Lean Printing: Cultural Imperatives for Success

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Quite simply put—they work.

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Unfortunately, many attempts to establish Lean operations fail, not because of a lack of funds, tools, or time, but because the company culture simply will not support the inevitable shift in focus. Cultural Imperatives for Succes features advice on what it takes to achieve complete buy-in from the top of a company to the bottom, including:.

The book also includes six case studies of actual companies who have faced the challenge of establishing truly Lean printing operations. Without the support of a critical mass of your organization, LSS improvements are destined for failure. If you are fortunate enough to successfully develop a new and improved process with your team, you still have the daunting task of making the new process stick.

Lean Printing : Cultural Imperatives for Success by Kevin Cooper (2010, Paperback)

That is why it is critical to deal with the organizational politics right up front. Identifying key stakeholders who might not be supportive of your proposed changes, and developing plans to gain their support or at least get them to a neutral position , are essential for success. The charter is a formal document that describes your SMART metric, the preliminary scope of your project, the target to be achieved, the team members, a timeline with milestones for the project, and much more. It is a document that ensures your team is on the same page.

Why Lean is Wrongly Deployed

Also, expand on your charter by creating a project plan to determine how you are going to get to your future state. Note that reducing the scope and modifying the charter should be done during the define phase as well as any time that you discover that you can deliver the majority of the project benefits by further reducing the scope of your project.

Cultural Imperatives in Becoming Lean webinar - WhatTheyThink

You are now ready to get more people on board and start your team process. Select a specific day, time, and place to meet.


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This will minimize forgetting of meetings. Be sure to emphasize the importance of attendance.

LEAN PRINTING & MANUFACTURING - the pathway to success!

So, begin working on some of these improvements as soon as the charter is approved. A good example is that many processes can be improved with the implementation of a smart form, where customers enter their requirements themselves, as opposed to an operator. With built-in error proofing, this will improve standardization, reduce variation, reduce errors, and reduce rework of many processes. Learning how to manage meetings is especially valuable to the successful initiation of a LSS initiative.


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  • People hate unproductive meetings, and they already have too many of them! There are some simple tools that, when used well, can significantly improve LSS meetings as well as all other meetings. Note that it is very helpful to identify the problem, the specific metric to improve, and do some charting and other preliminary analysis on your key metric before forming the team. Also, once it is well known that you are forming a team with a specific objective, managers or workers who are responsible for the process may begin to improve it on their own, making it difficult to establish a meaningful baseline.

    Take the time to get your team off to a successful start during the define phase. It will make all the difference. He holds a doctorate in business administration. Levine retired from The Coca-Cola Co. For more articles by Levine, click here. He has published papers in several academic journals on topics ranging from corporate strategy to supply chain management to analytics. He has consulted with many institutions in the areas of process improvement, analytics, and teaching methods, and has won several awards for both research and teaching.

    The aspect of providing time and resource for the project to finish properly is important. Most of the time people are busy with their work and giving time is a constraint. I completely agree with the methods and approach of this article. In my experience I have preferred using the Plan Do Check Act PDCA model of project planning due to the use and application of Lean tools in environments that do not require as much data analysis in order to effectively manage the improvement opportunity. From an RTG Solutions Group prospective we strive to include and engage every associate at every level of the organization; this is imperative to the success of the organizational initiative.

    It also provides the mechanism that can be used to organically develop a Change Management model that ultimately leads to overall Organizational Development of people and processes. Copyright on content held by Quality Digest or by individual authors. Kevin Cooper has worked in printing and manufacturing for more than twenty years. He is currently a professor of graphic communication at California Polytechnic State University and actively presents and consults with printers on Lean manufacturing methods. He is a co-author of Lean Printing: Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.

    Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? There s a reason so many printers are discovering and employing Lean practices in their day-to-day operations.

    Ensuring Lean Six Sigma Success With a Robust Define Phase

    Quite simply put they work. Unfortunately, many attempts to establish Lean operations fail, not because of a lack of funds, tools, or time, but because the company culture simply will not support the inevitable shift in focus. Cultural Imperatives for Success features advice on what it takes to achieve complete buy-in from the top of a company to the bottom, including: