Strategic planning is a crucial aspect, but the thought process of which it is a result proves even more critical. This is where the practice of applying lean principles to strategic planning comes into the picture.
Applying lean principles to strategic planning proves advantageous as it transforms thinking, introduces a scientific thought process to the strategic planning process, and streamlines the execution part.
In this view, this article discusses some of the vital aspects such as lean principles, linking strategic planning and lean principles, the process of lean planning, and its advantages.
What are Lean Principles?
Lean principles aim at providing companies with a framework that helps them improve process efficacy and achieve the desired results. It focuses on pointing out shortcomings and improving the workflow. Let us glance through the five lean principles that constitute the framework of organisational success.
- Defining Value: Defining value involves decoding customer demands through a range of interviews, research, survey, etc. It also helps you develop the process that achieves the requirements, and also determine the price that the customer can pay you for it.
- Mapping the Value Stream: Mapping the value stream, in simple words, involves identifying everything that contributes to the customer’s value, and discarding waste. It helps you reduce the production time, cost, and resources.
- Creating a Workflow: When you identify your resources, you now create a finite workflow that leads you towards completion.
- Establishing Pull: Establishing a pull-based system helps you have what you require to deliver the desired value, without wasting resources, or keeping excess of them at disposal.
- Pursuing Perfection: Perfection is subject to practising lean principles in the right way. The more you apply them, the more you perfect them and deliver the desired results.
Strategic Planning and Lean Principles (Hoshin Kanri)
Lean principles, when applied to regular strategic planning, help organisations reach their objectives without deviating from the original growth plan. Lean’s contribution to the strategic management space is termed Hoshin Kanri. It is the outcome of the application of a scientific thought process associated with the development and execution of the company’s objectives.
How Strategic Lean Planning is done?
Creating a lean strategic plan isn’t as challenging as it may seem. It requires you to follow a few important steps and work the plan in the right direction. Here’s how you prepare a lean strategic plan.
- Create a Lean Plan
Creating a lean plan involves some essential factors. It includes your identity in the market, the definition of the problem, the solution you propose, your target market, competition, sales channels, marketing activities, revenue-generating elements, your expenses, milestones, team, and associates. Fundamentally, it talks about what, how, who, and when of your plan.
- Test your Plan
Testing your plan will help you understand if your plan is working or not, and whether it is serving its objectives. Besides, it also helps evaluate the efficacy of the plan when it comes to resolving customer concerns and fulfilling their demands.
- Review the Results
Results decide your plan’s efficiency and success. Your plan may have worked. But then, you must review the results as well. The figures you achieve, the plan’s impact etc. are critical factors to consider.
- Revise your Plan
If the existing plan doesn’t yield the right results, revise your plan. A periodic revival strictly comparing the achieved results with the desired ones will help you determine the deficit, and define the revision.
Advantages of Strategic Lean Planning
- Strategic lean planning improves focus.
- It keeps you in control of the direction of the plan, and its execution
- It enhances your work processes and aligns it with the business objectives.
- Strategic lean planning helps you identify what’s necessary, and reduces waste.
- It enables you to achieve your goals in an organised manner.
At Vedzen, we are a team of expert and experienced lean consultants that help you optimise your lean strategic plan to help you achieve the desired outcome, through a controlled and efficient workflow.