In a recent article written by the team at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (see link below) they discuss the fact that “Lean principles and practices have been in vogue for decades, revolutionising productivity in a number of industries” however the article goes on to say that many Lean programs don’t achieve the benefits that people expected, delivering only incremental improvements that often only last for a short time, as opposed to big improvements experienced over the long term.
I agree wholeheartedly with most of what they have to say in this article. To summarise their key points are
1. Use practical and real life standards that come from an understanding of reality, i.e. understand how long it really takes to do a job and the context around that. e.g. if the task needs travel time to and from it then this must be included.
2. Give people simple, precise targets so they have something to aim for when completing the task.
3. Help people understand how tasks fit together to deliver tonnes and production. This helps people work together as a team.
4. Know when there is slack time and fill it with work.