We always hear about the ideas of LEAN and Six Sigma as ways to eliminate waste within your manufacturing processes, distribution channels and warehouse management. The basic principles of these concepts are to not do anything that is wasteful or does not add value to the organization. If that is the case, can we then apply these principles to the office environment? Of course we can.
The idea of only focusing on value-added activities is not a new one and you don't need to be a Blackbelt in Six Sigma to do it. Forget about the terms, because we get too hung up on labels and names, and focus on the outcome. The purpose and desired outcome is to do things faster, better, brighter. The focus is on looking at what you do and making it better, taking out wasted effort and time and enhancing the quality of the process.
Every company needs to review their operations and improve on them, but by calling it LEAN, we create a perception of manufacturing and the movement of goods. In fact, the principles can apply to resolving customer issues, product development, invoice payment and decision-making, amongst other things. Spend less time on the label and more time on affecting positive change.
Then the only label that matters is 'Successful,' and that is that we want to stick.