Lean Management is a business practice that focuses on improving the working environment by reducing waste, maximizing the use of space and making the work processes more efficient. Lean events are housekeeping exercises that follow the '"Five S'"steps of sorting, simplifying, scrubbing, standardizing and sustaining followed by process flow evaluation
All organizations are a collection of processes - actions and sequences of steps intended to create value for those who use them. Lean is a quality management philosophy aligning people and systems at all levels to improve efficiency, eliminate non-value added streams, and create more effective work processes. Applying Lean in the workplace can occur in one of two ways. The first is to implement the concept of 6S Lean, which focuses on the physical part of the workplace, such materials and people movement. The second concept, Kaizan, is focused on processes, such as how a contract is started, approved and implemented. The term Kiazan means continuous incremental improvement.
You can experience the benefits of Lean whether you work in disease prevention, environmental health, community health or another branch of public health. All organizations, including local health departments and their programs, are composed of a collection of processes. Any time there is a process, there is always the opportunity to create waste. Using Lean means implementing incremental improvements in your processes. It focuses on value and the elimination of that waste. Tools and techniques have been available for nearly five decades and have been practiced and proven with remarkable results- increased service level and quality, enhanced employee participation and greater utilization of resources. Lean is sensible, and it is not exclusive. Anyone can adopt the elements, apply the rules, use Lean tools and experience the benefits.