Without a doubt, you have been hearing a lot of stuff about Lean. The methodology was developed for manufacturing, adapted for construction, eventually making its way to software development and is currently gaining popularity in marketing.
The explanation behind its success is simple.
Lean is a flexible framework with a variety of methods for managing an organization like Kanban, Hoshin Kanri, PDCA, and others. They complement each other and allow you to achieve greater results both combined or applied independently.
However, the real power of Lean is engraved in the culture that comes with the methodology.
Here are 5 reasons why your team should embrace it:
Lean Encourages Problem-Solving
The essence of Lean is learning by solving problems. Therefore inspiring your team to seek continuous improvement is vital for getting the most out of the methodology. For this to happen, your team members have to take ownership of their work.
As a manager, you can aid them by providing each person with the liberty to make decisions to some extent concerning their part of the work process. Feeling the empowerment, your team will be more eager to show their value and look for ways to improve your process.
They will be able to solve small problems on their own without having to consult you and therefore achieve greater efficiency of their actions. On the other hand, you won’t be bothered with trivial issues that your team is more than capable of solving on their own and will be able to focus on more important tasks.
Lean Helps Your Team Stay Focused
Among the greatest benefits of the Lean methodology is the fact that it allows your team to work with great efficiency and reduce lead times. They can do it easily by focusing on the tasks at hand and only pulling new work when they have the capacity to process it.
A good way to encourage this way of working is to visualize your process and display the tasks of each member so there can be an absolute transparency. The typical tool for this purpose is the Kanban method.
With its help, you can map each step of your workflow on a Kanban board and consistently track the progress of the tasks that your team is working on.
Kanban discourages multitasking and with its help, you can apply limits to the amount of work that can be in progress simultaneously. This way your team can remain focused and avoid switching context more often than necessary.
Lean Boosts Collaboration
Achieving continuous improvement is a collective responsibility in Lean. As your goal is to deliver more value to your customers in a shorter time frame, your team needs to improve together and collaborate effectively.
Embracing Lean will help you get rid of the silo mentality that impedes effective collaboration and encourages team members to share information. By taking ownership of the process, your team members will feel more responsible for the successful delivery of value to your customer and collaboration will become more natural as they will be eager to help each other in resolving problems.
This, on the other hand, will save you time from putting down fires and micro-managing joint initiatives.
Lean is Great for Cost Reduction
Embracing Lean will help you optimize your budget too by getting rid of any unnecessary activities, stocks, and expenses. Minimizing the waste in your process will result in delivering value to your customer at lower cost for your company.
Your team members will be more eager to suggest innovations that can further improve your process and lower the operational costs. However, for this to happen, you need to create a safe environment that doesn’t punish failures but encourages continuous improvement.
Lean Results in More Satisfied Customers
Arguably the greatest benefit of the Lean methodology is that it leads to more satisfied customers. By removing the waste from your process and improving operational efficiency, you will be able to increase the quality of your products and services and create a balance between the demand and supply.
This way you will be able to deliver more value to your customers at the right time and avoid overproduction.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that Lean is great both for your company and your customers. An important part of adopting the methodology is embracing the mindset that comes with it. It takes time and effort but without it applying any of the Lean methods will bring you just a fragment of the results you are hoping for.