The New Lean: Beyond the Assembly Line

lean

Enjoy this excerpt from the latest Lean Business Report. Download the full report here.

The new Lean empowers teams, encourages effective leadership, and enables organizations to deliver value to their customers faster.

Startups and enterprises are equally likely to be Lean, but for different reasons: startups for the speed to grow quickly, enterprises for the agility to remain relevant and competitive.

Lean maintains a strong hold in manufacturing, its original industry. But it’s also finding new applications in IT, helping global organizations reduce and manage complexity in an increasingly complex world.

In tightly structured, highly regulated industries, where the cost of error is high — like financial services, healthcare and telecommunications — Lean helps teams and organizations systematically identify and eliminate inefficiencies. We’re also seeing Lean grow in more creative industries, like media, entertainment, and retail.

The future of business is unfolding before us, with the new Lean pioneers leading the charge. Read this post to learn who’s practicing the new Lean, and how they got started.

Continue Reading

10 Benefits of Lean

benefits of lean

Enjoy this excerpt from the Lean Business Report. Download the full report here.

The data makes it clear that for most teams, in most organizations — Lean works. 92% of teams surveyed reported moderate to significant improvements in project success after implementing Lean.

Of course, the benefits of Lean extend far beyond project success. We asked our survey participants to name the three benefits of Lean that have affected them most. The diversity in their responses speaks to the widespread impact of Lean. From better management of process complexity to increased team morale, it’s evident that the benefits of Lean go far beyond the work itself.

Continue Reading

7 Traits of High-Performing Lean Teams

Enjoy this excerpt from the Lean Business Report. Download the full report here.

In the Lean Business Survey, we learned that even teams just getting started with Lean were seeing results — 88% of respondents who self-identified as “beginner” reported moderate to significant improvement in project success. But what happens when teams hit their stride?

High-performing Lean teams differentiate themselves through their focus, communication, and sustainably fast pace. They think, plan, and work like a system. They optimize for agility, speed, and value delivery, so they can respond to challenges, both internal and external, without wavering in their vision or momentum.

We wanted to know how they got there — so we dug deep into more than 3,000 survey responses from executives, consultants, and team members to understand what habits, methods, and motivators make a Lean team great.

Continue Reading

Lean Flow: Priority #1 for Lean Executives

lean flow

Enjoy this excerpt from the Lean Business Report. Download the full report here.

What is Lean Flow?

Companies of all sizes are using Lean as the catalyst to improve flow, and thereby increase speed. In Lean, flow refers to the manner in which work progresses through a system: “Good” flow describes a system where work moves through steadily and predictably, whereas “bad” flow describes a system in which work stops and starts frequently.

To move fast and deliver faster – two major factors in remaining competitive – creating flow is more important than cutting waste. Global enterprises and startups alike can improve Lean flow by developing more efficient processes, focusing on value delivery, and improving business agility.

Continue Reading

Top 5 Lean Books to Add to Your Reading List

Lean Books

Practicing Lean depends upon fostering a student mentality — recognizing what you don’t know, and approaching the unknown with a curious, humble mind. Whether you’re new to Lean or a seasoned expert, reading about the experiences and practices of others is an excellent way to practice a key Lean concept: continuous improvement. At LeanKit, when people ask us how to learn more about Lean, we often direct them to these excellent Lean books, written by our esteemed colleagues in the Lean community.

Continue Reading

Lean Accounting: Does IT Need a Time Out on Time Tracking?

lean accounting

Different companies have different cultures, but timesheets are almost universally abhorred by the work force — and yet they continue to stick around. Why? Because timesheets are acutely intertwined with traditional IT budgeting processes. While workers may be peeved at the inconvenience of timesheets, leadership is looking to them to answer vital questions. Questions like:

  • How predictable are we — do we consistently deliver value?
  • Are we efficient — what is the capacity utilization of the staff?
  • Are we straying from our budget — projected cost vs. actual cost?
  • Is the headcount and skillset right — does the current staff level serve the organization well?

Continue Reading

Using Lean Thinking to Develop a Testing Mindset

Lean ThinkingWhat is Lean Thinking?

Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.” — Eric Ries

Testing, like Lean thinking is a mindset. Both are required to achieve a practice of continuous improvement. Consider how you “provide benefit to the customer”. The last work decision you made: was it to prioritize one piece of work over another, change a certain feature, or tweak your marketing messaging? How did you make that decision? And most importantly, how did you know that what you decided is what the customer actually wants?

Testing is the vehicle through which the accumulation of experience, insight, education and the constant reassessment of our assumptions allows us to better understand our target across all facets of their journey, first as a buyer and then a customer. It’s the method of eliminating waste by approaching our work with a curious, humble, and methodical mindset. These three key characteristics power the testing mindset needed to achieve continuous improvement.

Continue Reading