How can I know if I'm doing Lean?
I've struggled with this one. The books about Lean are fascinating and the stories others tell are compelling. Yet, what does it look like? If I were a doctor and came up with a diagnosis "The patient is Lean" what would be the basis of that statement?
I've landed on five indespensible and observable characteristics. Look at an intact workgroup in a company and try to find the following.
- A Daily Start up Meeting
- A Visual Display of Results
- Documentation of work group practices
- A plan for continuous improvement
- An audit of progress
Which is exactly what a lean system is: simple, low cost, highly effective, and very difficult. Much like a good diet or an effective exercise program, it depends far more on consistnecy and follow through than on fancy gimmicks or big dollar payouts.
I'll discuss the daily start-up meeting and the visual display of results this week, as they are tightly related. Next week, I'll hit the other three.
I hope this is helpful.
Feel free to forward to a friend.