If you’ve started to implement lean successfully, you’ve probably avoided the first four pitfalls. Senior management and the board are convinced and you are ready! I present you now four other classic pitfalls, as well as tips to avoid them.
Pitfall #5: Perfect consultant kit
Hiring external specialists is good, but relying on their knowledge is not the ideal solution. You need to develop the skills in-house and adjust the approach to the style of the organization. A consultant who has used his method to transform a company and bring tangible results may not succeed in another because the organizational culture is different. The consultants must bring you the technical skills you are lacking, and adjust to your way of doing things. After all, you know better than anyone how your processes work and what your customers want!
Pitfall #6: Apply a unique recipe
Beyond the approach and fit to the culture of the organization, there is no best recipe. The tools must necessarily adapt to your needs. The methodology to be used needs to be tailored to the issues and the intrinsic strategy of your organization. To do this, one must have a holistic view and think by systems: How are teams organized? How do the processes fit together? What tools are already in place? What are written or unwritten rules? Which paradigms do you hinder? You can then choose the right tools and adapt the “recipe” to the situation.
Pitfall #7: Make tools more important than the mission
The tools do not guarantee the success of the implementation of operational excellence. The most important is the mission of your organization, its purpose. All stakeholders must know it in order to do the right thing. There is nothing worse than doing the bad things conscientiously and without knowing it! The strategy tells you the big direction to achieve that goal. lean tools are one way to get there, like a GPS that would help you arrive faster and more efficiently at your destination.
Pitfall #8: Lack of boldness
“If you want to get something you’ve never had, you have to try something you’ve never done before.”Pericles, Athenian politician (circa 495-429 BC)
It is essential to work on the most impactful processes that are at the heart of your business. Exercising on peripheral activities will bring you few results. What risk do you have to review how you do your key processes? Always keep in mind that the people who work to deliver value to your customers can help you identify the main irritants and target the right projects to begin your project.
To succeed, you need both to know where you are going and clear goals that make it easy to manage priorities. You must also get closer to the Gemba, that is to say your frontline employees. They are especially the experts, who produce the value and who know how to improve your performance!