Lean Enterprise Institute is a non profit organisation that carefully develops ideas about ‘lean’ thinking that benefits businesses. But what is Lean? Lean is a production practice that considers the use of resources for any goal other than creation of value for the customer to be wasteful. Value is defined as any action or process that a customer is willing to pay for and lean thinking is always concerned with the perspective of the customer.
Lean is mainly concerned with preserving value but with less work; a management philosophy derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS). TPS is known for its focus on reducing the original Toyota ‘seven wastes’ in an effort to improve overall customer value. The steady growth of Toyota from a small company to the world’s largest car manufacturer has highlighted the company’s successful business model.
Lean organisation describes itself as a ‘do tank’ rather than a traditional ‘think tank’, with one of their main aims; “…to answer the simple question of every manager, ‘What can I do Monday morning to make a difference in my organization?’’. Lean Enterprise has created a strong community through websites, public events and teaching events.
There are five principals of Lean
- Specify value from the standpoint to the end customer by product family
- Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating those steps that do not create value
- Make the value creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer
- As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity
- As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed and flow and pull are introduced , begin the process again and continue until a state of perfection is reached in which there is no waste and perfect value is created.
There are many management training courses that teach people how to actually go about implementing these principals including; Lean Leadership Workshops, Lean Concepts and Tools Workshops, Lean Specialized Workshops, Lean Healthcare Workshops as well as Lean online education. In these workshops, that have a reputation for practical and comprehensive content, you learn step-by-step how to use lean principals and how to make the leap from the traditional business model, that focuses on individual processes, to the lean model; which focuses on optimizing the flow of value in a company. In the current economic climate, who wouldn’t want to see more productivity in their company while cutting back on excess and wasteful expenditure?
One of the most popular lean training courses on offer today is Six Sigma. The Six Sigma are a set of tools and strategies that were originally developed by Motorola and today they are used in many different businesses. Six Sigma aims to improve the quality of process outputs, by identifying and removing the causes of errors, as well as minimise variability in management processes. It uses a set of quality management methods and creates groups of people known as Green Belts, Black Belts etc. that are experts in the Six Sigma methods.
There are many benefits in taking a Lean training course. The training teaches a better use of resources; meaning that the cost of operations, materials and time will be reduced. It improves an employee’s CV and employability as well as building confidence; as the skills learned in the training can be easily used and built upon. The training can also improve a company’s reputation and build shareholder confidence, as well as improving business partnerships. In the fragile economical times we are currently living in, there is no better time to embark on a Lean training and add value to your company or CV.