Lean Knowledge Work
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Like this? Share it with your network

Share

Lean Knowledge Work

on

  • 356 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
356
Views on SlideShare
356
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Lean Knowledge Work Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Lean  Knowledge  Work   by  Bradley  R.  Staats  and  David  M.   Upton  
  • 2. •  The  Toyota  ProducBon  System  is  arguably  the  most   important  invenBon  in  operaBons  since  Henry  Ford’s   Model  T  began  rolling  off  the  producBon  line.  It  has   spawned  numerous  approaches  to  improving   operaBons,  all  based  on  the  same  principles:   –  relentless  aKenBon  to  detail,     –  commitment  to  data-­‐driven  experimentaBon,     –  charging  workers  with  the  ongoing  task  of  increasing   efficiency  and   –  eliminaBng  waste  in  their  jobs   •  This  collecBon  of  ideas  is  oQen  termed  “lean  
  • 3. •  But  aKempts  to  apply  lean  approaches  to  knowledge   work  have  proved  frustraBngly  difficult.  Most  in  the   business  world  believe  that  knowledge  work  does  not   lend  itself  to  lean  principles,  because,  unlike  car   assembly,  it  is  not  repeBBve  and  can’t  be   unambiguously  defined.   •  we’ve  found  that  lean  principles  can  be  applied  in   some  form  to  almost  all  kinds  of  knowledge  work  and   can  generate  significant  benefits:  faster  response  Bme,   higher  quality  and  creaBvity,  lower  costs,  reduced   drudgery  and  frustraBon,  and  greater  job  saBsfacBon.  
  • 4. Wipro’s  Lean  Journey   •  Wipro  is  one  of  the  largest  IT  services  and   product  engineering  companies  in  the  world.  It   has  more  than  100,000  employees  and  72   delivery  centers  in  55  countries.   •  Wipro’s  leaders  decided  to  build  a  lean  system.   Although  they  recognized  that  this  approach  was   unproven  in  knowledge  work  and  would  require   a  profound  transformaBon  of  the  company,  they   believed  that  the  potenBal  payoff—the  ability  to   improve  faster  than  their  compeBtors—was   worth  the  risk  
  • 5. Wipro’s  Lean  Journey   •  The  managers  began  studying  how  the  lean  approach  had   been  applied  in  manufacturing.  They  pored  over  all  the   wriKen  material  they  could  find,  toured  lean  factories,  and   conferred  with  a  former  Toyota  guru.  Then  they   brainstormed  about  how  to  use  what  they  had  learned;   each  picked  an  exisBng  project  to  test  their  ideas  on.   Gradually  they  idenBfied  pracBces  that  worked.   •  We  discovered  that  the  lean  approach  is  already  having  a   significant  impact.  The  lean  projects  we  studied  performed   no  beKer  than  others  on  measures  of  quality  (defects  and   mistakes),  perhaps  because  standards  were  already  high.   But  they  produced  superior  results  in  terms  of  Bme  and   cost  
  • 6. Some  principles  for  making  knowledge   operaBons  lean   •  Eliminate  Waste   –  Taiichi  Ohno,  the  principal  architect  of  the  Toyota   system,  said  there  were  “seven  wastes”  that  everyone   in  a  manufacturing  operaBon  should  strive  to   eliminate:  overproducBon;  unnecessary   transportaBon,  inventory,  and  worker  moBon;   defects;  overprocessing;  and  waiBng.     –  knowledge  work  includes  many  rouBne  acBviBes  that   don’t  involve  judgment  or  experBse  and  can  eat  up   huge  amounts  of  Bme:  prinBng  documents,   requesBng  informaBon  needed  to  make  a  decision,   and  seeng  up  meeBngs,  to  name  just  a  few.  
  • 7. Some  principles  for  making  knowledge   operaBons  lean   •  The  key  is  to  get  everyone  in  the  organizaBon  to   systemaBcally  make  waste  visible  and  do  something  about   it.  Here’s  how  to  enlist  people  in  the  cause:   –  Teach  everyone  to  ask  “the  five  whys   •  Why  am  I  aKending  this  meeBng?  Why  am  I  filling  out  this  report?   Why  am  I  standing  at  the  printer?   –  Encourage  everyone  to  look  for  small  forms  of  waste,  not  just   big  ones   •  How  many  e‑mails  cluKer  your  in-­‐box  because  someone  cc’d  you   unnecessarily?  How  long  did  you  have  to  wait  to  start  a  regularly   scheduled  meeBng  because  aKendees  slowly  trickled  in?  How  many   reports  are  created  that  nobody  reads?   –  Periodically  review  the  structure  and  content  of  every  job   •  Managers  should  regularly  assess  their  employees’  tasks,  including   how  much  Bme  is  spent  on  each.    
  • 8. Specify  the  Work   Specifying  knowledge  work  involves  four  steps:   1.  Look  for  repeatable  parts  of  the  process  and   codify  them   2.  Don’t  try  to  specify  everything  iniBally,  if   ever.   3.  Use  data  to  get  buy-­‐in   4.  Keep  studying  the  work  that  has  been   designated  as  tacit.  
  • 9. Structure  CommunicaBons   A  lean  system  can  promote  good   communicaBon  by  arBculaBng  the  ways  in   which  it  should  be  carried  out.  Here’s  how:   1.  Define  who  should  be  communicaBng,  how   oQen,  and  what?   2.  Create  a  shared  understanding   3.  Resolve  disagreements  with  facts,  not   opinions  
  • 10. Address  Problems  Quickly  and  Directly   Here’s  how  to  adapt  the  scienBfic  method  in  a   knowledge  seeng:   1.  If  a  problem  arises,  ideally  the  person  who   created  it  should  fix  it   2.  Problems  should  be  solved  where  they  occur   3.  Solve  problems  as  soon  as  possible  aQer  they   emerge.  
  • 11. Plan  for  an  Incremental  Journey   •  •  •  •  Start  small   Codify  the  lessons  learned.   Keep  looking  for  new  ways  to  work   Remember  that  the  lean  approach  is  not   useful  everywhere  
  • 12. Engage  Your  Managers   •  Project  managers  and  other  midlevel  leaders   must  train  and  moBvate  their  teams   •  Senior  leaders  must  be  long-­‐term  champions.