Kaizen Consulting: 10 Start-up Steps to a Lean, Mean Management System

23 Mar, 2021 | By leslie@leanexpansion.ca

Why do business leaders need kaizen consulting? It’s usually not for help with products. It’s rarely to address the dedication of their people. My clients have amazing products and services. However, the framework of their business is another matter. Setting up the right people and systems to keep products and promises flowing smoothly to customers takes special skills, especially if growth is on the agenda.

Lean management is built to maximize resources, supercharging systems so you can optimize operations. To tell if management systems are faulty, look towards team members. When employees are exhausted and nothing is progressing, when retention levels and engagement are falling off—that’s when kaizen comes into play.

10 steps toward a lean management system

As an executive coach in Toronto, I work to accelerate growth, engagement, and efficiency across organizations. This is how my process works:

1) The first step is creating a customer journey map with the work processes imposed on it. Then I identify the top problems from the perspective of the customer.

2) The next step is figuring out how to reconcile customer perspective with strategic business objectives. Tackling shortfalls in customer expectations can and should lead to gain in your strategic objectives.

3) Next is problem-solving–middle managers must create tactical plans to identify key problems, as well as how and when they’ll be solved.

4) Get everyone involved in the problem-solving process, especially the employees directly interacting with customers and your product.

5) Ideas that are easy and cost-effective should be implemented ASAP.

6) Create a series of checks to ensure initiatives are working and measure results.

To sustain results, the next three steps are crucial:

7) Make steps 4 & 5 common and regular practice

8) Establish regular check-ins to ensure engagement and work levels remain consistent

9) Create visual KPIs (key performance indicators) with regular reviews at every level of the business utilizing a strategic lighthouse (more on this in another blog).

For the CEO

10) Invest in a lean management system to bolster team performance and get out of the way. Have faith in the people you’ve hired. Trust that with a solid management system, employees can leverage their abilities and make the right decisions for your organization.

Kaizen Consulting in the US and Canada

As a kaizen consultant in Toronto, Leslie Barker works with organizations in Canada and the US. For many businesses, kaizen is key to building better processes and customer relations. Leslie provides actionable strategies to enhance management systems through empirical data. To learn more or get started, call 416.528.7990