Home > Knowledge Center> What is the best advice you ever got about implementing lean principles?

What is the best advice you ever got about implementing lean principles?

3/22/2013

From time to time, the Lean Enterprise Institute asks Lean Community members to share their knowledge and experiences by "sounding off" on an important question about lean thinking and practice. Here are your replies to the question: "What is the best advice you ever got about implementing lean principles?"

"Don't think so hard outside the box that you forget that it is the box itself that you are trying to improve. To me the advice was simple: We sometimes try to be so innovative that we lose focus on what we are trying to accomplish."

..........

"Best advice I have received, is that lean is not the answer for all change challenges. In complex processes like substance abuse prevention campaigns, or wage and hour investigations, there are multiple customer/stakeholders, often with competing points of view. Waste or more appropriately-named nonvalue-added activity may not be defined the same way by all stakeholders. The work of changing beliefs and behaviors is not always addressed by many lean practitioners-- but is usually the most critical aspect of successful change work."

..........

"Value-stream mapping first including current and future state, then attack!"

..........

"Learn to see Waste."

..........


"Greatest advice that made me what I am today: If you focus on the process and make it better, the people will get better with it. Mind blowing."

..........

"It's not going to happen on your schedule."

..........

"Control the process, not the people."

..........

"Many principles of lean are simple, but not easy. For example, conceptually implementing 5S is easy, but the last S always trips us up. Why? Because the part that isn't easy is the part that requires us to change our behavior. Thinking is required. The application of the principles and concepts have general guidelines. However, to be successful, one must think about how to apply them to their business/operation."

..........

"(1) Go to gemba and listen to people. (2) Be focused but try to see things from diferent perspectives. (3) Be patient because defining potential for change needs data collection and analysis which takes time."

..........

"Don't start to make any changes if you do not know or understand clearly your demand."

..........

"Don't overwhelm yourself. A small, targeted implementation within a unit, department, or even a team has a much better rate of success than an all-out, organization-wide roll out."

..........

"From [LEI CEO] John Shook on how to go to the gemba: Go see, ask why, show respect."

..........

"My Japanese trainers taught me the best lessons in my opinion. One of them was that people are the most important asset of an organization and that a leader must foster their ideas by engaging them at the gemba (where the work process takes place), involving, and challenging them to ask what should be happening (standards) versus what is currently happening and measure the difference between them (gap). If you act as a servant leader it sets the stage for a successful journey of lean transformation with your people. Leaders should count on 50% of their jobs being dedicated to the development of people!" -Victor Hugo Limachi

Related Content

Books

Workshops

  • Developing People with Capability for Lean
    Learn about a supportive management environment for lean performance. Explore the manger’s role in people development and responsibilities in creating a learning environment. Identify the perspectives, capabilities and behaviors required by the role and examine organizational systems and practices that support managers in carrying out their role to develop and sustain capability for performance in a lean operation.