Where’s your lean team? [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 10-05-16

This year, for my Industry Week column, I’ve tried to take on topics that may have many people disagreeing with me. It is one way to move the conversation. This is a topic that isn’t controversial as much as it is political and messy: where in the organization should I position my lean team? There is no right answer, and every answer has an impact on budgets and careers, hence the politics. process-promo

You can imagine that I can’t give you the formula for success, and certainly not in a single page.

Please read the entire article, but here is an excerpt:


1. Where should the lean team reside? Traditionally, most lean teams are housed in the manufacturing group, either reporting to a factory or to an executive in manufacturing. That is where most lean application has existed. But too often as those manufacturing resources cross onto the carpet, they bring manufacturing solutions to administrative problems.

Where the lean resources reside on the organizational chart is more than sending a message about where lean should be applied. It also provides access. How many levels of the organizational chart do you want someone to go through in order to get the lean help they need?


This is a topic that I only feel qualified to discuss because I have had to 100s of times, not only through many, many clients but also across various stages of maturity within their journey. I’d be happy to have the conversation with any one of you.