Lean transformations don’t stop at the shop floor. When a manufacturing organization changes its ways of thinking, working, and decision-making, it must also make corresponding changes to the larger organization’s governance structures, processes and planning activities.

Lean practices will likely help the operation progress toward the chosen target, but they may not be sufficient in themselves.

A successful transformation usually entails timely investments to improve production throughput or costs. Sometimes it’s necessary to override or expedite the standard capital-expenditure approval process to fund such investments.

It is important to be brutally honest about the people who will be accountable for the lean initiative, including senior leadership, the onsite management team, and supervisors across every function. Are they up to the job or should they be replaced.