4. SHOW TIME: DEPLOY
YOUR IMPROVEMENTS

Now that you have a plan, it’s time for you to implement it. It seems easy, right? Well, appearances can be deceiving. When it comes to changes, even the ones for the better can generate resistance and make the process diff icult. But don’t worry, Lean can help with that as well.

At a Lean organization, people hold greater weight in the success equation than processes do. Previously, we’ve talked a lot about culture and its importance. So before you start deploying the planned changes, prepare your team and get ready for eventual frictions.

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Adapted from The Lean Transformation Framework.

When we break down a process improvement, we can analyze it through three layers that deserve equal attention.

  • Improvement: a change designed to improve an organization, from a current to a future state – such as solving problems, streamlining information flow within the organization, reducing costs or aligning strategy and work
  • Execution: a set of actions to achieve your future state within a given period and scope, managing the technical (processes, software, structures) side of the change
  • People: the impact of the change to your team and the responsibility of leaders to build support, address resistance and develop the required knowledge and capability to ensure the changes’ success – managing the people side of the change

Both execution and change management are critical and support the transition of an organization f rom a current state to a desired future state. Execution management focuses on the tasks to achieve the project requirements. Change management focuses on the people impacted by the change. You need to ensure you are delivering both.

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How to ensure you are compliant with both the execution and the people side?

  • Do not let a problem stop the process – Problems will emerge, and that’s f ine. As we said before, in a Lean company, no problem is a problem. Treat them as learning opportunities
  • Consider each improvement an experiment – Improvements happen incrementally. Iterate with your improvements, measure, learn, repeat and make sure to get the most out of each
  • Communicate – We cannot stress enough the importance of communication. So, over-communicate, play catch ball and make sure your team is being candid
  • Be present – Go to the Gemba, see for yourself, be a facilitator and f ind ways to support your team in their improvement efforts
  • Recognize and celebrate your team’s effort – Your team is putting effort to change something for the better, make sure to recognize it and celebrate each little win
  • Be flexible – Not everything will happen according to plan. Seize these opportunities to learn and enjoy the ride