Mar 18 2014
Maybe it’s time for a better definition of “Lean.” Here’s one for you to consider and build on.
The proposal is “Lean is the permanent struggle to flow value to one customer.”
Permanent struggle is fine, but I prefer pursuit. It means the same thing but it is shorter and “pursuit of happiness” sounds better than “permanent struggle for happiness.”
On the other hand, I have a problem with “flow value,” which I see as the sort of vague abstraction that would prompt Mike Harrison to ask whether it come in bottles. It is exactly what Dan Heath is warning against in the video included in the slideshare.
I also have a problem with the exclusive focus on customers, which I see as Business 101 rather than Lean. Lean includes many features like heijunka, that are intended to make life easier for suppliers and are transparent to customers. Going Lean means looking after all the stakeholders of the business, not just its customers.
This is why I define it instead as the pursuit of concurrent improvement in all dimensions of manufacturing performance through projects that affect both the production shop floor and support activities.
Yes, I know, it is specific to manufacturing, but that is not my problem.
See on www.slideshare.net