Lean as a Universal Model of Excellence: It is Not Just a Manufacturing Tool!
8 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017
This is a technical note that describes the history of Lean and explains why it is not just a manufacturing tool. It is used in Darden's "Management of Service Operations" course elective.
Rev. Feb. 28, 2017
Lean as a Universal Model of Excellence:
It Is Not Just a Manufacturing Tool!
Lean is a systematic way to enhance value delivery, whatever form that value may take. Lean thinking frames every request for value as an opportunity to improve by teaching participants to notice wasteful action (or inaction), then carefully remove that waste, leaving the value intact. This can be achieved by anyone following three basic premises.
First, once you set a standard for any means of value creation, that standard must be protected relentlessly, not as an isolated project but a continuous mission; this involves engaging and empowering everyone in the enterprise. Second, the criteria for improvement and priorities for implementation should pull directly and strategically from the needs of the customer. Third, the best way for value delivery to approach its ideal form is for changes to comprise removing waste wherever found, regardless of scale; what remains will reveal what is essential and invite a new evaluation, in a virtuous cycle of refinement.
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Keywords: lean, service operations, continual improvement
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