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Improvement Objectives In Lean

You Shouldn’t Be Hitting All of Your Lean Targets

You might be surprised to hear me say this:

Does that mean that I am not driven to make big gains in Lean? No. Does that mean that I don’t think Lean goals are important? Absolutely not.

You shouldn’t be hitting all of your Lean improvement objectives.

All it means is that I think Lean improvement objectives should be set aggressively enough that kaizen teams are challenged by them.

Want to hit your targets 100% of the time? Then set these as your improvement objectives:

  • Show up for the kaizen project at least half the time
  • Don’t steal the facilitator’s car
  • Wear clothes to the report out

When the bar is set low, I guarantee that your team can hit 100% of those goals. Of course, you business won’t get better, and the teams won’t learn much.

Improvement Objectives

Improvement Objectives in Lean

If, however, the Lean improvement objectives are challenging, the teams will fall short on occasion. That’s OK. In the long run, hitting 100% of simple goals will do far less for companies, managers, and teams than hitting a lesser portion of breakthrough objectives.

The flip side is true as well. Don’t make the Lean goals so difficult that they are unattainable. People quickly tire of futility.

This is one of the few times when I shoot for having my teams earn a ‘C’ on their Lean improvement objectives report card.

If you aim for about a 75% success rate it will give the teams enough of a taste of success that the improvement projects won’t hurt their job satisfaction. At the same time, it will still push them hard enough that the projects will put the company (and the employees) on the path to greatness.

[sniplet LLLOTD]


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