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Managing Improvement


A prominent method for addressing Productivity, efficiency and risks in business is the LEAN principle of management, This has been used for decades by major industries that have been highly successful including Ford and Toyota and is used today by manufacturing, retailing healthcare authorities and increasingly governments globally.

Lean techniques for business are:

  • Specify the value from the standpoint of the end customer.
  • Outline the steps in the value stream for the product, removing the steps that do not create.
  • Develop smooth, logical, tight steps in value- creating that flow smoothly to the customer.
  • Make the flow smooth so customers see even more value from the future/ongoing activity/product so it has more value that first seen.
  • Continuously develop the process of value streams and removing wasted steps until perfect value is created with no waste.

Though this appears challenging, this system is a method many are using globally to great success and it can be applied to a billion dollar company or a backyard hobby business.To use Lean systems in your business means having all staff on board with a thorough knowledge of how to put the principles into practice.

Lean Productivity

This means embracing effective and efficient productivity in the workplace and a manager will need a growth strategy for the business in place.  It will need the manager to ensure staff are dedicated to continuous improvement in the business and vigilant to problem solving, developing better more efficient and cost effective ways to do everything. Initially using Learn productivity itself and output to customers is examined in detail, next the ways things are done in the business are checked thoroughly. Lean productivity applies to all aspects of the business, even workers, so workers who are not efficiently and effective in their work have jobs that are in jeopardy as they are an inefficient part of the whole system.  When Workers embrace they LEAN methodology and are constantly on alert for ways of doing jobs better a better team building and goal orientated work force develops and then supports management.

Lean Efficiency

In essence this is being able to produce a product our outcome with the minimum amount of time and resources. To manage a business using this principle all staff need to be familiar with the business definition in detail and the meaning of the terminology. How does efficiency relate to effectively? If you are efficient with resources and time but not effective in the end result that you have not performed efficiently.  How does quality come into the picture especially if a quality resource or product forms part of your business objective/goal/mission statement? If in being time efficient and effective in producing a product you have lost the quality and value in the process then they system is not working. Check staff numbers, equipment, information systems, tools  methods and amounts of payments are the right size  to match your business outputs. Lean is not about cutting back, it is about being proactive in your business and activities.

Lean Risks

Contingency plans are developed, risk mitigation is a priority in working with LEAN risks. Risk management plans should be built into the business procedures and methodology. In LEAN management a manager is watching and monitoring what is happening so risks are minimised and contingency plans are smoothly put in place before they become absolutely necessary.  The LEAN risks may occur in the business and how it is run and led, the procedures, the staff and contractors, what things are done- the outcomes and productivity, the finances of the business, risks related to keeping or loosing customers etc.

Close monitoring and regular planning is essential for the manager of any business or operation.

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