Systems Lean Methodology


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Systems Lean Methodology

Systems Thinking

You need to understand any service organisation as a system i.e. not just its separate parts, but how they interact as a whole. By ‘system’ it doesn’t just mean just IT, although IT forms part of the overall operational environment which the organisation works in. The ‘system’ can also expand beyond the boundaries/control of the organisation e.g. a supplier(s). So systems thinking is about understanding the relationship and how all the elements of the organisation work or not work to provide the service to the customer and ultimately the performance of the organisation.  Of course the system elements may well help the service performance but on the other hand, they may well hinder it.

By looking at the organisation from ‘outside in’ perspective i.e. from a customers’ point of view, you start to uncover those system conditions which are causing the performance to be the way it is. It is then the challenge of the leaders/management of the organisation to act on these conditions to improve/transform performance.

Lean Thinking

When you put work into a ‘flow’ to process the service, you will find a very large proportion of that work is waste i.e. work not directly related to fulfilling the purpose. Again, this list is not exhaustive. As you can appreciate the more waste there is in any system the more costly the service is and the likelihood it will take longer. By understanding the organisation from outside in perspective waste will become more apparent. There is a direct link with the ‘system’ and waste i.e. system conditions are the cause of waste.

Change must be based on knowledge

Before you undertake any change first you must understand what is the current performance of the organisation and why is it the way it is from the perspective of the customer. Get an outside of view. With that understanding comes knowledge of where to take action and therefore points of leverage of an intervention to create transformation/change.