Lean: Where do I start? (Part I)

Your journey begins.

Southcut, LLC

3/4/20241 min read

Lean: Where do I start? It depends. To start your lean journey, you must first really understand your starting point. Then you must “see the end*” and make your plan (*there really is no end to this journey—just continuous next steps of improvement, each one defined by the latest success or failure).

So, where are you? A start-up? An established company? Private or public? Is it a lean re-start or a start from scratch? Are there other lean advocates, or is everyone a newbie? Regardless, here are a few basics every lean kickoff should include: A book. A house. A mentor.

A Book: Find a book—maybe two, but no more. Don’t hold off starting your journey until you’ve read everything (you can’t). Find a couple of books to help you set the initial foundation and initial direction, and then follow their advice. You can seek out and read (or listen to or watch) more once the journey is rolling along.

A House: Your lean house is your roadmap. A visual reminder to refer to and review regularly. Modify it as you learn, but keep it basic—about 20 items. Google “lean house examples” for ideas, then create your own that fits your company and culture.

A Mentor: Someone to consult with, bounce around ideas with, and help define your vision. And someone who will keep you grounded in the day-to-day routine required to get the lean train moving. If your mentor is someone internal who understands the culture and objectives, then all the better.

In the next blog post, I’ll offer up a few book recommendations, some links to lean house examples, and some links to mentor-type lean sites that I’ve used.