That’s one word no business leader wants to hear. Whether it’s a waste of time, money, effort, or resources, once waste is entertained in any organization (in any form) the consequences are likely to be far-reaching.
Neither the organization’s reputation nor bottom-line will be spared. In an age, where businesses are at each other’s throats, continuously innovating and outdoing each other, any business that lags behind in effective management is likely to hit the rocks.
Little wonder the concept of management – specifically lean management – has gained traction and has become a buzzword among business leaders and workers alike.
What is Lean Management?
Lean management is a technique employed by organizations to reduce waste through continuous improvement. Lean management revolves around creating and sustaining value. Essentially, anything in an organization that doesn’t create or sustain the value the company has is dispensed with.
If any action, project, or resource does not ultimately improve the revenue or bottom-line of an organization, then it is considered waste and must be dealt with accordingly.
Usually, this begins by aligning a company’s vision with the needs of customers. By seeing through the eyes of the customer, you can cut through the clutter and create value. Lean management is not about creating one-off value but value that can be sustained through the right processes.
But where did lean management come from?
Let’s Pay Homage to the Carmakers
Although lean management has become an increasingly popular concept in the business world in recent times, its history can be traced to more than 90 years ago.
In the 1920s, Henry Ford experimented with efficiency methods for his famed Model T. He developed an assembly line and a production process with efficiency and a “no-waste” mindset. Ford’s company was the first to operate this kind of seamless mechanism that prioritized continuous improvement.
In the 1940s, Toyota, gleaning lessons from Ford’s initiative, took to lean management. The company became the poster child for lean management methods. Using a “Just in Time” strategy, Toyota perfected efficiency in car-making inspiring other companies, even companies outside the automobile industry, to take up lean management.
In the ensuing years, companies all over the world have picked up lean management techniques to help create a functional and efficient system for their products.
3 Keys for Implementing Lean Management
Let’s take a look at three key pillars for implementing lean management.
1. Lean Management is a Mindset, not an Event
Process management typically deals with the management of a particular process at a point in time but lean management goes beyond managing a particular process.
Lean management (process) is not a temporary event that helps address current problems, rather it is a mindset of continuous improvement that runs through every department of an organization. Essentially, lean management should be the crux of a company’s work ethic.
2. Optimize the Whole
One core principle of lean management is to optimize the whole. Every department of a company must be in sync with lean management. Sometimes, one department, in a bid to optimize its operations, may end up undermining the optimization as a whole but the focus should be a holistic lean management approach.
The objective of lean management is to deliver value as fast as possible without compromising quality. One of the ways this goal can be achieved is the use of project monte carlo. This method forecasts and helps proper structuring for lean management to be achieved.
To Sum It Up
For every business, there are business strategies that can be dispensed with. Lean management is not one of them. Just as it made Ford and Toyota millions, it can help your company not only become effective but efficient in its operations.