Lean & Continuous Improvement

untitledMy projects deal with a number of objectives, in particular those on my C-E-M programme . My methodologies for achieving these objectives vary by project, but there is always one constant: continuous improvement. That means, we raise the bar, then we keep going. It’s a simple as that.

I keep getting asked whether I ‘do’ lean! And the simple answer is yes, of course, but I don’t see it as something you ‘do’. I see lean as something you apply during a project, as required.

I do think that lean and continuous improvement are related. It’s difficult for me to think about ‘doing’ one without the other. Here’s why:

  • both require a change of shift in order to embrace the change
  • both involve some form of experimentation – trying new things and refining
  • both eliminate ‘waste’ – anything that is non-value adding to the company or its customers
  • both provide an environment that promotes high levels of quality and safety to both customers and staff
  • both focus on process improvement, not blame
  • both require people to work better together (I refrain from mentioning teamwork, but you know what I mean)
  • both aim to achieve flow – interruption free processes

So I remain that I ‘do’ both continuous improvement and lean, but simply choose not to talk about them. Instead, I pull whatever is required from each discipline to progress the achievements of the objectives.

Do you agree with me or do you believe they are separate techniques used in different circumstances?

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