Unlocking the Power of Process Improvement with Lean

Every director or CEO wants to know how to implement process improvement, and Lean is the answer. Lean techniques are all about giving customers the greatest value for the least amount of resources, so if you’re looking for ways to do more with less, then read on to learn how process improvement with Lean actually works.

Many organizations think Lean is perfect only for manufacturing applications, but the truth is that it applies to every single business that wants to improve the value it provides for customers. Lean is more than just a tactic or a program. It’s an entire way of life. Here are the basic steps involved in process improvement through Lean.

  1. Identification – Ask yourself what your organization or business does that creates value. Then make sure that all of your employees understand how what they do creates value for the customer. Without identifying value, it’s impossible to improve the process that culminates in that value.
  2. Create the Value Stream – This step essentially involves building the process by which value is created. Once you know which values your company creates, you can build the step by step process which results in the creation of that value. This enables you to repeat the process to create that value over and over again.
  3. Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks – As you build the value stream, you will likely run across some tasks that your employees do which don’t add any value. They may even inadvertently take value away from your what your business or organization offers. Anything which doesn’t add value to what your company does must be eliminated so that your employees can focus only on what does add value.
  4. Let the Customer In – By giving customers more visibility within your value stream, you enable them to help you in your creation of value. They have more control over their wants and needs, while your company handles less.
  5. Continual Improvement – There is always room to improve, but sometimes it may not be evident just where you could improve. The longer you do something, the easier it will be to see where improvements can be made.

By utilizing Lean thinking, you’ll uncover ways to deliver value that you never realized before. Just imagine what it was like to be one of the early internet explorers who realized that goods could be sold online. Suddenly it became possible to offer an enormous level of value to customers with very little effort on the part of the company.

Companies that adopt process improvement using Lean practices are able to lower their operational costs while still providing unique value to their customers. After all, nothing should be done if it doesn’t add value. For example, if you can’t add value by reducing the cost of components, then it shouldn’t be done. But there may be other, more creative ways to reduce costs while keeping the value the same or perhaps even improving it. Through creative thinking and problem solving, any business can get ahead of its competitors. That’s what process improvement with Lean is all about.

Original Link: Unlocking the Power of Process Improvement with Lean

Source: Leading Edge: Leading Edge Group