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Applying Lean to Life

(Applying the Tools of Lean: 5S, Kanban, Visual Control, and Problem-Solving … Used to Address Leadership, Management, Trust, and Employee Engagement … In our Personal Lives)


It is a belief, that for true and sustained success in Lean, one must embrace a total culture of Lean. So why not begin within.




So Where Does One Start?

Start With What You Can Control – Change and Transform. We control our openness, curiosity, personal choices as well as ability to change and transform.


So How Do We Implement this Personally?

Step 1: Lean Tenet – Add Value -- Define Your Value

What Value Do You Bring/Deliver/Produce?

Defining your value will help provide clarity -- to know where to spend your time growing and improving.


Goal: Delivering the highest value. Being clear on who you are, where you want to be, and the possible path to get you there. Breaking it down for easier problem-solving, One Step at a Time.


Step 2: Lean Tenet – The Value Stream -- Define Audience

Who Is The Audience You Are Delivering To?

Know who you are performing for, both internal and external. You are providing or delivering the highest value to whom? To deliver high-value understand their needs.


Step 3: Lean Tenet – Optimize -- Define & Measure Success

How Will You Measure Success? -- [a.k.a. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)]


Define this measurement(s). Make sure they are quantifiable [measurable]. Define what it means in respects to your personal compass that lets you know you are performing at your current capacity, and what you can do to improve – getting closer to your goal, and what the next goal-post may look like.


Post it or write it down where you can continually see your measurements and where you think you currently are so that you can Celebrate or Motivate.


Step 4: Lean Tenets – Elimination of Waste & Continuous Improvement -- Manage & Improve

What Does Normal Look Like, So You Know The Abnormal? -- [a.k.a. Standard Operating Process (SOP)]


If you do not know what your habits are both good and bad you will have no way of knowing how you can Streamline those and knock-off the ones that slow things down, and improve on or add to those that make life go more Seamlessly. Sit back and analyze what in your daily life works well and what does not. What causes those chaotic moments of frustration? What seems wasteful or unnecessary? [time and efficiency]


Where Do You Go From Here?

After that, apply what you have learned (what you have become/who you are) to other aspects of your life – Living Lean. Working Lean …


Tools & Resources

  • 5S Techniques [link Apply 5S to Everyday Life [here] and 5s Your Life

  • Use 5S – Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain to help eliminate waste [here] and lean approach personal life [here]

  • 5S Your Kitchen [here]

  • Use Kanban – visual methods to help manage [here]

  • Personal Kanban [here]

  • Lean Everyday [here]

  • Lean Smarts [here]

[Article written by: Sheila Faulkner, IT Auditor, Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division]

#ProcessImprovement #Improvement #PersonalImprovement #ResultsDriven #ApplyingLeantoLife #Lean



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