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Lean and business processes in a creative environment

01/ 07/ 2019
  Viktor Roman. Master Black Belt Lean & 6 sigma, MBA, PhD, more than 15 years of experience in operational efficiency The principles of Lean, which are derived from Toyotas production system, have been implemented in production companies for several decades and have proved their effectiveness and efficiency. However, implementation of Lean in office and business processes, unfortunately, is not so widespread and faced with some difficulties. For example, in the production we can clearly understand when machine is idle and does not perform any action. But in the office, if your colleague, for example, looks at the monitor and does not perform actions? Does this mean that he or she wastes his time? Not always. Sometimes the result of work in this case may be intangible, for example, a new idea. Unlike production processes, the office environment is characterized by greater variability, multitasking, and diversity. It is believed that office work is unique in nature and cannot be described and standardized in any way. As a result, Leans approaches have a limited use. But, in fact, very often the company itself is the reason why the office work is so chaotic, unpredictable and unique in nature. That is why, an interesting example is the successful implementation of Leans principles in optimization of news content creation. In addition to the above mentioned difficulties in the office environment, the process of news creating is additionally complicated by a short production cycle time, unnormal variability and rapid change in the informational environment. Uncertainty and a human factor (journalists and heroes) are additional obstacles. At the same time, the strict time of news releases on the air leads to the fact that editors are constantly overloaded, they perform many tasks simultaneously and operate in the time-out mode. Further complications are creative component in the production of content, the uniqueness of each plot. As it turned out, the implementation of Lean in the creative process is not only possible but also quite effective. Together with creativity, in the process of media content creation, there are a large number of actions that do not require creative thinking at all, but rather mechanistic. It is possible and necessary to standardize them, visualize, search for wastes and variabilities and thus constantly improve. But even for actions that require a creative approach, you can develop rules that greatly simplify the thinking process and, at the same time, will not restrict creativity. Setting up and simplifying the content creation process with Lean allows you to improve communication between the participants and morale, and thus increase the effectiveness of both creative and mechanistic actions. So, this example proves that Lean in the office environment is not only possible, but also very effective.

Viktor Roman

Master Black Belt Lean & 6 sigma, MBA, PhD, more than 15 years of experience in operational efficiency

The principles of Lean, which are derived from Toyota’s production system, have been implemented in production companies for several decades and have proved their effectiveness and efficiency.

However, implementation of Lean in office and business processes, unfortunately, is not so widespread and faced with some difficulties.

For example, in the production we can clearly understand when machine is idle and does not perform any action. But in the office, if your colleague, for example, looks at the monitor and does not perform actions? Does this mean that he or she wastes his time? Not always. Sometimes the result of work in this case may be intangible, for example, a new idea.

Unlike production processes, the office environment is characterized by greater variability, multitasking, and diversity. It is believed that office work is unique in nature and cannot be described and standardized in any way. As a result, Lean’s approaches have a limited use.

But, in fact, very often the company itself is the reason why the office work is so chaotic, unpredictable and “unique” in nature.

That is why, an interesting example is the successful implementation of Lean’s principles in optimization of news content creation.

In addition to the above mentioned “difficulties” in the office environment, the process of news creating is additionally complicated by a short production cycle time, unnormal variability and rapid change in the informational environment. Uncertainty and a human factor (journalists and heroes) are additional obstacles. At the same time, the strict time of news releases on the air leads to the fact that editors are constantly overloaded, they perform many tasks simultaneously and operate in the time-out mode. Further complications are creative component in the production of content, the uniqueness of each plot.

As it turned out, the implementation of Lean in the creative process is not only possible but also quite effective. Together with creativity, in the process of media content creation, there are a large number of actions that do not require creative thinking at all, but rather mechanistic. It is possible and necessary to standardize them, visualize, search for wastes and variabilities and thus constantly improve.

But even for actions that require a creative approach, you can develop rules that greatly simplify the thinking process and, at the same time, will not restrict creativity.

Setting up and simplifying the content creation process with Lean allows you to improve communication between the participants and morale, and thus increase the effectiveness of both creative and mechanistic actions.

So, this example proves that Lean in the office environment is not only possible, but also very effective.

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