When people ask me about my job and I explain that my company offers Lean software, people who know anything about the Lean business management methodology usually assume that all of our customers are manufacturers. That’s not an unreasonable assumption given Lean’s origins in the Japanese automobile industry, but it’s also not true. We have customers in all sort of industries from banking to non-profit. We have clients in industries ranging from logistics and financial services companies to construction companies and hospitals.
Feb 14, 2018 6:26:00 AM
Jan 18, 2018 7:45:00 AM
We are starting to see a sharp increase in the number of construction companies that are coming to us in search of a software solution to support their efforts to implement Lean management principles.
Many leaders in the space recognize that they can reduce costs, improve safety, deliver more value, and adhere to budgets by applying the tools and techniques that have been popular in healthcare and manufacturing for so long.
For those in that camp, we’d like to share some important advice that we have learned from our clients in construction and related industries.
Dec 29, 2017 1:21:55 PM
As 2017 comes quickly to a close, we took a minute to look back over some of the blogs we’ve posted on one of our favorite topics, the Lean Management system. If you are interested in learning more about Lean management, or continuous improvement in general, this post is a great place to start.
We’ve curated our best content on the subject and pulled together some descriptions and excerpts.
Links to each post are provided if you are interested in learning more. Enjoy!
Nov 27, 2017 11:59:03 AM
A3 software may seem like something of an oxymoron. After all, the A3 technique gets its name from the size of paper early practitioners used to document the problem-solving methodology. (A European paper size that is roughly equivalent to an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper.) But we’ve come a long way since the A3 technique was first invented. Now there are software solutions designed to support the A3 process, making it even more useful and resulting in lasting results. It is a subject that comes up quite a bit in our conversations with folks interested in finding the most efficient ways to structure continuous improvement. Here are some of the questions they ask us most often.
Nov 27, 2017 10:25:24 AM
Rapid improvement events are a popular continuous improvement approach with for good reasons. By focusing all of your team’s firepower on one challenge or opportunity for a few days, you dramatically speed the pace of change and increase the chances of successful collaboration and broad agreement on the right actions to take.
But not every rapid improvement event is a resounding success. In fact, if not properly executed they can cause more harm than good.
Nov 17, 2017 3:51:34 PM
We spend a lot of time in this blog focused on the “what” and “why” of Lean and continuous improvement. Today, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the “who" (and we don't mean the classic band).
The term Lean was first coined by John Krafcik in his 1988 Sloan Management Review article “Triumph of the Lean Production System.” The approach gained traction after the publication of The Machine That Changed the World, by James Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos in 1990.
The term Lean manufacturing may be less than 30 years old, but the thinking that inspired it has been around since the pre-industrial age. The leaders who developed this approach understood the need for continuous improvement and empowered employees. They learned from each other, eventually building our modern approach to business process improvement and management. Here’s some background on a few of the most important contributors to Lean leadership.
Nov 6, 2017 10:45:21 AM
Although it got its start in the auto manufacturing industry, the Lean management approach to business is now widely used in every industry. It is particularly popular in healthcare, construction, and higher education. The Lean methodology and its cousins, Six Sigma, TQM, and others, are popular because they bring order to the essential responsibility of every organization to continually improve operations and results.
While it is certainly possible to implement Lean or another organized management approach without software, many organizations find that a Lean management system is essential to rapid and long-lasting success. The most important features of a Lean management system include:
- A centralized platform for improvement projects
- 24x7 access from anywhere
- Workflow with automated alerts and notifications
- Robust search capabilities
- Built-in collaboration tools
- Advanced reporting and analytics
- Improvement impact measurement
- Success broadcasting
- Data visualization and dashboards
These features make Lean management systems much more effective for managing improvement work than spreadsheets and email. Here are the top ten benefits they provide for organizations that implement the software successfully.
Oct 23, 2017 10:37:47 AM
The Lean management approach has been used in manufacturing, healthcare, and the technology sector for decades. These days, more and more construction firms are realizing that the Lean model has many benefits to offer in terms of project profitability, timely completion, customer satisfaction, and safety. Many firms have realized that the best way to make Lean successful is to implement software designed to support it. There are many options in the market, so it pays to do some serious due diligence before selecting a platform.
While you will certainly have some questions that are specific to your firm, here are some of the most important questions to ask each vendor that you consider.
Oct 13, 2017 12:05:32 PM
Eliminating waste is at the heart of the Lean Business methodology. The goal of Lean is to spend more of your time creating value for customers by reducing or eliminating everything else - the waste. Several common types of waste have been identified and together represent the “7 Wastes of Lean” (sometimes expressed as "8 types of waste, including the additional "waste of human potential" or "waste of talent").
Some types of waste are fairly self-explanatory, but others can be a bit difficult to grasp. Here are some practical examples of each.
Oct 10, 2017 7:40:00 AM
The Lean methodology offers a very different approach to work than most people have experienced. It requires both a change in mindset and the use of various tools and techniques. Organizations that successfully adopt Lean and reap the many benefits have a number of things in common. They embrace the approach wholeheartedly, creating a Lean culture. They deploy software to support the practice, and they effectively train employees when it is introduced, when new employees join the organization, and when needed to refresh and improve the team’s understanding of lean.
Any thorough Lean training curriculum should include these critical elements.