Most introductions to Lean focus on a variety of principles such as the following from the Lean Enterprise Institute (note the acronym)
- Neglect of Human Talent (Unused talent)
- Excess Processing (over/extra processing
This is definitely a useful way of looking at Lean. But another way is to look at what these would suggest you look at, want to achieve and something you have to do to achieve it.
Attend to how workload relates to capacity. Workload should never exceed capacity. Doing so creates multi-tasking,
Assess the efficiency of your value streams. The people in most value streams are multi-tasking due to them being in multiple value streams. This causes delays and waste. Have people allocated to only one project as much as possible.
How large are your batches of work? As a rule, smaller increments that realize value is better. Do your work in small increments and use iterative development to discover what’s needed. Decompose strategies into initiatives into small business increments. See Minimum Business Increments for more.
Is collaboration taking place across the value stream? Teams should not be geared towards local optimization but should be looking at improving the effectiveness of the value stream as a whole. Create a common cadence for planning, coordination and synchronization. Institute DevOps or the equivalent across all value streams.
What is management’s role? Management needs to attend to improving the environment so that people can get their work done. Management must look up the value stream to see what the direction of the company is and then collaborate with those downstream to interactively build a great environment within which they can work.
How long are your planning cycles? Plan in short cycles. Work on removing impediments to shortening the cycle. Work should flow from initiatives to
What is the quality of your product? Quality includes both internal (how it’s
These suggestions are based around Inherent Simplicity. More on this at Dealing with Complexity by Creating a Bias For Simplicity