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Lean manufacturing management


It is the belief of many that the success of lean manufacturing lies with the management.If you do not know much about lean manufacturing, you might think that it makes a lot of sense to attribute management with being the hard-working force behind any successful business.But the role of management in a lean manufacturing environment is very different.The challenge that management in a lean manufacturing environment has to deal with is learning how to let go of control and decrease the distance between themselves and the floor workers.

Lean manufacturing management has nothing to do with managers completely checking out of their jobs and handing responsibility off to others.The challenge of managing with a lean mentality is in finding the balance between delegating responsibility while being open to suggestions and yet still remaining accountable for the work that is accomplished by your team.In essence, you must develop a culture where there is mutual trust, a sense of personal responsibility and accountability, and a lack of personal ego getting in the way of progress.

The Toyota Company provides some of the best examples of what the role of management should be in a lean manufacturing environment.Toyota begins teaching their employees of the importance of each individual's role from day one.No member of the team is more important than another.Everyone plays a vital role in producing the product that will ultimately be purchased by the consumer.Some of the most important strides that Toyota has made have been in training their employees and educating them on the processes of the company and then actually implementing those into their workday.

Because they have the global center and have so many people in the company focused on the lean manufacturing perspective, they are able to achieve much more in less time.A feat that many companies work hard to achieve but few actually attain.Toyota executive leaders believe that the philosophy of lean manufacturing and training at Toyota will continue to improve as new ideas and approaches (most of which are suggested by every-day employees) are explored and tested.

Knowing what lean manufacturing is and deciding on what methods you would like to implement in your company is the first step in the process of creating a management team really committed to the lean manufacturing process.The main principles that should exist within any good lean training course should include management training.There are hundreds of different resources that you can utilize to help your organization successfully accomplish the goal of getting your management team trained and on board with your lean manufacturing goals.

Once they are trained themselves, executive management team members have the responsibility to set the expectations for any training program as well as to challenge the company to change its culture.Although in lean manufacturing the members of management should not necessarily be the ones with all of the say and power in the organization, but one very important role of management exists during the lean training of the company.Managers must be knowledgeable and provide the type of supportive leadership that the organization needs in order to successfully introduce lean methodologies.Without the push of management, these lean initiatives could easily fail to materialize.The bottom line is that it is the responsibility of management to see the lean training through from beginning to end.It is not necessarily their responsibility to micro manage to the point that executives are the ones who run the company.Lean training for managers entails learning how to develop, manage, and nurture a culture of lean thinking.

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