Monday, February 23, 2015

Lean Is Like LEGOS: You Build It Brick By Brick

Who doesn't love LEGOS? It's fun, it's practical,'s philosophical. Approach Lean like a LEGO project: brick by brick.

"Today I want you to stop worrying about that final plan, and instead focus on just putting the next LEGO brick in the right spot. THAT'S IT." That's pretty much how you build with LEGO. One brick at a time, placed in the right place. Don't worry about the next brick. Just the brick in front of you.”  - Steve Kamb, NerdFitness

You build small, simple pieces that are easy to understand and then you assemble them in a variety of complex ways to accomplish a particular goal. When faced with a challenge that seems overwhelmingly complicated at first break it down until you can understand the pieces, then watch how they fit together - suddenly almost anything seems doable.

Building with Lego bricks is a slow progression that takes patience, especially when you have a large number of loose blocks to sort through while you are building.

Trying to do too much when introducing a new process can be overwhelming. Strive to accomplish small steps over time and build on your successes.

Continuous improvement is about small changes on a daily basis to make your job easier.  Small step-by-step improvements are more effective over time than occasional kaizen bursts, and have a significantly greater impact on the organization culture - creating an environment of involvement and improvement.

Small victories tap into motivation. Achievement is fueled by making small amounts of progress, such as accomplishing a task or solving a problem. Help employees break projects, goals, and work assignments into small victories. Help them jump into an achievement cycle.

Making one small change is both rewarding to the person making the change and if communicated to others can lead to a widespread adoption of the improvement and the possibility that someone will improve on what has already been improved. There's no telling what might occur if this were the everyday habit of all team members.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim

    Just like in many Lego building projects were a tiny part can be the key to the whole project. In real life Lean Improvement efforts sometimes those tiny little efforts are more critical than any major improvement. The little ones also have the benefit of creating a culture built upon several successes, while it is far more likely large efforts will experience far more problems and can also fail.