10 Steps to Embedding Lean

If you are thinking about building a business case for embedding lean or are already underway then you could do worse than to review the following list and evaluate your organisations’ ability to carry out these steps.


1.  Engage and equip the staff that do the work in improving the work

  • Promoting self-development and taking part in improvement creates a sustainable culture.

2.  Teach people to see Waste, Unevenness and Overburden

  • Developing organisational capability to improve the proportion of value-adding work everywhere

3.  Use standardisation to capture best practice and hold the gains

  • Preventing erosion of improvements by capturing and establishing best practice

4.  Leaders should lead with challenging goals and support their teams’ solutions by removing blockers

  • Creating an environment where people feel challenged and ‘in on things’

5.  Promote and create the space (capacity) to improve

  • Reserving time to improve is part of the day job

6.  Do not tolerate the blockers and naysayers

  • There are people who will slow you down (deliberately or otherwise).  If the vision is clear and they’re not helping then we should consider how much time they should consume!

7. Every leader must walk the floor

  • Show you care, understand your business and engage with staff.  Without walking the floor you cannot do this

8.  Use breakthrough activities and daily improvement to drive change

  • Drive change accelerates improvement and sets new standards – don’t wait for the passive change to get you there

9.  Track benefits and celebrate success

  • You need to know whether you’re winning or not.  Countermeasure hard when you’re not and celebrate with the team when you are

10.  Review regularly and coach to support leaders and team members

  • Reviewing is the perfect opportunity to both coach and develop yourself.  Take this attitude into reviews and they will be stronger and you will build amazing teams.

The list here is much easier to write than it is to practice but with good coaching and the willingness to learn then huge things can be achieved.