“LEAN all over the place. But It Does Not Work.”

For our “exploratory meeting,” I asked my client, a 150-ppl business, to share their orgchart.

“We don’t have one but I will have one sketched for you.”

Soon, an email arrived. Attached to the email (that had actually no text) was an excel file with a dozen rectangles, sorted in three columns, half of them containing only the job title.

Not bad for a business of this size, don’t you think?

During the meeting that followed, Jake told me that although he realizes that he could benefit from it, he does not have the time “for paperwork” as he is overloaded with the ongoing daily fires. In response to my remark that the orgchart could be a good start to unload him as COO by removing unnecessary and duplicated activities, he said that they are already “Lean all over the place” in production but “it does not work.” That’s why they could use some help, but generating another document will not be a good idea.

” We are lean all over the place.
Nut it does not work.”

I tried to describe the business reality to him as a system, i.e. a set of interconnected elements (people and equipment) working together (orgchart/RACI) towards the set goal (Mission). He looked at me with a fleeting smirk.

Our next meeting is still in planning: too busy.

I am almost certain that Jake is not reading this. Still, what’s your take: Do you need the orgchart – or you can do fine without it?

Read more about this:

Was Starbucks’ venture into Lean useless?

“Lean” is to Businesses as “Weight Watchers” is to Individuals

Why Most Lean Six Sigma Projects Fail?

Performance Improvement History in Formulas

What Do Starbucks and Lean Six Sigma Have In Common?


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