In my travels, I have lost track of how many people have told me that their situation is unique, or that their process is different. The truth of the matter is that they are right. Every process is unique, and every situation is different. But ironically, that very fact means that they are not.
Every person going through a Lean transition faces similar challenges. They have to adjust to change. They have to find a way to apply Lean principles in a creative manner. They have to find the time to make improvements in a busy environment. They have to figure out what their customers really want, and manage variations in demand. They have to deal with abnormal conditions. And they have to do it all in a way that doesn’t erode their job satisfaction.
Fortunately, we can put a positive spin on the lack of uniqueness. People are not alone in the challenges they face. Anything they are doing has been done by someone already.
What do you think? Are there any truly unique Lean situation out there?