Lean Management - from production to project management

Lean Management - from production to project management 18.02.2019 - The term Lean Management has been around for about 30 years now and the topic is still of great economic importance. What began as a streamlining process in production at the beginning of the 1990s has now become a global concept and a general management principle. „Lean“ is exactly the goal of lean management: The value chain should become leaner, function more efficiently and be freed from all unnecessary procedures and aspects. This should not only lead to more efficient production, but also to a reduction of costs and time savings. In lean management, waste is the big issue that everything revolves around. Processes should run sensibly and smoothly - regardless of whether it is a manufacturing process in the conventional sense or the management of a long-term project. Lean management is common in many companies and can also be combined with many modern trends in project management.
Lean as philosophy
In many companies Lean Management has become a real philosophy. All procedures and decision-making processes are subject to the supreme requirement of streamlining in order to recognize and avoid waste in all respects. Requirements are defined and evaluated in order to determine exactly which processes are necessary and which are superfluous and can therefore be omitted. In contrast to the original concept of Lean Management, the focus today is also on continuity. In the early 90s, Lean Management was a unique process that was applied to a production or administration to streamline it and leave it in this uniquely defined state. Today, no condition is accepted as "finished", as an ideal condition. Improvements are always possible. Today cost reduction, time saving, improvement and streamlining are rather a continuous process which never ends and always looks for improvement potentials.
Goals in Lean Management
In Lean Management, all activities in a company or a project are coordinated so that at best all superfluous activities are simply eliminated. Every process, every decision and every task is ideally 100% efficient and leads to an ideal result in the fastest and cheapest way. Of course this sounds like a utopia, but this is exactly what Lean Management strives for in order to continuously find improvement potential. In this approach, the staff is involved in the efforts. In the end, however, it is not only the company itself that should benefit from the efforts. The customers also benefit from Lean Management, because part of the cost savings and the time savings in the company or in the process are ultimately passed on to the customer in the form of a better product or a cheaper price. This in turn changes the competitive situation and the entire market is encouraged to improve. In Lean Management, special attention is paid to the needs of the customer, because only a product that meets the customer's expectations and wishes is competitive, is bought and is therefore not considered a waste.
Lean management in all industries
Lean management, as already written, is no longer just a streamlining of production processes. The principle has been used in production for 30 years to make processes more efficient. Administrations use the thinking principles and methods of this philosophy. Project managers base their processes and their entire organization on the lean principle. Lean management has given rise to the principle of Lean Administration, which aims to create the best possible added value in offices and administrations. In this context it is about increasing effectiveness, avoiding loss of information, better communication and avoiding queries and corrections. Special attention is paid to the clarification and definition of responsibilities and the definition of interfaces, so that all processes can run smoothly. Order in the office and in every area of the office (servers, cabinets, files, telephone lists, etc.) plays a decisive role. However, it should not only be "tidied up" in the office, but also in each individual employee. Nobody should have to burden himself with unnecessary thoughts, which is always possible when everyone knows exactly what his task is and how to do it. Transparency and communication are the main keywords.
Lean management in Project Management
The principles of Lean Management are also applied to project management. Successful project managers work on two levels: on the one hand, the streamlining of their own working methods and the processes in the project management team is a factor; on the other hand, the processes and tasks in the actual project, for example, should be lean on the construction site. On the one hand, project managers must ensure that their own teams work transparently, that communication is structured and efficient, that meeting reports are limited to the essentials and that meetings are held in a targeted and time-saving manner. At the same time, the focus is on project-immanent processes: where can work be carried out in parallel to make the best use of resources, where can a provisional measure be made superfluous by better planning, and where can waste of material be minimized by using new methods?

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