A Lean-Transformation is a journey from a starting point in an organization to a Lean culture with the involvement of everyone and continuous improvement throughout the organization daily. To carry out such a transformation we must go through a process where there will necessarily be some important steps to take. All the way back to the basic books of the 1990s by Womack and Jones, processes have been central to Lean, nevertheless we have problems finding good processes for implementing lean.
If we are to introduce real Lean with respect for people, it is important to start by building a Lean culture. Starting by mapping processes and finding local improvement measures can be useful in convincing what potentials lie there but continuing with internal or external expert groups to find new methods for people to follow, does not lead to a real Lean development in the organization.
The start of all good improvement processes and transformations is a vision or direction to work towards, and then a good systematics to highlight this and break it down to all levels of leadership in the organization. Starting right on random measures will not lead to the organization developing towards common direction and joint efforts. Even with successful local development projects, the sum of these can at worst turn negative, and at least often go in different directions and bring little benefit to the overall development of the organization.
Developing a Lean culture involves the involvement of all employees, including all managers, in daily improvement focus where elements such as problem solving, strategic continuous improvement, teamwork and team organization, arenas and visibility and scorecards are all elements that must be incorporated broadly into the culture before being effective in implementing process improvements. If we really want real Lean, with the effects we see that this can bring with it increased customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, productivity increase and performance improvements in our organizations, we start with a vision to involve everyone in continuous improvement with respect for people, where the people who are shown respect for are stakeholders in the organization, for example: customers, employees, communities and owners.