Lean is frequently and misleadingly understood asthe methodologies and tools applied to optimize processes. This perception, however, neglects other fundamental aspects of Lean. First, it is the underlying principles that matter more than methodologies and tools. Second, Lean comprises a holistic philosophy and management approach as well as a unique understanding of how Leadership works. In other words, Lean Transformation will be successful only if the principles of process excellence and Leadership excellence – achieved through Lean Leadership – concur side by side.
Successful Lean Leadership is characterized by seven factors that contribute to drive and shape a sustainable Lean Transformation. The emotional factors – values, attitudes and behavior – are about conveying Lean values throughout the organization,
about shaping attitudes regarding Lean Transformation and about showing role model behavior. The rational factors – skills, tasks and methods – relate to the development of one’s own skill set and enabling others to do the same, the pursuit to Leadership and management tasks as well as to using Lean methods. Finally, Lean Leadership is about situational leading, i.e. about choosing the right role at the right time. Lean Leadership takes place on every level – from process management to middle management up to top management. While the amount of operative tasks in relation to normative and strategic tasks decreases from process management to top management, the significance of continuously striving for improvement is equally high on all levels.
Excellent LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOR when interacting with their teams.
Continuously meeting OPERATIONAL and STRATEGIC management responsibilities.
Applying the right LEADING TECHNIQUES and METHODOLOGIES.
Ensuring the demand-oriented empowerment of team members to ACT AS MENTORS.
In an increasingly competitive market environment, one critical factor to your success is giving your employees and managers training and ongoing professional development. Using detailed analyses, we work with your managers to coordinate customized coaching modules that guide them through real-life applications and offer them strategic professional development.
Furthermore, the Certified Lean Leader training program also provides training that gives its alumni practical competence in leadership and Lean methods. After all, for a company's transformation to be truly sustainable, it not only has to integrate Lean principles into its processes but demonstrate these principles through Lean Leadership.
It would be naive to believe that in everyday life, managers all enthusiastically embrace change. Expressing reservations and even feeling resistance to change is completely normal. This is why it is important for there to be a fundamental understanding of how to develop consistent values and attitudes as well as actively modeling the desired behavior. After all, nothing does more damage than managers who have to tie themselves into figurative knots and only play the part of the Lean Leader in front of their employees.
The success of a Lean transformation at your company stands and falls with the mindset and performance of your managers. With the help of our training program for Certified Lean Leaders, you can develop your own Lean Leader to pave the way to peak performance in your area of responsibility. The Lean Leader guarantees that Lean method competence will be sustainably anchored at your company. The Lean Leader sets the course and creates the structure needed for optimal collaborative work while also encouraging and demanding continuous improvement. By helping employees become qualified, Lean Leaders assist them as they learn and develop.
Learn more about the training program for Certified Lean Leader.
By implementing shop floor management, you are promoting the consistent development of your company's processes and procedures right where everything happens. Decisions are reached much more rapidly and solutions implemented directly when the managers are present on site and focusing on non-compliance from corporate standards.
Introducing shop floor management is far more than simply using techniques that support your work. It also entails a high degree of discipline and consistency throughout the entire management team. Managers are guided and empowered as they make their way to a new understanding of leadership.
With shop floor management, you ensure Lean success while also ensuring a new corporate culture. This approach means that work at your company is defined by more straightforward management instruments, better communication, and greater competence and responsibility among all of the staff.
By joining forces with CAS Software, the German market leader for CRM in mid-sized enterprises, we have created a software solution which visualizes complex processes and projects and expands shop floor management to include virtualization. So you always know what's happening and can respond promptly.
The virtual shop floor management tool ValueStreamer® allows you to work with efficient top-down and bottom-up information in complex processes — resulting in a drill-down across every level of the company. ValueStreamer® uses the most current cloud technologies to allow you to transparently visualize project status, key indicators and the necessary measures — around the world and on a cross-site basis, which is ideal in situations such as decentralized projects and multi-site processes. Your employees have clearly structured access to all of their tasks, and at a glance your managers can identify when action is needed.
The focus of this management instrument is on deviations from the norm. These cases of non-compliance are collected, allocated and prioritized: the necessary need for action is identified, and measures are then defined, prioritized and implemented. The outcome? Continuous improvement of processes and an increase in efficiency.
To create a successful and sustainable Lean transformation, companies have to organize a link between top-down and bottom-up approaches. The solution here is called "hoshin kanri," which translates as strategic direction setting. Also known as policy deployment, the hoshin kanri approach involves the consistent cascading of goals derived from the corporate vision.
Hoshin kanri is a kind of navigation system for corporate development. At its core, it involves a strategic development in which the main drivers of development and their impact are systematically analyzed. It begins by defining a company-wide vision and includes defining breakthrough and annual goals, analyzing driving forces and planning and conducting events all the way to assessments in regularly scheduled reviews.
Before the goals evolve vertically in the organization, they are aligned horizontally along top management. The cross-functional perspective enhances an understanding of all functions and improves the value stream. This is how hoshin kanri clearly distinguishes itself from (general) management philosophies that involve simple mandates and goal achievement on the basis of management by objectives (MbO). The contrast between the two approaches also marks a kind of paradigm shift: In the past, leadership — even in a Lean environment — was regarded mainly as a field where different methods were deployed. But Lean Leadership also focuses primarily on excellence in management and behavior.
The "honcho" is a professional manager and oversees one phase of the process chain which typically consists of five to seven employees. Honchos ensure production capability using short-cycle assessments and visualizations. Determining the output quantity and comparing it to the production plan makes non-compliance directly apparent. Countermeasures are initiated before the non-compliance can become a problem. If a standard is not met, the honcho trains the employee(s) in question and ensures that the standard is fulfilled. If it still cannot be met, the honcho then initiates a structured problem-solving process to identify the cause of the problem.
Honchos can be regarded as the "standard bearer," meaning they automatically create the conditions needed for continuous improvement. Honchos are in fact constantly identifying improvement potential and implementing optimizations — for example, by supporting employees in maintaining their pace, eliminating minor disruptions, or stepping in when there are unscheduled absences.
In other words, honchos only have a value-added function in exceptional situations, but the wide-scale improvements they generate more than make up for that, as well-established honcho systems show. The best thing? Practical experience has indicated that rarely does a company have to increase resources to implement this operational level of hierarchy. These persons are often already present within the existing system.
The term "kata" is a Japanese word; in martial arts, it refers to a position or attitude. In the context of management, kata means the regular improvements done by employees. This approach is supported by a supervisor serving as a mentor. The result is a culture of improvement with routines which allow employees to gradually move towards a particular target.
Kata changes how employees and managers interpret leadership. The concept focuses on the corporate behaviors that are practiced every day at a company. It invites managers and employees to interact with one another on a deeper level. The outcome is leadership performance with an emphasis on stable processes, structured problem solving and CIP – all key factors to competitive success.
Kata is a holistic approach which both requires and promotes discipline. It has to be integrated into the existing Lean Management system to leverage the full potential of these improvement routines.
Simple and standardized communications across all sites without global boundaries.
Sustainable and structured problem solving
- More efficient communication and greater self-discipline in teams
Effective collaborative work through structured communications and decision-making processes
- Shorter reaction times to non-compliance
Unequivocal depictions of optimization potential and results
Transparent visualization of information and KPIs across all levels of corporate hierarchy
- Increased transparency of target vs. actual states and their tendencies
Targeted non-compliance management and effective utilization of resources
- Optimal use of resources and more robust processes