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Case Study on Lean

Not only Lean management in production - But a Lean mindset everywhere

Your way of thinking is much harder to change than you may think


Lean management methods have already been successfully implemented in the production departments at locations A and B. The Six Sigma method is used to regularly verify and improve the quality of the products. The employees scrutinize their most important processes repeatedly in Kaizen workshops and thus continuously improve the process. Progress is also evident in well-defined key figures.

Nevertheless, the results are still below the expectations. With the introduction of the methods, those responsible had also promised themselves they would rethink things, as well as execute a radiating effect on areas outside of production. After all, administrative processes should also become leaner overall. High potential efficiency gains are expected. And in the areas of marketing, sales and customer service, there is still a lot of potential for a more consistent focus on customer-oriented processes.

But instead of making use of the positive experience from production, silo systems continue to dominate in other areas. Lean approaches get bogged down or even openly blocked. This jeopardizes the success of the company, because what is saved in production is wasted in other areas.


Discovering and leveraging anticipated potential through Lean methods

  • Those responsible need a clear idea of the potential for improvement in non-production areas.
  • Appropriate Lean methods must be found, benefits and risks must be assessed.
  • The measures are intended to produce a meaningful overall picture.
  • The reasons for resistance on the part of those affected must be identified in order to counteract them in a targeted manner.


Assess the situation - Develop solutions - Ensure improvements


In order to find the path that leads us to our goal, we not only need to know where we want to go, but also where we need to start. Therefore, we start the process with a rigorous analysis of the status quo:
Lean Management Prozess
  • Interviews about existing processes and identified Lean potentials with knowledge carriers from the organization
  • Preparation of potential Lean methods for the company, development of meaningful key figures
  • In-depth interviews about affected areas to identify resistance and the reasons behind it (e.g. error culture, power mechanisms)
Decision-making workshop
  • Comparison of objectives and Lean methods, identification of risks, opportunities and conflicts of objectives
  • Decisions on measurement
  • Development of a change story based on a resistance analysis
  • Creation of road map for the introducing and accompanying measurement
Implementation workshops with affected parties
  • Exposure of reasons for resistance and dealing with them (e.g. fear of transparency, control, staff reduction as a hidden intent)
  • Development of specific method adaptations, e.g. dialogue boards with the help of lean patrons and the best practice results from the production area.
  • Derivation of a concrete list of actions for implementation, individual commitment
Ensuring sustainability
  • Visualization of successes
  • Establishment of a network of Lean mentors from all areas who regularly review key figures and side effects and report to decision-makers