The Lean Journey: Taking First Few Steps

lean journey

The Lean Journey is increasingly becoming an indispensable part for the success of any organization.  The companies and business are increasingly realizing the need for lean for process improvement and taking the organization towards new levels of smart thinking and efficiency.

 Why Lean Journey?

The phrase “Lean Journey” was there in almost every presentation at Enterprise Excellence Ireland 2018 Conference. The main crust of conference was laid on the pillar that if anyone is reading about lean, that means he is head bent towards finding ways for business process improvement. 

 The day organizations start their lean journey; they will consistently identify the core areas for improvement and will help the organizations to work smartly. The businesses would be reaping their rewards on their lean journey at an early point and also, along the way.

Starting the Lean journey

As it’s said, “The journey of thousands mile begins with a single step”, this article can well be considered as that first step. Awareness and interest in Lean are considered an ideal starting point. To kick-start further, next move would be to learn about the Lean principles and origins. This will help in forming a predictive image of what it will look like in the organization.

Read Also: Big Data or Six Sigma?

Essentials for the Journey

The essentials for no two organizations are similar. The factors which differentiate one organization with another will be the guiding elements of the journey. Some common factors which are essential for every journey are:

1.     Leadership Commitment

This is the most crucial factor and shouldbe unanimous.  It has been seen that companies whose leadership teams are committed to lean journey turn out to be the most successful. 

Commitment is the backbone of the entire journey and lays the foundation for a more streamlined and thriving business.  

2.     Champions and Mentors

After learning many success stories, one thing is confirmed that having an in-house team which is 100% dedicated to championing lean culture and practices are required for a triumphant journey. This in-house team is responsible for coaching and mentoring the team members throughout the lean journey.

Read Also: Creating a Six Sigma Culture in Your Workplace

3.     Mission and Vision

The leadership team should be very clear about the mission and vision of what the organization aims to achieve.  The team should know:

  • What is most important to the organization?
  • What are the needs and areas for improvement?
  • What does the company want to achieve?

The best way would be to organize workshops or seminars from experienced trainers who can help the leadership team understand the core of the company’s lean mission and vision statement.

4.     Team Engagement

People can’t be forced to adopt Lean. Let them read and understand by themselves that how this new methodology can significantly improve their business processes by reducing defects and variability.

The teams can be engaged by training, certification, brainstorming workshops, communication and rewards.  These entire elements blendtogether to nurture a “lean culture”. As per quality management trends 2018, it is very important that the organizations implement a lean culture in their workspace as otherwise the lean belters will soon revert back to their old mindset.

5.     Considered Strategy

“Lean Journey helps the organization progress even when it is going round in circles”

Strategy development and refining is an ongoing process which demands continuous improvement simultaneously. And this is possible only by implementing the DMAIC cycle which is the heart of Lean SixSigma strategy.  

6.     Consistent Skills

LeanSix Sigma’s consistent communication channels and certified standards help in achieving the company’s goals. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification helps the employees learn the working of lean and how it contributes to process improvement. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification helps in driving sustainable improvements within the organization.

Your Organization’s Lean Journey


Lean Six Sigma strategies and methodologies work perfectly well with businesses of all sizes and sectors.  Apart from providing guidance during the initial stages of vision creation and strategy building, it helps in sustaining business processes improvement culture at all the levels.

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