The Truth about Lean Failures | Vivek Naik

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The truth is, most lean implementations are a failure over long duration.Some of them are the major causes, as identified by the people involved in the implementation. They may be the right or maybe these are just the symptoms.

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

In this post, Vivek Naik presents the results of a survey about the causes of Lean implementation failures conducted among the readers of his blog.

The respondents, of course, are not representative of anything except a self-selected subgroup of followers of a blog on Lean, but Naik, to his credit, asked open-ended essay questions like:

  • What is your Biggest problem to implement lean in your organisation?
  • What would help you overcome this challenges?

And he didn’t tally percentages of responses, which would not have been meaningful. What he does is simply list and categorize the causes that the respondents have put forward.

What I find striking in this list is that no one mentioned insufficient mastery of the engineering and management tools of Lean. ‘Lack of understanding” appears only under Culture. What about the ability to achieve SMED, generate heijunka schedules, or design a bonus system that supports improvement without turning employees into bounty hunters?

Along with the majority of Lean implementers in the US, Naik’s responders take the tools for granted. In that attitude, I see a major cause of Lean failures.

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