In this article we are going to briefly explore the second waste of lean – today, we will treat In-Process Inventory and Partially Done Work as a waste category, and we will discuss some ways to identify and deal with it. Remember the first principle of lean is to:

“eliminate any activity in your process that does not add value to your end user”.

  Before we continue let’s take a moment to further understand this notion of Lean and Waste. Waste is everywhere. In almost every business waste is often well camouflaged – it lurks, often in full view but somehow hidden from sight – it’s often the elephant in the room that almost everyone is blind to. Waste hides in places like admin. systems, hiring standards, PSLs, compliance, governance, security protocols, operating models- anywhere where things are required via ‘Compliance’ to be consistent - regulated. Finance Systems are often riddled with waste issues – often these Finance Departments (and HR Administrative Departments) unknowingly collude in inefficiencies that ‘allow’ a company to constantly lose income and haemorrhage talent, revenue, resources and people in the form of Lean Waste (this is why senior management support is needed in any Lean growth initiative). Compliance, HR and Governance teams create (and enforce) wasteful behaviours the moment at which they depart from a culture of collaborating and innovating within the enterprise. Waste starts when these teams fall into what Peter Hawkins calls the Parcifaltrap - they stop serving beyond themselves, (namely the enterprise) and begin to serve themselves to the point of institutionalised narcissism. The moment these departments become self serving, and begin to enforce their ‘will’ via command and control methods, huge wasteful expense and productivity waste are sure to follow – along with a decline in morale and motivation.

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  Article kindly provided by Gary Sage, Transformation Director FURTHER INFORMATION

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