How Lean Thinking Affects Information Needs: a Q & A with Jean Cunningham
Jean Cunningham pioneered the diffusion of lean principles from the manufacturing floor to finance, information systems, human resources, and telecommunications, starting at Lantech, whose lean transformation was described in Lean Thinking.
LEI recently asked her, “What questions do you hear most often from Lean Thinkers struggling with the information needs of a lean organization?” She replied:
- Will I need a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system when I adopt lean?
- How will I know if lean is having a positive impact on my financial results?
- If I am a division of a larger company that has not adopted lean thinking, how can I explain the impact of the investment I am making with lean?
- Sometimes lean sounds like a religion and that you have to be a true believer. I am much more of a nuts-and-bolts person who wants to see tangible results. Is this part of lean, too?
- What is the role of the IT function in the lean business strategy?
Read Jean's answers ...
Not So Simple: Pioneering Lean Product Development
Jean Cunningham, LEI’s executive chair, offers lessons from her time as CFO of lean management pioneer Lantech when it successfully deployed lean principles to product development to accelerate growth, cut new product lead time, and increase profits.
A Little Bit of Lean Product and Process Development with Very Large Results
Believing it had only enough land and budget for a badly needed new parking garage, a hospital was able to build not only the garage but a new trauma center that it needed by applying a principle of Lean Product and Process Development during the design phase, according to Jean Cunningham, executive chair, Lean Enterprise Institute.
How Accounting “Squirrels” Can Ferret Out Waste
While other functions are busy as beavers looking for waste during a lean transformation, your accounting staff is like a squirrel with its head stuck in a yogurt cup. They only see the traditional work right in front of them instead of digging into data for buried “nuts” of waste, says Jean Cunningham, LEI’s new executive chairman.