Title: Lean implementation: an evaluation from the implementers' perspective

Authors: Alex M. Akugizibwe; David R. Clegg

Addresses: Formerly of Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK ' Department of Engineering and Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK

Abstract: This study evaluates lean implementation across different sectors. Questionnaires were sent out to professionals experienced in lean. Respondents from different sectors including aerospace, rail and healthcare, listed visual management, 5S and work standardisation as the most utilised lean techniques. 'Poor understanding by the leadership team' and 'passive and active resistance to change' were the greatest barriers to lean implementation. 'Engaging with management and leadership' and 'employee ownership/workforce led change' were the critical success factors. The study supports previous findings that barriers to lean implementation and critical success factors are the same regardless of the sector or techniques used. The study also shows that lean successes are sometimes difficult to sustain. One limitation is that the findings cannot be generalised to a wider context especially in those sectors that had a limited data pool. They can however provide guidance to organisations when implementing a particular lean technique or the entire lean philosophy.

Keywords: lean implementation; lean tools; lean techniques; critical success factors; CSFs; barriers; aerospace industry; rail industry; healthcare industry; visual management; 5S; work standardisation; poor understanding; resistance to change; employee engagement; employee ownership; workforce led change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLER.2014.066832

International Journal of Lean Enterprise Research, 2014 Vol.1 No.2, pp.132 - 161

Received: 22 Jul 2013
Accepted: 26 Feb 2014

Published online: 21 Jan 2015 *

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