Tuesday, September 26, 2023

What are the Lean Management Principles?

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Shreya Christinahttps://cafe-madrid.com
Shreya has been with cafe-madrid.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider cafe-madrid.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Lean management principles have proven to be a successful approach to managing teams. The fact that the method is easy to understand and has a rapid effect if implemented correctly has played an important role in this.

1. Identify Value:

To lay the groundwork for a Lean process, you must first determine the value of the team’s effort. It would help if you distinguished between value-adding and wasteful activities. Everyone should be on the same page about this.

Consider the outcome of your work and what your customer will receive to determine Value. Value is defined as anything your consumer pays you for. On the other hand, some teams do not directly provide value to the company’s customers, but rather increase the overall value the company provides (e.g. QA teams).

The customer in this scenario is your company. For example, the work value of the quality assurance team is the number of bugs they catch so that the entire company delivers a valuable product to the end user.

There are seven categories of waste identified by Lean. There are two types of waste activities: pure and required. The main distinction is that some waste activities need to support value-adding activities, while pure waste activities only harm the Lean workflow.

Quality assurance is the clearest example of a necessary waste to return to the example of software development. It does not provide direct value to the end user, but it ensures that the value of the development process is preserved.

2. Mapping the value stream:

That’s why it’s critical to map your team’s path to the customer after you define the value it generates.

While visualizing your workflow in this way is a great start, you should consider mapping your process more carefully by specifying the steps that make up each stage. For example, a ‘Requested’ phase can have two phases: order received and ready to go. The expression “in progress” usually refers to the phase with the most steps.

In the context of software development, processes such as technical design, development, testing and at least multiple assessment phases are standard.

accomplish lean management principles, focus on value-adding stages as you first map out your value stream. As your process develops, make sure to correct it regularly.

3. Create flow:

Flow is a crucial concept in the Lean world. Because waiting is a waste of time, your goal in developing a value stream is to ensure a smooth delivery from the moment you receive an order to the moment you give it to the consumer.

Bottlenecks in your process are a critical impediment to creating a fluid flow. It would help if you, as a manager, look at how tasks are moving through your workflow. Keep a close eye on where tasks get stuck so you can investigate why they’re getting stuck. A lack of capacity can lead to bottlenecks at a certain point in the process or by waiting for external stakeholders, among other things.

The assessment stages are one of the most typical bottlenecks in any process. Usually, the individuals who research work items are fewer than those who submit them, and the reviewers often become overloaded.

Eliminating bottlenecks in your process is critical if you want a smooth, lean flow. If you can’t remove bottlenecks, make sure that the existing ones don’t get clogged.

Limiting the amount of work your team can work on at the same time is an easy method. With this in mind, you should discuss the topic with your team and agree on acceptable WIP limits to promote their efficiency.

4. Establish Tension:

The fourth lean management principles urge us to set up a pull system after setting up a workflow. The concept is simple: adapt new work when the demand is there and your team has the resources. Your goal should be to produce only the value your customers need while avoiding overproduction.

Let’s take a look at how commands are handled in a pull system versus the traditional push approach to see what we’re talking about.

Someone, usually a management or team leader, collects the tasks to be performed and distributes them among the team members. The work is put only on those who will perform it.

The jobs to be processed are stored in a queue in a pull system. The people who do the work take the assignments and get to work on them.

Your goal as a Lean organization is to provide value to your consumers in the most efficient way.

The cycle time of your tasks is the amount of time your team spends actively completing them, while throughput is the number of tasks you complete.

5. Strive For Constant Improvement:

This one lean management principles are strongly related to continuous improvement, a crucial part of Lean management.

Your goal is to continuously improve every process in your team by focusing on improving operations to deliver the most value to your customers while eliminating as much waste as possible.

Continuous improvement can be achieved using Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), which is more of a mindset you need to instill in your team.

If you are a typical manager who prefers to be in charge of every action and manage even the smallest of tasks at a micro level, you may need to rethink your approach and establish a shared leadership model.

Continuous improvement can only happen if everyone on your team takes responsibility for their work. If they can’t even handle the most simple problems on their own, it’s not easy. Increase your confidence in their knowledge and independence over time as their performance improves.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should leave your team members to their own devices. Holding a daily stand-up meeting, where you address people, is an excellent Lean/Agile technique to implement.


In addition to performing each of the five Lean management principlesyou are responsible for educating your team and helping them understand why each team is vital, with the intention of embracing them as a culture.


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