• Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

3. Lean Management Journey: Short Introduction

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Those who do set off with the idea of getting no rest will never and ever get tired.

Gazi Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK

This blog is prepared as short guidance for organizations that want to set off lean management journey. Lean management journey is like passing under the rainbow, it has no definite destination point. You will find the following in this blog such that 1) the attributes of this journey, 2) the frequently mistakes made and 3) the attributes of the analyst you need to have in your team.

Lean management requires team members from all possible functions and departments at varying levels of participation.
A scene of an organization that set offs lean journey

Excellent firms don't believe in excellence - only in constant improvement and constant change. Thomas J.Peters

The lean management journey has a starting point, but not a destination. The destination will be seen as a rainbow or a polar star, but will never be accessible.

The examples of this never-ending journey can be set as:

✑ Meeting the needs and expectations of customers, ✑ Keeping the same or bigger market share, ✑ Satisfying the employees continuously, ✑ Keeping the same or decrease the fixed and varying expenses and costs.

The reason why it is called as never-ending journey because there is always better results (or destination points/levels). Based on this

The journey of lean management is a journey to a place that has no a definite destination, just like passing under the rainbow.

It is clear that Lean Management is a management style that will guarantee to increase the market share of organizations, reduce costs and increase the quality of products and services.

The problems encountered with the first phase of the lean management voyage can be solved easily. Because the managers of any organizations can solve the simple problems by the help of their five sensory organs and their background. The simple problems can be repetitive over time due to the fact the the root causes may still be valid in the organization. At that point the managers need extra and professional support and help so that lean management can be implemented successfully. The professional help contribute the solution directly and exponentially.

As Arthur states that in addition to the five senses to detect all of the varying levels of problems in your business the organization would need:

✑ The awareness of a world champion poker player to detect all of the opposing player’s “tells”

✑ Eagle eyes

✑ Bat radar

✑ Dolphin sonar

✑ Dog ears

✑ Shark smell

✑ Surgical feel

✑ Gourmet taste.

Five sensory apparatus isn’t up to the task of finding and fixing the more subtle problems that affect your job, department or business. Like a doctor using an EKG or MRI, you need the right kind of tools to help you detect patterns you cannot detect with the naked eye. (2007:2).

In order to have these capabilities, it is necessary to embark on a lifelong journey by using systematic, scientific and data-based techniques and methods.

As Lao-Tzu [3] says, "A journey of thousands of kilometers begins with a single step."

Those who embark on the journey of Lean Management gather all their forces in line with the organizational goals and eliminate the problems that hinder these goals. They never face the same or very similar problems again. They are intelligent, educated and courageous enough to address the issue that most impacts organizational goals. However, they do whatever it takes to radically solve problems. You know what that means?

They even revise their habits and their past decisions and practices, and if necessary, change and improve them all. The only magic they have is just scientific methods and tools.

As Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk guide the Turkish youth years ago by saying “The most true master in life is science, engineering."

Please remember that in order to find and eliminate root causes, it will be beneficial to get support from expert staff/consultants who are excel in process improvement and problem solving issues.

Expert staff will prioritize the activities that cause Defects, Delay and/or Deviation (3Ds).

First of all, the root causes of the problems that have 3Ds can only be detected and eliminated via scientific and analytical approaches. But scientific and analytical approaches cannot be implemented successfully in the organization without organizational support. The team should include all levels of employees working in problem areas and affected by their consequences. The harmony of organizational team and expert is very vital for the success.

Let's take a look at the frequently made mistakes during lean management voyage[4]:

Lack of management support

Incorrect Strategy Deployment,

Incorrect Project,

Choosing an inappropriate process,

Inappropriate team members,

Lack of process owner support,

Incorrect Scope,

Incorrect or insufficient training,

Incorrect  Measurement System,

Incorrect Implementation.

Here is the solution for the frequently made mistakes .

C- The continuous contribution and support of senior management

C- Collaboration and communication between employees

C- Challenging and creative processes, products and services T- Training all employees with the appropriate Lean Six Sigma levels

T- Use of tools and techniques in problem solving

Please remember lean management journey is a never ending journey. I wish you have a good luck.

You can find more videos about Lean Management both in Turkish and English
on my YouTube Channel "Dr.Bahtiyar EREN".

You can find the detailed information about Lean Management in my book "Lean Management and Techniques: Questions and Answers" published by Yazardan Direkt Publishing House. Please note that the book is in Turkish. You can order the book from www.amazon.com.tr and http://www.heryerdekitap.com

Please check my webpage www.freeleansixsigma.com for mor information about Lean Six Sigma both in Turkish and English.

Quality is not an act, It is a habit. Aristotle.

Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

Arthur, Jay. (2007).Lean Six Sigma DeMYSTiFieD A Self-Teaching Guide. New-York: McGraw-Hill.

[1] Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The acronym is RAdio Detection And Ranging. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar)

[2] SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging), Sonar (originally an acronym for sound navigation ranging) is a technique that uses sound propagation (usually underwater, as in submarine navigation) to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonar)

[3] Laozi, also rendered as Lao Tzu and Lao-Tze, was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer.[5] He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching,[6] the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.


[4] http://www.cbisco.com.au/top-10-reasons-lean-six-sigma-projects-fail/

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/162103780@N02/46291447764/sizes/l/

4 views0 comments