Thinking Thursday – Differences with Lean and Traditional Management

Thank you to those who responded to yesterday’s wiki. If you didn’t get a chance or want to expand on your thoughts please post them to the comments.

Yesterday’s wiki post:

“What Are The Differences With Traditional And Lean Management”

The wiki is a divergent wiki. A convergent wiki is looking for 1 “correct” response to a
question. A divergent wiki just asks give me all the answers you can think of for the question.

I’ve also launched a lean wiki site so please add articles and join in.

1)Traditional: Work organized based operations
Lean: Work organized on value stream operations

Traditional: Top down managed
Lean: Everyone works together, senior management removes barriers and operators in charge of solutions

2) That topic is certainly more like a book, not just a wiki, but if I had to give a quick answer:

In traditional management, the customer is the boss.In lean management, the customer is the team member.

In traditional management, my job is to solve problems. In lean management, my job is to develop systems that solve the problems.

In traditional management, my job is to manage the person as a resource and an asset. In lean management, my job is to develop the individual as a human.

In traditional management, my job is to hit the target or objective. In lean management, my job is to move the organization closer to the ideal state.

3)Big question. I’ll add a couple thoughts now. Reflect some maybe come back add more later.

Cost – traditional absorption costing that requires costs, even fixed ones, to be absorbed into product and ‘recovered’ by PRODUCING not SELLING units leads to bad decisions. People will make and inventory parts not for current demand (overproduction) in order to ‘recover’ overheads per the plan that was made last November. This is rational if you are held accountable for overhead recovery. A colleague in anothoer company had a major piece of equipment break yesterday (a monument). Two days to fix it. They jumped through hoops to get materials in from other plants in order to keep downstream ops running in order to recover overheads ‘per annual operating plan.’ They have 101 days of FGs in the warehouse (probably not what they need if Ohno was right). I’ll be nice and call that insanity instead of stupidity. the lean way synchronizes with pull and flow and allows for appropriate leveling (even seasonal if seasonal demand outpaces capacity).

Traditional management is top down. the lean way is both top down and bottom up. Hoshin Kanri allows the long term vision (call it strategy) to flow from the top down. This is a big, very general vision of what and WHY (purpose) and when out in the future. As that strategy is deployed lower levels in the organization get to fill in the specific whats, whens, whos, and whys. The higher level then agrees to the rationale and logic when they are comfortable with the plan and then there is some emotional ownership ACROSS levels (management by delegation not the management by abdication and ‘accountability’ model of the old way.)We did it this way in the Marine Corps. Big end state vision came from the ‘head shed’. We grunts devised our own devious littler whats, hows, whens, and whos in order to comply with the commanders big WHY (purpose). We said command goes down and control goes up. In the lean way some stuff should goes from bottom up maybe outside the hoshin kanri system. It tends to do that when people are engaged.

4)There is soooo much to tell about this argument.
I can add some points:
Traditional: managers blame people for having problems
Lean: managers work with people on solving problems

Traditional: managers continuously fire fighting
Lean: managers follow standardized daily routine

Traditional: traditional cost accounting
Lean: target and kaizen costing

Traditional: silos and separate departments
Lean: value streams

Traditional: push
Lean: pull

5)Traditional: Independent
Lean: Interdependent, closely linked

Traditional: “Leave me alone”
Lean: “I work as part of a team”

Traditional: “I define my own methods”
Lean: Methods are standardized

Traditional: Improvement is someone else’s job.
Lean: Improvement is everyone’s job

Traditional: Results focused
Lean: Process/path of results focused

Traditional: Firefighting
Lean: Problem solving root cause analysis

Traditional: Do
Lean: PDCA

Traditional: Failure is punished
Lean: Failure is acceptable

Traditional: Operator Error
Lean: System Failure

If you have any thoughts or additions please post them in the comments section.