9 Keys to Increasing Competitiveness Through Lean

9 Keys to Increasing Competitiveness Through Lean

When introduced the right way, Lean delivers significant results. However, some businesses struggle to adopt Lean, usually because these 9 Keys to Lean success aren’t followed consistently.


01 Leadership

Lean starts with good leadership. It requires commitment and active participation of leaders, investment into training to expand knowledge of Lean tools and methodologies, and clear communication to your people.

02 Vision

Desire and enthusiasm to be more competitive and efficient is a great start. You need to clarify this in to a clear vision or image of how you want the organisation to be.

03 Strategy & Planning

Lean is a journey and it takes a while for lasting change to bed down. You need to plan the journey, set milestones and then review how far you have come. You should have quarterly and annual goals which align with your 2 or 3 year business plan.

04 Mindset Not Tools

Lean is more than an assortment of established tools to improve your process. Becoming Lean really means adopting a Continuous Improvement mindset – this lives in the hearts and minds of your people.​

05 Managing Expectations

There can be challenges in accepting change. Communicate, remain realistic about what can be achieved and meet resistance with a calm consistent approach.

06 Formality & Structure

Clearly defined and simple follow up and reporting structures play a large role in ensuring that the enthusiasm and energy generated at the start of your Lean program is focused and applied consistently over the entire time frame.

07 Engage ALL Levels

The best results of Lean implementation come when you involve all levels of the organisation.

08 Don’t be Timid

A tepid approach will produce a tepid result. If you need to try applying lean in a small and controlled area/part of the business, do so, however the purpose of a trial should be to refine before broader roll out. You want all parts of the business speaking the same language and understanding the need to improve.​

09 Don’t be Complacent

When success with Lean does come, make sure it is not seen as a one-off project and forgotten. Include Lean in your strategic plan and embed it into employee roles. Continue Lean projects and audits and train new staff on Lean thinking.


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