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 ...
Profit and Cost At Toyota
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds."
Cost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!
Lean affects financial outcomes--dramatically so in firms that incorporate widespread lean thinking over the long term, says LEI Chair Jean Cunningham. And yet she counsels you not to fixate on cost reduction or product cost. Look instead at the real numbers.
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.