Working Technology

Digital Lean

“We are looking at a society increasingly dependent on machines, yet decreasingly capable of making or even using them effectively.”
Douglas Rushkoff

What is Digital Lean?

Adopting a Lean culture has resulted directly in significant client successes across all industries from manufacturing to healthcare to services. There are numerous examples and case studies in each of these sectors to prove the ongoing power of adopting Lean Thinking to achieve remarkable outcomes. The Leading Edge Group has supported over 20 business transformations in the last decade and the results can still be seen today from a company and customer perspective with regards to higher performance levels compared to their competitors. These companies have aligned their activities flexibly and efficiently according to their clearly defined business strategy. Lean management has in effect become the centre of their business transformations.

Further shifts in performance can result from embedding proven technologies in their core value streams through adopting a Lean Digital approach. This approach is basically a combination of design thinking, Lean management practices, and appropriate digital technologies.  Bain and Company find that while traditional Lean typically produces a 15% reduction to key operating costs, Lean Digital adds a 100% improvement on top of that, for a 30% cost reduction.

The graph below further portrays the potential from adopting a Lean Digital approach based on an automotive study commissioned by Arthur D Little.

benefits of lean graph

The Benefits of Digital Lean

Most companies find it difficult to fully grasp the benefits of this Lean Digital approach and we can support you by delivering the following three programs:

  • Lean Digital Start – We will combine our continuous improvement maturity assessment (CIMM) with a digital readiness model to assess your overall capability and estimated potential
  • Lean Digital Plus – We will help to re-design two pilot processes/value streams adopting value stream mapping, digital heat maps and digital green field designs
  • Lean Digital Transform – We will work together to develop a Lean Digital Transformation Strategy and support its execution across the business including the development of technological building blocks for automation and digitalization as well as radical workplace re-designs. We will also provide the appropriate training in Lean Digital Best Practice in order to empower your people with a creative mindset and the power to effect change.

Companies need to understand that trying to embrace a new way of thinking and survive in the digital world will not succeed by adopting the same old approaches and processes by just changing the tools and systems and “hey presto” you will succeed!! This is why it is important to start with what you have, to interrogate your core value stream from a Lean Digital perspective and to give your people the power and ability to solve the problems and create sustainable solutions.

This Lean approach proves invaluable at three levels, in particular, when planning a digital transformation:

  1. It spots redundancies in the design phase

Lean identifies complexity before digitisation even starts — this is an investment that pays off many times over. It singles out unnecessary process steps that will not add client or overall business value.

  1. Itsimplifies the building phase and keeps it iterative

Lean practices support a simpler transformation with less displacement of legacy technologies, people and processes. This helps companies move faster and with fewer risks or surprises.

  1. It optimises existing systems and operations

Applying the digital lean approach to managing infrastructure and legacy technologies makes enterprise operations more cost-effective and agile. It also helps release resources for investments for the future instead of locking them into maintenance.

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