Root Cause analysis (A3 Diagram)
Above is a diagram depicting the cycle of learning and continuous work process improvement. All of these steps can be depicted on an A3 sheet of paper (Hence the name) when working through a problem.
Asking Why? and How? numerous times in a row help to pinpoint the root cause of an issue.
It is important to visit the location where the issues are being generated. you cannot expect to solve a problem from a board room.
No one size fits all solution
There is no generic 'Lean' solution for an organisation or operation. Lean is more of a way of thinking than a tool for reducing ‘waste’ for example.
Lean espouses to create a culture of continuous self and collective-learning and striving for perfection in every aspect of a business.
You need to measure
In order to determine if ‘Lean’ is being achieved you need to measure before and after the fact. Only through measurement will you be able to see if an improvement is achieved.
Additionally you need to set targets in order to determine if the actioned change is worthwhile if an improvement if achieved.
Lean is Operational and Personal
‘Lean’ is involved with both operations and personnel. The interaction between personnel and the operations which they manager or are instrumental in both contribute to the achievement of failure of ‘Lean’. The personnel need to take on the concepts of ‘Lean’ and implement them in the processes that they perform. This continues in a cyclical manner.
‘Lean’ Is about more than just processes though. It is a tool or way of thinking to build and develop continuous learning and improvement.
Value creation has been said to be the main aim of any firm, company, sole proprietor etc. This value if for the shareholders, customers and all other stakeholders associated with the company.
Through ‘Lean’ continuous value creation/improvement can be realised if implemented correctly. Perhaps take the concept of ‘Lean’ from a more philosophical perspective. Then it’s meaning is adaptable to what you require and the ends to its implementation are within your control.