or Applying ‘Lean Principles’ in personal life
If you work in a large organisation, you must have probably heard of the Lean Principles. And if you haven’t, you probably will soon, as in these unprecedented times most of the organisations are worried about how efficient they are, their profit margins, etc…
The key point, really, is to cut down the waste, and to make your work the most efficient and effective via 5 principles:
Define Value – what is the customer willing to pay for?
Map Value Stream – are there any activities that aren’t adding value?
Create Flow – now that you’ve reduced waste, how will your new workload flow?
Establish Pull – how will the customers appreciate the value/how will the customers be more satisfied with the new flow?
Pursuit Perfection – Repeat again to ensure continuous improvement
When the lean principles were introduced in my company, many people weren’t happy. It is absolutely natural to be opposed to change, especially if you’ve established yourself and have been in your position for a while. Some people, however, have rejoiced. They were sick and tired of some wasteful processes, and welcomed an opportunity to improve many their daily routines (from complex excel sheets, to the chain of custody before an approval of a project– you name it!)
Me? I was 50/50, if you like. I can be easily convinced to any change, if I see true value in it, but the first two points – defining value, and analysing every single aspect of our working day seemed like extra work on top of my already busy week. But I was also on track to a promotion, so I made a conscious decision to be a cheerleader of the process, and try to find the ways to stream-line things. Becoming better at sharing existing methodologies, so that people don’t repeat work, and ultimately looking at every task with a critical mind, asking the following questions:
- Did I really need to do it? Did it add value? Will my clients (or boss) appreciate all the time I’ve invested in it? If the answer is ‘ermm, not really’ – then I had to review it.
- Did I spend too much time on it? Are there other things I should have focused on instead? If the answer is ‘yep, probably too much time, and I should have/could have…’ – then I absolutely had to review it.
I mean, who the hell likes wasting time???
Fast forward a year and a bit, and I’m in a new role again, thinking of ways how to make not just my life easier, but genuinely bring better value to my team and my client.
Brilliant! – I thought – What a great learning! Thinking ‘lean’ is already part of my routine.
And then it hit me.
I pride myself for trying to add value in the most efficient way at work, but I am NOT doing it in my personal life! Yes, I’m well aware than many corporate theories are non-transferrable to private life situations, but it doesn’t hurt considering it?
So this will be my short-term resolution in this hard-to-predict new year of 2021.
For everything that I will do, I will ask myself following questions:
Will this add value to my life? ~ Will it make me happier?
Will I (or people around when applicable) appreciate the final result? ~ Will it make me and people around me happier?
Is this worth my time, or are there better things that I can focus on? ~ Am I focusing on what makes me happy?
Whether it’s spending the evening doing a manicure, starting a hobby, re-connecting with someone, or organising/joining yet another Zoom quiz. Anything, really.
Will it bring joy? No? Don’t do it. You still want to do it? Review, analyse, maybe there is a different way.
Define Value –> Map Value Stream –> Create Flow –> Establish Pull –> Pursuit Perfection
Reflection helps to pursuit perfection
Anyway… It would be cool to find your personal efficient way to ensure that your own happiness is at the centre of all of your decisions – don’t you think?
Well, I’m going to try anyway.
Lots of love,