Implementing Lean

Growing Solutions, Leading Improvement

Lean is a set of principles.

Any organization can seek to maximize customer value through eliminating waste, with respect for people.

Lean is a way of thinking

that focuses on optimizing the flow of work from a customer's perspective, rather than optimizing siloed departments.

Lean is a collection of tools 

that apply these principles and thinking to the challenge of identifying and removing problems and waste.

Lean_iconArtboard 1@3x.png

Lean for knowledge work and service work

We find that people love the principles, thinking, and tools of Lean. This is because…

  • Lean is a system that addresses all levels of an organization.
  • Lean has been developed and refined over a long period of time.
  • Lean gives the organization a framework for adapting to change and improving performance.
  • Lean opens up space for people to creatively remove problems where and when they occur.
  • Lean helps establish a workplace where everyone directly contributes to the value that is created for customers. It is not about eliminating jobs or people.
  • Lean is focused on continuous improvement. When improvement becomes a routine part of the work, it doesn't need to be comprehensive, expensive, or risky.
  • Lean is pragmatic.

Respect for people

At Koné Consulting, "respect for people" is the most important aspect of Lean. It's also the first aspect to go out the window in many botched attempts at Lean, or projects where people have Lean inflicted on them.

For us, respect for people means…

  1. Developing the skills and talents of individual people in an organization.
  2. Helping people identify the resources and authority they already have, and utilize these to seek ways to better serve customers.
  3. Developing environments of mutual trust and shared understanding.
  4. Changing the culture of organizations from fixation on "results" and "accountability" to focus on building quality into the work and orientation around an organization's purpose.

Recent projects

  • Cuyahuga Job and Family Services Division, Department of Health and Human Services: value stream improvement
  • San Mateo County Human Services Agency: Lean transformation and continuous improvement projects
  • Boulder County Housing and Human Services: continuous improvement project
  • County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency: continuous improvement project
  • City of Beaverton Community Development (partnering with Kennedy Consulting): value stream improvement
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: work visualization and continuous improvement projects
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services: Lean and work visualization workshops
  • State of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (partnering with the Urban Institute): value stream improvement