Lean implementation failure and variance | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

Lean implementation failure and variance

Research Briefing

Keywords: Lean, lean systems, lean implementation, organisational ambidexterity, structural ambidexterity, contextual ambidexterity

As you might expect, the outcomes from lean implementation programmes and organisations tend to achieve variable outcomes. When you consider the number of variables that are involved in a complex project like implementing lean in, or across, an organisation, it is hardly surprising that there is great variance in the results achieved.

A number of previous research studies looking at what factors make the biggest difference when implementing lean processes in an organisation have found that the outcomes achieved and the outcomes anticipated are significantly different more often than not. This lean implementation variance effect occurs even when organisations manage to get lean practices adopted, however, these practices do not always translate into the level of operational change and performance improvements required.

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