Lean does not mean tools

Posted on 29 Aug 2008 by The Manufacturer

A brief word of clarification from Rob Thompson...

Hmm, I wonder if companies who are not happy with Lean results realize that:

“The tools themselves, however, are not the point, nor the purpose of Lean. The tools are merely a means to an end, and a clear understanding of the end is crucial to success with Lean. Because many people like “silver bullet” solutions, however, use of the tools is often confused with actually being Lean.Lean Manufacturing is an attitude, a philosophy and an ingrained way to behave and think. For success with Lean, it is crucial to weave the Lean Manufacturing philosophy into the fabric of your company. The tools we think of as “Lean” are the current best thinking on how to overcome specific limitations. When we figure out how to eliminate the limitation, we eliminate the need for the tool. Consider the tools of Lean band aids, not the cure. Simply applying tools will not reap the full benefits that the Lean philosophy can bring.”

Well said! In fact:

“In his book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins talks about the flywheel effect. He says great organizations don’t become that way overnight through radical change. They become that way because continuous small pushes on their flywheels create a breakthrough velocity that sustains growth. At the point where the momentum of change reaches breakthrough velocity, the organization moves forward along its lean journey with little or no support required from a consulting organization.”

Article originally posted to Rob’s LearnSigma blog – here.