November 3, 2020

Lean Principles Across the Organization

You may already know about Lean principles, especially if you are working in manufacturing.
Avatar Adrian Wood
Lean principles in a company.

You may already know about Lean principles, especially if you are working in a manufacturing or operations role. I hope that you are able to apply those principles to significantly impact waste, quality and efficiency for your scope of work. What about the rest of your organization? What about Marketing, Strategy, HR, the Executive teams? Would they not also benefit from these same principles?

Let me use my own role as a use-case for Lean operations. I am a member of a strategy team that has a common goal but multiple stakeholders, each with their own initiatives. Since Dassault Systèmes is a large organization, I also collaborate with many other teams and so the result is more than a dozen recurring strategic virtual meetings each month. You can start to visualize (and maybe empathize) with what my calendar looks like.

Since my primary “product” is knowledge, content and ideation, I suppose I cannot claim that I create a lot of physical waste. However, I can tell you that my most precious commodity is time, and that I cannot waste. I have been participating in audio and video conference calls for decades and this year they have become nearly the ONLY way for myself, and my colleagues, to collaborate effectively. Now I am not exactly Jeff Bezos, but every minute of these meetings costs my company time and money that needs an ROI just as much as any physical product, work center or software package.

Since the release of our 3DLean application on the cloud this summer, the majority of these meetings have now been using 3DLean as the collaborative environment for us to structure our time together. Using the same principles as applied to manufacturing we have started to become students in Lean and the difference is quite apparent. The immediate differences that I have noticed are encouraging:

  1. Meetings now tend to end on time with all topics covered
  2. No one leaves the meeting without a clear view of actions and who the responsible owners are
  3. Team members are more engaged and more apt to contribute ideas and content
  4. Problems are more intensely focused on and resolutions often become more apparent

What’s more, any one of us can go back to the virtual meeting board before or after the meeting and continue to contribute effectively. 3DLean has become a key facilitator of teams across many parts of my organization and as we look at customer feedback, we can see tangible examples of the same benefits:

  1. 85% of team members feel more involved in meetings
  2. 92% of team members find positive impact to daily tasks
  3. 92% of team members say information is easier to find

Customers also find a significant increase in surfacing issues and resolving them effectively.

Therefore, it would seem that the benefits of Lean principles really do apply to many different types of teams outside of manufacturing. In times of social distancing and displaced employees, it would also seem that this is the perfect time for companies to evaluate just how effective their remote teams are and what the ROI could be if they provide them with a simple yet effective way to engage together and make Lean a part of the entire organization.

I encourage you to learn more about 3DLean for manufacturing, operations and beyond; as we say at DELMIA “Lean without Limits!” Click here for a replay of our recent webinar “Applying Lean Principles with Effective Team Collaboration” or contact us here for more information.

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