common principles. In general, Lean involves identifying and eliminating waste, streamlining processes, and improving communication and collaboration.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of implementing Lean principles in your organisation. Some of the most common benefits include:

Reducing waste and increasing efficiency

This is the most obvious benefit of Lean. By identifying and eliminating waste, you can make your processes more efficient and save time and money.

Improving communication and collaboration

Lean principles emphasise the importance of communication and collaboration. By improving communication, you can make it easier for employees to work together and identify problems.

Fostering a culture of continuous improvement

Lean principles encourage a culture of continuous improvement. This means that employees are constantly looking for ways to improve the process and make it more efficient. This can lead to increased innovation and creativity.

Improving quality

One of the goals of Lean is to improve quality. By streamlining processes and eliminating waste, you can make it easier to catch mistakes and produce a higher-quality product.

Reducing costs

Another goal of Lean is to reduce costs. By eliminating waste and streamlining processes, you can save money on resources and labour.

Increasing customer satisfaction

The ultimate goal of Lean is to increase customer satisfaction. By improving quality and reducing waste, you can make your products and services more appealing to customers.

What are the drawbacks?

There are some potential drawbacks to implementing Lean principles. Some of the most common drawbacks include:

It can be difficult to change organisational culture

One of the goals of Lean is to change the organisational culture. This can be difficult to do, especially in large organisations. It takes time and effort to convince employees to adopt new ways of working.

It can be disruptive.

Another potential drawback of Lean is that it can be disruptive. This is because it often involves changing the way work is done. This can lead to confusion and frustration among employees so it is paramount for employee retention to address their concerns.

It takes time to see results.

Finally, it should be noted that Lean is not a quick fix. It takes time to implement and see results. This can be frustrating for organisations that are under pressure to improve quickly.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Lean let’s take a look at how to implement it in your organisation.

How to Implement Lean in Your Organisation In 15 Steps

1. Define the problem you are trying to solve.

The first step in implementing Lean is to define the problem you are trying to solve. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to be specific about what you want to improve. Trying to improve everything at once is usually not successful.

2. Identify the value stream for the process you are trying to improve.

The value stream is the sequence of steps that a product or service goes through from conception to delivery to the customer. In order to streamline a process, you need to understand the value stream and identify where there is a waste.

3. Map out the current process.

Once you have identified the value stream, the next step is to map out the current process. This will help you to see where there are bottlenecks or areas of waste.

4. Identify areas of waste in the current process.

There are seven types of waste that are commonly identified in Lean: overproduction, inventory, motion, defects, waiting, transportation, and processing. Once you have mapped out the process, it should be relatively easy to identify which of these wastes are present.

5. Eliminate the waste.

The goal of Lean is to eliminate waste, so this is an important step in the process. There are many ways to eliminate waste, but it often involves streamlining processes and improving communication and collaboration.

6. Simplify the process.

One of the goals of Lean is to simplify processes. This may involve eliminating unnecessary steps, consolidating tasks, or automating repetitive tasks.

7. Standardise the process.

Standardising a process helps to ensure that everyone is doing things the same way and that there is less room for error. It also makes it easier to train new employees on the process.

8. Introducing visual management.

Visual management is a Lean tool that involves using visuals to communicate information about a process. This could include using charts, graphs, or other visual aids to track progress or identify areas of improvement.

9. Implement pull systems.

Pull systems are a type of inventory control system that only produces or delivers products when there is a demand for them. This helps to avoid overproduction and the associated waste.

10. Use Kanban to control workflow.

Kanban is a type of visual management tool that uses cards to signal when a task needs to be performed. It is often used in conjunction with pull systems to help control workflow and avoid overproduction.

11. Encourage improvement.

One of the goals of Lean is continuous improvement, so it’s important to encourage employees to find ways to improve the process. This could involve implementing new technologies or processes or simply finding ways to do things better.

12. Empower employees to make changes.

In order for continuous improvement to be successful, employees need to be empowered to make changes. This means giving them the authority to suggest and implement improvements.

13. Foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement should be an ongoing part of your organisation’s culture. This means creating an environment where employees are encouraged to find ways to improve the process.

14. Measure progress and results regularly.

Measuring progress and results is important in order to gauge the success of the Lean implementation. It also allows you to identify areas that need further improvement.

15. Make improvements an ongoing part of your organisation’s culture.

As mentioned above, making improvements an ongoing part of your organisation’s culture is vital to the success of the Lean implementation. This means that even after the initial implementation is complete, you should continue to find ways to improve the process.

The Bottom Line

Implementing Lean in your organisation can help to improve efficiency and eliminate waste. However, it is important to remember that Lean is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. To be successful, you need to make continuous improvement an integral part of your organisation’s culture. By following the steps outlined above, you can make Lean a part of your organisation’s culture and reap the benefits for years to come.

 


Also published on Medium.



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