Building a Lean Service Enterprise : Reflections of a Lean Management Practitioner book cover
1st Edition

Building a Lean Service Enterprise
Reflections of a Lean Management Practitioner

ISBN 9781498779593
Published December 1, 2016 by Productivity Press
286 Pages 63 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book provides an assorted set of reflections/lessons from the "trenches" of Lean service and brings to fore leadership challenges, new tools, and the known-unknowns (insights that very few know but many in journey of Lean transformation need to know). Lean has the ability to address a wide range of problems faced by service companies, such as: complexity reduction, sales force productivity enhancement, operations risk control, cost leadership, combining scale with flexibility, service excellence and improving employee morale and involvement. Many of the principles discussed in the book are based on the author's first-hand experience in Lean implementation.

Table of Contents

How engaged is your CEO and Top ManagementSpend first 90 days to understand the needs of the company. Should you or should you not board the ship? Before embarking on a lean effort, pause to understand the type of problem that you are trying to solve? Just knowing tools does not make you a Lean Change Leader. Know the building blocks. "Influence" – Least discussed yet the most important quality of a seasoned Lean Change Leader. Engagement – Where to begin? To who does the Lean Change Leader report into? Trigger signs of upcoming change by embedding new "ways of working" for the leadership team. Do you know what constitutes a great Lean team? A person keen to be popular should not get involved in Lean efforts. It makes sense to define lean differently. How aligned is the top management on organisational outcomes? Do you know the building blocks of a holistic lean transformation? Don’t forget of 15Cs of Lean Transformation. Let’s not think lean to be a cost-cutting endeavour. Lean is not bigger than business outcomes – Adopt a quiver approach. Let a roadmap guide your deployment. Power the lean journey with art of observation. Lean need not necessary need to be called as Lean. Service guarantee can be a good aspiration to have in a lean transformation journey. Lean cannot just be the agenda of top management. Encourage team members to report problems. Resources can get squandered if employees do not know what service stands for. Manufacturing and Service Processes are not the same. Just not metrics but right metrics is what makes a difference. Processes should positively impact the key stakeholder. Explain why we do what we do30. Don’t get lost in tools, don’t forget those who could derail your lean journey. Employee Attrition could be a major cause of enterprise-inefficiency. Creating a sense-of-urgency is a pre-requisite for successful lean deployment. Never underestimate the power of middle-management. Continually ascertain the heath of lean adoption. Drive process ownership to get juice out of your process improvement effort. Follow a holistic approach to Visual Management System. Institutionalize the process of reflection. Institutionalise a LIP-SIP engine for improvements. Inventory in a services context can be quite context. Administer the Opportunity Questionnaire to judge applicability of Lean. Make Customers Service Themselves.Do not forget waste in functional crevices. White spaces can be potential opportunities for Lean application. Leverage multi-skilling to distribute and optimize capacity. The role of Lean team should change over time. See how your process of cross-selling can be made efficient and effective. Shun verbosity and long presentations – Adopt A3 Thinking. Install a common problem-solving approach. We need much more than a service recovery process. Too many MIS reports are no reports of value. The DEB-LOREX™ Model for Lean Transformation. Make a deep assessment of lean enterprise using the DEB-LOREX Index. Use Sales Partners to Build Relationships. Use Visual Management to manage Lean performance improvement.

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Debashis Sarkar is one of the world’s leading lights in Lean Management. Over the last decade he has been researching, experimenting and working on how to successfully implement the Lean principles to service companies.

He is credited to have proposed and deployed world’s first holistic blueprint for Lean for Service, and he pioneered Asia’s first Service Lean deployment in early 2000s. He also designed and implemented world’s first 5S for workplace efficiency in an office setting. Debashis has developed many new tools and techniques for Lean for Service, some of which appear in this book.

He is the Founder and Managing Partner of a boutique consulting company Proliferator Advisory & Consulting ( that enables companies with customer-centricity and lean thinking. His passion for Lean Management can be seen in his eight books and over 70 articles/papers. He has been invited all over the world for workshops and conferences.

He was elected as a Fellow of The American Society for Quality and the recipient of the Phil Crosby Medal in 2014.

Prior to getting into consulting he held leadership positions in companies such as ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever and Coke.

To know more about him, please visit the following:

You can also follow him on Twitter: @DebashisSarkar