In a Lean workplace, attention is tightly focussed on how work flows from one activity to another rather than how the individual work areas function within each team boundary.
Such an overview ignores workplace boundaries and encourages the work to be produced cleanly and smoothly throughout the entire length of the business process. This ensures that it flows without errors, increased costs, excessive backlogs or a wasteful need for others to rework your work.
Staff and Management seeing the same picture
First Line management using visual management methods facilitate Horizontal Operational Reviews encouraging everyone to surface problems of ‘Flow’ by creating a blame-free space where collaborative, problem-solving activity is designed to eliminate such Flow interruptions as persistent errors, unclean work, backlogs and delays.
The frequency of the meetings can vary from bi-weekly to twice a week, depending on the critical nature of the business process and/or scenarios where production volume necessitates more frequent reviews.
Improving the Business Capability to Produce
The Middle and Senior Management communities will also conduct Operational Reviews with their staff using the very same visual management board and performance data but with a focus on improving end-to-end delivery capability to produce the required volumes of work while First Line management and below continue to focus on removing errors that impact flow.
That last point brings this full circle and captures the Lean difference. Improving an entire business flow instead of a strict focus on individual department functions has a more substantial impact on the companies output and quality.