Lean management is a systemic approach of management seeking to initiate continuous growth by devising small but incremental procedures of enhancing efficiency and quality in service delivery. In business, this style of management seeks to eliminate all forms of waste that may be hampering a firm from attaining its full potential in the market. Lean management is a long-term approach for a firm seeking continuous improvement of the quality of the services and products that they offer in the market. The origin of the lean management approach has been identified to be Japan and it is associated with the success of Toyota in its business operations.
The Purpose of Lean Management
Lean management is keen on eliminating wastage in business processes. Wastage, as per the lean management approach, can arise from the overburdening of or unevenness of workloads. Firms using this approach keenly look into all the business processes involved in the delivery of their services and products in the market. Through this study on their business processes, firms are able to identify the stages within the processes that do not add significant value to their services and products. Such non-value adding stages can be easily eliminated or improved to ensure that they enhance the quality of services and products associated with the involved firm.
Guidelines to the Success of Lean Management
To attain the full benefits of lean management, a firm should consider the following guidelines:
- The firm should ensure that value is defined from the end-user perspective. This implies that it is the customers of the firm that dictate the types and levels of service that the firm should offer.
- The firm should ensure that all the processes involved in the production of its services and products are efficient. This implies that all the processes and stages of a firm’s operational cycle are devoid of all forms of wastage.
- To attain long-term and continuous improvement of the services and products, the firm should ensure that value-adding business strategies occur in regular and tight sequences.
Beating Lean Management Limitations
In as much as the lean management approach has grown in popularity, implementers are advised to ensure that they strike a balance between their focus on the methodologies of implementing lean management and the set philosophies of lean management. Without this balance, lean management may be appealing to the managers but end up failing in eliminating the challenges of a business as effectively as the market may demand. Therefore, for lean management to be successful, the root causes of challenges must be identified to realistically determine their best solutions.