Operations & IT

Lean Management

Lean management began in the mid-20th Century, particularly in Japan, as a method for maximising the efficiency of high-value manufacturing processes, such as car assembly lines. The basic principle of lean management is a constant and unrelenting effort to increase efficiency, reduce waste, avoid stoppages and identify and solve problems before they arise.

The reason that so many companies struggle with the implementation of lean management practices is that it relies primarily on a company-wide commitment to relentless efficiency improvements at a cultural level.

The process improvements that take place under lean management are so specific and refined that they implicitly cannot come simply top-down from management, but requires a daily commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction to develop in those people at each unique step of your process.

A Consultport consultant can guide your company down the right course toward lean management success by developing this culture of efficiency and designing unique processes for your company’s circumstances.

  • Tools for Managers: Even the most enthusiastic managers will struggle with the implementation of lean management in the processes they oversee if they have no reliable means for measuring the progress of their teams. A lean management consultant will provide your managers with the training and tools to reliably evaluate the progress of their teams in their incorporation of lean management principles.
  • Strategy for Cultural Change and Reinforcement: The greatest efficiency gains take place at the individual and team level, which means that your company’s employees working directly in your production processes need to be identifying and acting on these opportunities. Lean management consultants will design a strategy for the necessary cultural changes and reinforcement systems to ensure that these principles are embraced by all employees.
  • Process Reorganisation: For lean management practices to be effective, your company’s managerial and oversight practices need to be reorganised so that new channels of communication and decision-making can provide the flexibility necessary for constant gradual change to take place. Under lean management, managers are the means by which bottom-up changes are enacted, and your management team needs the appropriate systems in place to allow efficiency gains to manifest.
  • Communication Training: Lean management principles require a greater amount of communication to operate effectively than most workers and managers are accustomed to. Your company’s ability to communicate internally must expand so that all the complex lean management processes can be fully enacted. A consultant can provide training that allows workers and management to communicate more effectively and robustly without relying on strict, top-down hierarchies.
  • Customer Perspective: Lean management requires that your company’s relentless search for efficiency is balanced with the consideration of the needs of your customers, otherwise your company will inevitably sacrifice quality in the pursuit of efficiency. All proposed efficiency improvements must be reversed and reexamined from the customer’s perspective to ensure that quality is not being reduced in exchange for cost-cutting. A lean management consultant can provide customer perspective training based on years of experience with successful lean management applications.

Read some related publications

lean management, Lean Management

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