Your Personal Lean Journey [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-02-18

In my most the recent column I wrote for IndustryWeek I explore the importance of your own personal lean journey.

Your organization may not be started on its lean journey but that doesn’t mean you can’t be. When signing copies of my book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, I would often write “lean is both an organizational journey and a personal one; lean begins with you!” We focus so much on the organizational journey that we forget our personal journey.

Lean journeys are about serving customers, designing and improving our work, and solving problems. Do those challenges apply to your own personal work? Of course, they do, no matter what your role or profession. So before you criticize your organization for not moving ahead, ensure you are on a path forward and not just a spectator.What can you do to embark on your own lean journey at the personal level?

In the article I outline 6 steps you can take:

  1. Skip the lingo
  2. Focus on immediate benefits
  3. Standardize your work
  4. Eliminate waste
  5. Find root cause
  6. Take time for reflection

The article explains each step in greater detail. When you’re in this situation, you’re not looking for credit on your efforts to use lean methods. You are only looking for credit for improving your performance, and lean is a means to that end.