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Learning to Be Lean

Various contributors have touched on lean manufacturing’s application to other aspects of work previously. This evening, I came across an article makes the case much more explicitly. Michael Bremer of the Cumberland Group identifies where project management and team work can become bloated and recommends several ways to pursue the ideals of lean teamwork:

  • Basic “good” project practices — appropriate sponsor, clear goals, right people on team, leadership involvement, etc.
  • Give people some time to make the improvement happen (typically 20%, one day a week), after an initial project launch.
  • Establish clear, measurable process improvement goals at the outset, and install on-going tracking measures for a few key elements.
  • Identify the key areas for improvement.
  • Run some type of a pilot project to test the changes.
  • Roll it out.
  • Incorporate the savings numbers into people’s budgets.
  • Recognize people for their accomplishment, those on the team and those impacted by the changes.

What other ways can lean manufacturing be applied to other kinds of work?

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