How to roll out your Lean initiative at scale
What began as a traditional book on the fundamentals of Lean has now transformed into an online learning platform complete with video modules, assessment questions and tools for holding improvement workshops.
By Jesse Karjalainen
It has been 10 years since Lean experts Niklas Modig and Par Ahlstrom launched their phenomenal book ‘This is Lean’. It appeared at a time when the world was clamouring for all things Lean, and the pair successfully rode the wave by selling 300,000 copies in 18 languages.
Today, Lean is still the most widespread management philosophy of all time but the last decade has left a lot of misunderstanding, frustration and failed initiatives in its wake. Companies still feel the need to implement Lean (or roll it out more broadly) across their whole organisations. They want to start building up and utilising the full intellectual capacity of their managers and employees.
It’s great for Lean managers and it’s great for all employees who are just getting started.
“What companies need help with the most is how to eliminate silo thinking,” says Niklas, “and how to start developing efficient end-to-end flows within organisations and value-chains.”
“They need to learn how to work as one team and how to develop systematic routines for driving continuous improvement and learning.”
To help with these challenges, Niklas Modig has now launched a ready-to-go online programme called “What is Lean?” that can be taken by anybody – in teams large and small.
This new, interactive course equips participants with a solid understanding of Lean principles and methods. Based on the original book and building on its clear and concise style, “What is Lean?” delivers learning and insightful examples through a set of 25 video modules. It also features an online platform with assessment questions for holding workshops.
“A big part of the book’s success comes down to just how simple it is and how well it clarifies things. This is exactly what I do in the course, using stories, but now it comes alive with video and sound, giving a much richer experience as an online course.”
The course covers all fundamental areas of Lean, including the three sources of inefficiency, understanding the core building blocks of any process and resource versus flow efficiency. It also reveals how to develop and implement a Lean operations strategy, including the power of seeing ‘the Big Picture’ through visualisation techniques and active information.
Involve your whole team
Most importantly, and based on feedback from organisations, the online Lean programme can be rolled out to all managers or at scale to all employees across the entire organisation. It is not limited by the number of users or by geography.
The new course works just as well when done in pairs, or by 1000 people split into teams. It is, therefore, the perfect tool for kick-starting Lean initiatives of any size.
“Not everyone reads books. Or has the time. What I have now – with the self-managed online format – is a host of assessment questions based on each module. After watching, you can then sit down and discuss it one-to-one or with your whole team.”
By asking the right questions and by diagnosing ‘what does this mean for our company?’, the interactive course goes beyond traditional training by becoming a powerful way to educate people in the fundamentals of Lean – rolled out across a whole company.
“It’s great for Lean managers and it’s great for all employees who are just getting started. This course, just as the book has done for the past decade, delivers the foundations of Lean principles and methods in an easy to understand, accessible nutshell,” concludes Niklas.
Find out more and watch the trailer at the What is Lean? course page
Having spent over 2000 hours studying inside the heart of Toyota Japan, international keynote speaker, author and Lean expert Niklas Modig reveals the success patterns of highly effective organisations to shows you how to set a self-diagnosis of your company’s ways of working.