Lean office is a management system spun from lean manufacturing. It is though the same process as in manufacturing where the workflow within the organization is improved by eliminating the waste. Now waste can be in the form of extra steps used for project accomplishment or anything else.
There are many companies that are planning to implement the lean in their offices however, they are unable to maintain it properly. The reason is that they do not know the basic requirements and don’t understand how much of it is a change of culture. Here are some of the important things you should consider making your lean implementation successful.
Pay attention to customer’s requirements
The first thing that you have to assure is what your customers require. Remember that your customer is your biggest asset and you have to manage the workflow of your office in such a way that it will be accepted by your customers. It will have a positive impact on the production system of the office. If you are in a supporting function you might want to consider looking at your internal customers and talk to them about what they want from you. This is often never done! Some companies have even started to send out NPS survey out to their customers.
NPS stands for Net Promoter Score and is a customer loyalty metric developed by (and a registered trademark of) Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix. It was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article "One Number You Need to Grow".
Get rid of unnecessary steps
There are many unnecessary steps in the project accomplishment due to which the productivity and efficiency of the office is reduced.
Control workflow with visual management
Visual management tools are very important in the office. You must assure that your projects, its goals, and plans are properly displayed so that the employees will not have to wait to receive the required knowledge. With visual management boards, it will become easier to even display the performance of all the employees. In this way, employees will work dedicatedly to assure that they will get the appreciation.
In this age of rapid advancement, your office cannot succeed without the implementation of technology. Assure that your employees know how to use the latest tools and high-tech devices so it will help to enhance the workflow. You can use content management and file management system that will make it easy to store and share the information with employees and clients. Freeware such as Trello is a great source for managing projects.
But don't forget that Taiichi Ohno said "always do process improvement kaizen's before you buy anything - including new software :)"
Once you have implemented lean in the office make sure that you properly educate your employees. If they will not know what exactly you are doing it will become hard to maintain implementation and there will be no change in the culture. You should also start with small changes and train your employees accordingly so that they can easily adjust to the new way of doing. Once they learn how it works, you will notice an improvement in everything related to your business.
Viktoría og Lísa