Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Roadmap to Lean: Develop a Lean Strategy

In order for an organization to transform from its current state of operation to one of a Lean Enterprise Organization, a two phase approach – Planning and Implementation - can be utilized. The second step in the Planning phase is to develop a market driven strategic plan for implementing lean in the entire organization. In this step, we want to:

  • Educate Senior Management on the Fundamentals
  • Identify Market Drivers for Lean
  • Define a Lean Vision
  • Develop Leadership Commitment
  • Update the Strategic Business Plan to Include Lean objective

By using the Lean assessment and the resulting findings and recommendations from the first step, the biggest opportunities and overall directions for the organization will start to become clear. The deliverables from this task will include:

  • A Lean Management Education Course
  • An Organizational Profile with a Lean Vision
  • Documentation of the Critical Success Factors
  • A Written Lean Mission Statement
  • A Proposed Implementation Time Frame

Including Lean in this level of strategic planning for the organization will assure that the lean concepts, practices and activities are in sync with the overall direction desired for the organization. Without this activity, it is highly possible for an organization to embark on the Lean journey, only to find that it keeps running into the “same ol’ way of doing things” and that the attempts at Lean are counter to the overall direction the organization wants to go. This will lead to ineffective implementation at best with downside results that include the creation of even more waste, poor morale on the part of those involved, and a loss of momentum for making improvements in the future. People are very tuned into performing per the direction from above, so if the top leadership of the organization has not taken the steps to be sure all is in order at the top, it will be very difficult to get the ship to turn around. Once the Lean strategy is developed, the next step of planning, Analyzing Opportunities, can proceed.

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