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Implementation

An implementation is simply the act of putting a plan into effect. It can also refer to a change in a strategy or a system.

In continuous improvement, the term ‘implementation’ commonly refers to Lean as a whole, or can mean implementing the system-based tools, such as pull, kanban, or standard work.

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The term ‘Lean implementation’ means to put Lean principles in place in an organization. Despite the frequent use of this term, most Lean practitioners agree that Lean is a journey that has no real end. An implementation, in contrast, has a definitive completion. Reconcile the two by considering an implementation finished when an organization is capable of continuing its Lean journey under its own power. Simply put, once the organization has a trained leadership team, a workforce that accepts Lean, internal expertise (or access to a trusted consultant), and widespread use of the most common tools, Lean can be considered implemented. Of course, even after implementation, there will always be room for improvement.

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