LEAN is a powerful method to boost your team’s productivity.

Unfortunately, it has been around long enough to have negative connotations. Many have falsely claimed to be LEAN when they did not change much less transform! 

Wise leadership teams do the ground work to set the team up for success.

1) Learn about LEAN from trusted sources.

2) Select and establish a steering committee.

3) Discuss prior experiences – the good, bad and the ugly!

Accountability and consistency are critical!

4) Establish expectations for the steering committee.

5) Commit to the transformation process.

6) Define what LEAN is and is not for your company – values, participation, addressing concerns and overcoming obstacles.

7) Define what each steering committee member’s responsibilities.

8) Set expectations for participation, communication, desired engagement and backing each leader up.

Educate and empower your team to embrace LEAN.

9) Choose the inaugural process – aka the value stream 

10) Review known issues and challenges facing the selected value stream. (process knowledge)

11) Review documents and procedures associated with the value stream.

12) Educate value stream contributors about LEAN. Share your expectations. Answer any questions. Expect them to doubt until much later in the process.

Analyze the selected process. Be open and honest!

13) Review current data collection and analysis procedures and practices.

14) Map the current state (time, steps, etc).

15) Determinekey metrics and Key Process Indicators (KPI).

16) Map the future state.

17) Create 3 or 4 major milestones between present and future states.

18) Buy, build and install any needed infrastructure improvements (shelving, bookcases, etc.).

Embracing continuous improvement as a way of life.

19) Create kaizen plans — the entire team collaborates and the leader facilitates.

20) Implement kaizen plans– select one or two team members to organize and oversee it. Each team member should lead at least one per month.

21) Every month, seek feedback from team members.

22) Incorporate your team’s feedback and refine your company’s approach to LEAN.

Wise leaders use a checklist to honestly discuss LEAN and its challenges.

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