The Value of Lean Education

Although Lean education is considered by some to be an important component of training in the automotive industry, it should be a part of every company’s employee training, no matter which industry they are in. The Lean way of thinking is all about looking at the entire value stream and asking how more value can be added as quickly as possible. In short, it’s all about giving more value to your customers in terms of product and service without having to compromise on resources.

The reason Lean thinking is so important is because it addresses the perspectives of the customers, individuals, and the business or organization itself. By looking at things from all three perspectives, you can add value in unique ways so that everyone wins in the process. After all, value is about more than just the mass production process. It’s about every piece within that process which brings about the desired result.

Of course sometimes the three perspectives addressed in Lean thinking do conflict. If these conflicts are not handled effectively, then it leads to waste. In the world of Lean thinking, the conflicts created by competing perspectives are addressed in a way that avoids waste and improves the entire process.

Here are several components of Lean education every employer or organization would do well to incorporate into personnel training:

  • Flow – This aspect encourages employees to own the skills they learn. By owning their skills and the training process, it’s easier for them to move on to the next concept.
  • Kanban – Personnel receive feedback on their work in a timely manner so that they can quickly adjust the work they do so that it improves the entire process.
  • Waste elimination – By thinking about the entire process from a standpoint of trying to eliminate waste, you can uncover better ways to do things. Your personnel will save time and effort, which results in greater completion rates because time or other resources are not being wasted on inefficient processes.
  • Value stream mapping – Business owners and organizations will always benefit from getting their employees to look at the entire value stream process as a whole rather than just as the single part they play in the process. Each person who plays a role in the process has an effect on the eventual outcome, so by understanding this fact, personnel are better equipped to work together, which will result in a more complete, accurate end to end process.
  • Theory of constraints – By identifying barriers to success, like the lack of equipment, your employees can more easily come to you and explain why they need something. You will have a greater understanding of their needs, and they will have a clear understanding of why things must be done in a certain way.
  • Standardization – Any colleague can handle any task if you create a standardized process by which it happens. The simpler the task is, the easier it is to accomplish it.

Lean education has been taking the business, industry and public sector world by storm and it’s easy to see why. There are numerous components that are applicable not just to the manufacturing industry, but to every type of business or organization that exists.

Let the Lean education experts at the Leading Edge Group show your employees how to become problem solvers. As the 2009 recipient of the Aramark Healthcare Innovation Award for Healthcare Technology or Products Innovation, we are at the cutting edge of Lean education. We understand that all of your small successes and achievements build momentum for change. The real power of your endeavors lies in your people, and by offering them Lean education, you can build a staff of problem solvers who excel in everything they do.

– Original article: