Are you an ambitious professional always looking for new and efficient ways to manage projects? Do you want to know how to strengthen and improve your business processes?
Many brave leaders in the corporate world are always chasing lean process improvement. If you are one of them, you have come to the right place. This post will guide you through the lean process improvement basics. We will also discuss the benefits that lean process improvement methods bring across different sectors of the economy. In the end, we will touch upon achieving lean process improvement within your business domain.
Let’s begin with our guide to lean process improvement strategies.
What is Lean Process Improvement?
Lean process improvement is a phenomenon that helps eliminate waste from the processes and operations of your business. It makes businessmen focus on activities that create more value for their customers.
Lean process improvement methods are based on continuous improvement in all business areas. It employs a variety of tools and techniques for achieving as well as sustaining progress.
Those who believe in this phenomenon constantly monitor the timeline from when the order was placed to when the customer pays. Their goal is to reduce this timeline by eliminating any non-value-added elements.
According to a study, 92% of the participated teams reported moderate to significant improvements in their projects’ success after implementing lean process improvement. However, the overall benefits of implementing this strategy go far beyond project success. When the participants were asked to state the three benefits of the strategy that affected them the most, there was great diversity in their responses. This diversity reflected the widespread influence of these methods, ranging from efficient management of process complexity to enhanced team motivation.
10 Benefits of Lean Process Improvement Methods
Lean process improvement relieves businesses of the burdens of inefficiency by empowering the workforce to perform at their best. Here are the 10 main benefits of lean, as mentioned by over 3,000 respondents of a Lean Business Survey.
1. Manage Team and Process Complexity
Organizations these days have to deal with large and often remote work teams. By practicing lean process improvement, they can manage the diversities, cultural differences, and coordination among team members. Projects need to be coordinated properly to make them successful, and that’s only possible if all team members understand the complexities of workflows.
2. Make Business Processes More Efficient
Process efficiency refers to the effort needed to achieve a particular business outcome. This outcome can be in the form of anything that the company produces, including its product, service delivery, or other tangible and intangible results. Using lean process improvement methods allows businesses to make their processes more efficient.
3. Practice Better Management of Shifting Priorities
It is not easy to operate in a business environment where priorities change. But when that happens, the staff needs to communicate with the senior management clearly. If lean process improvement is in place, shifting focus and reallocating resources becomes easier.
4. Have Better Project Visibility Among Team Members
Having better project visibility means having a clearer picture of how well a project progresses and performs. It includes any potential risks and allocation of resources. Lean process improvement allows you to have increased visibility. This, in turn, helps you make sure that everybody involved understands the project’s goals and how they can contribute towards achieving them.
5. Increase Team Productivity
The productivity of team members is one of the key factors that determine the success of a project. Lean process improvement methods help enhance team productivity by keeping all members engaged towards achieving goals.
6. Reduce Lead Time
One of the goals of every business to drive sales is to minimize the lead time. The faster you can influence your potential customers to make a purchase, the faster you’ll be able to grow your business in terms of revenue and sales. Lean process improvement helps you eliminate any tasks and activities that do not contribute directly to lead generation.
7. Increase Team Morale and Spirit
When work teams are well informed about their roles, they feel more responsible to producing results. Their morale and motivation levels go off the charts when they work together towards common goals. A major part of the credit goes to lean process improvement methods.
8. Improve Visibility to Stakeholders
Lean process improvement enforces straight focus and tight business procedures. When all the wasteful activities are eliminated, processes become simpler to explain, implement and report. This improves the visibility of business operations and performers to stakeholders.
9. Reduce Costs
When you focus on only those activities that add value to your business and your customers, you eradicate many costs that you would otherwise incur. When a business implements lean process improvement, it might have to rid its processes of specific steps and stages. This leads to a reduction in costs and expenses.
When a business comes up with lean process improvement methods, its main focus is on providing customer value. Therefore, when it implements lean process improvement, it only makes sense that it will be able to better predict to what extent it is actually able to deliver customer care.
Here are a few steps that you can take to reinvent your business operations through lean process improvement methods.
1. Analyze Your Processes
The first step that you need to take for lean process improvement is to study and comprehend the existing processes in place. Look into how they function. A good way to do this is to use the AS-IS mapping model, which plots graphs of these processes and their phases. By doing this, you can generate a picture of what’s causing the bottlenecks in your business. To further enhance this method, you can also interview your employees to answer some of the most important questions. After all, they will know best where improvements are needed in their conduct processes.
2. Identify Any Improvements
After analyzing your processes, you need to model and identify any improvements that can be made. Create a fresh diagram for this stage and collaborate ideas with the team members. The new model should propose actions that contribute to fulfilling the purpose of this activity. Determine who is the most qualified to implement the lean process improvement techniques. Build the strategy from the ground up. Consider why each task is essential and where it needs to be carried out. Identify any existing problems to fix or eradicate them.
This is where the team needs to start thinking about implementing the shared ideas. Once the new ideas are discussed, the responsibility falls on the project managers to assess whether or not the suggested lean process improvement methods will be successful in the long run.
4. Execution and Monitoring
Actual lean process improvement is only possible when it’s done with careful execution, monitoring, and management. Once you have properly assessed a project, the work teams involved can refine its execution. The execution sequence determines how far-fetched the developments in your processes will be. There is still a chance that the new processes will uncover more bottlenecks. But this further identification of problems only leads to more enhanced process optimization.
5. Value-Added Activity
This is an essential component of the overall process. When you implement lean process improvement, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Are your tasks and activities adding value to your company’s product or service? Have you gotten rid of any wasteful actions? If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’, it means now you just need to continue improving your processes.
If you are running an online business, the first thing you need to do to implement lean process improvement is creating a lean and professional website. Using ready-to-use templates provided by several website-building platforms allows you to save a lot of time and cost of creating a website to showcase your brand.
Image taken from Strikingly
Those who build a website on Strikingly can serve their customers better, as they save money and effort on the web development process. They can then pay more attention to aspects of their business that contribute more to the value. The user-friendly interface of Strikingly enhances the website development practice and provides a smooth browsing experience to the site visitors.
If you are practicing lean process improvement and looking to promote your business online, you can also create a full-fledged website on Strikingly. Don’t worry; you wouldn’t need to write any code or master a programming language. All you need to do is add your content to one of our website templates using our drag-and-drop editor interface. You’ll have your site up and running in just a few hours.