Daily Archives: August 18, 2013

Leaders vs. Laggards in Lean

Earlier this year, SC Digest published a comment from Mike Loughrin, CEO of Transformance Advisors, on Designing a Lean Transformation Program that not only covered four key indicators of success in a lean transformation, but also covered the differences between leaders and laggards that deserve a second look.

According to Mike, the four key indicators of success are:

  • Methodology
    Lean is the systematic elimination of waste by way of the five principles of value specification, value stream identification, flow creation, leverage of pull, and the continual strive for perfection.
  • Measurement
    While lean is the top priority, measurement is second as it is necessary to determine the status of the transformation.
  • Community
    Lean succeeds when best practices are shared and people collectively improve upon them.
  • Coaching
    Lean succeeds when mentors coach novices so that they can grow into future mentors.

So how do you distinguish leaders from laggards? According to Mike:

Indicator Leaders Laggards
Methodology Very systematic in the approach to lean. Adopt a couple of techniques from the lean tool box and apply these hammers to every problem whether or not it mimics a nail.
Measurement Assess all of their value streams and focus attention on those areas that need improvement the most, getting to the root causes of the issues. Focus on the symptoms in an effort to identify quick fixes that may or may not address the root causes.
Community Leaders take an active part in the lean community and are very visible at educational and networking events. Laggards don’t have the time, or money, for attending lean educational and networking events.
Coaching Leaders understand that techniques from the lean tool box are systematic and most effective when people are coached on how to use them correctly. Laggards learn by skimming articles and viewing a few webinars. They have a very cursory understanding.

Lean transformation takes discipline not shortcuts. Great article, Mike!