Lean is most commonly utilized to improve operations or services in a relatively stable environment…but we can also apply these practices to the challenges and ongoing aftermath of the pandemic.

What has made this application of lean especially difficult is that conditions have been continually shifting, so it is hard to focus on any one set of improvements. Even now, as we look forward, we can only imagine what we actually need to be prepared for the future. Continual health related concerns in the workplace, shifts to virtual work approaches and the demands of a struggling economy will require us to be ready for a wide range of scenarios in preparing for future norms.

As a proponent of optimizing the people aspects of lean, there is no time like the present to figure out how to utilize what is known about the benefits of lean and apply them to the evolving situation.

In doing so, we need to consider how both respect for people and lean methods apply to overcoming the evolving challenges. With all of this in front of us, how can we use lean practices to increase our readiness and success in adapting while optimizing everyone’s contributions?

I recently wrote a framework that acts as a basis for applying various lean practices to the situations we currently face. You can read about it in the July/August issue of Cost Management here.

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