From ‘Thinking’ to ‘Action’

This is a solid set of steps developed by James P. Womack in his book Lean Thinking. He was into the Lean stream very early and has done some great work. He mentions Taiichi Ohno and The Toyota Production System in his work as well.

Womack’s 8 steps to get from ‘Thinking’ to ‘Action’:

  1. Overcome inertia – find a champion with a ‘we can do it’ attitude. Give them the authority they need.
  2. Study your workflow – look for the 7 areas of waste in the Lean model. Add an 8th – ‘Looking for Documents’
  3. Find something that needs fixing – something obvious
  4. Forget ‘strategy’ for the time being – avoid ‘Paralysis from Analysis’
  5. Map the workflow from the time the customer calls until the money for that order goes into the bank
  6. Choose a high-profile project – find something really visible that brings a lot of value quickly
  7. Demand results and broadcast the progress
  8. Build on success – spread the word and spread the improvements


There’s the path – you’ll find more detail in his book and online, but this will get you started!

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