Office – implementation from A to Z
Lean Office is a part of the Lean Management concept covering the administrative operations of a company. It boils down to managing all office processes in such a way that inefficient processes can be diagnosed and eliminated, while the others are continuously improved. The operations of any company must consist of a series of office processes that form the basis for its operation.
Therefore, in office processes it is advisable to strive to locate the sources of waste and eliminate them. An excellent solution to them may be the implementation of the Lean office concept.
Table of Contents
- What are wastes in the context of service processes?
- Next Steps in Lean Office Implementation
- Value stream mapping
- Benefits that Lean office brings
1. What are wastes in the context of service processes?
One of the first steps in implementing the solutions that Lean Office offers should be to identify and interpret any problems that contribute to waste in the broadest sense. In the activities that office workers undertake, the most common problems stem from high service costs, information overload, delays, low profitability, poor employee motivation, low efficiency and low flexibility. An outdated work system that is unsuited to employees’ needs also negatively affects the quality of their work. Excessive paperwork and documentation chaos that overwhelms and slows down work is also a common problem. Sometimes improving at least one of the aforementioned issues is capable of significantly improving the operation of a company. With proper discipline and commitment, high benefits can be achieved by eliminating waste. It all depends on the size of the company, the industry, the specifics of the problems and the willingness of the people to make changes.
2. Next Steps in Lean Office Implementation
The next step after the initial diagnosis of problems, contrary to appearances, should not be an attempt to solve them. Usually the problems are deeper than they might superficially appear. Therefore, it is necessary to diagnose the problem, to find its root cause. In addition, the benefits of making changes should be discussed with employees and they should be made aware that this is not only about the good of the company, but also about their own comfort and ergonomics at work. Otherwise, there is a risk that changes introduced without proper preparation will not take, and old problems will return, further complicating the functioning of the company. It can be said that it is necessary to start with a revolution in consciousness, i.e. working on a change of conduct aimed at changing thinking. Often employees are very accustomed and even attached to old habits.
3. Value stream mapping
Of tremendous value when making changes in a company along the lines of the Lean concept, is value stream mapping. Using the lean tool – VSM, we identify activities that add value in the process and those that are an obvious waste. In office and administrative operations, this shows the flow of processes between people and departments and highlights existing waste. Reliably carried out mapping should include, among other things, information about the amount of documentation and the time of execution of individual steps, which allows calculation of Lead Time (flow time). Typically, the most common improvements made after creating a value stream map, lead to a 20-30% reduction in time to process execution. This is achieved by eliminating, combining and reducing the duration of activities, as well as creating new, useful and universal procedures. The result of these activities will be a new map that will paint a picture of an improved process without waste. It should be carefully analyzed in terms of its feasibility for implementation. These activities should be carried out until the process is possible and composed primarily of value-adding activities and those non-value-adding, but necessary in the process.
4. Benefits that Lean office brings
Implementation of the Lean office concept has a significant impact on reducing unnecessary costs. This consists primarily of improving the quality and reducing the execution time of processes taking place in the office. The use of modern solutions allows you to compete with the best in the industry. This attracts both potential customers and new employees or business partners. Increasing the efficiency of office staff has a positive impact on the functioning of the entire company. Better communication between employees raises awareness of the desirability of their actions and ultimately results in greater commitment. It should be noted that applying the solutions offered by the Lean concpecation directs the work culture of the entire company towards continuous improvement, development and innovation.
Lean Office is a practical approach to improving office processes as efficiently as possible. It creates a foundation for implementing Lean concepts on your own and teaches you how to manage change in an administrative environment. However, it is important to remember that often the theory may seem easy on the surface, but it is the practice that verifies the actual scale of the whole enterprise. However, if you want something really badly, everything can be achieved and improved. It all depends on the willingness and commitment of the staff. Invaluable help in implementing the Lean concept is an experienced Trainer, who thanks to his knowledge is able to significantly improve the occurring processes, positively influence the comfort of employees, and ultimately – thanks to the recommended and implemented changes – improve the financial results of the company using his services. We invite you to participate in lean training courses on Lean Office, which we conduct.