In this chapter, a lean transformation roadmap is constructed through five phases including the areas of concern — from education to infrastructure. There are a couple of prevailing misconceptions that must be highlighted and dispelled. Lean is a way of thinking. It is a journey that is never over. It is a system framed in a collection of rules and principles. Phase One assumes that a company has explored lean as outlined in Phase Zero, and a decision has been made to move forward with lean implementation. The company is ready to embark on the journey; now its leaders need to figure out how to navigate the road ahead. Phase Two expands lean to a larger part of the organization and burrows deeper into lean tools and lean thinking. The focus is now on critical business issues, not just localized issues and opportunities. In Phase Three, a company integrates lean into every aspect of its businesses. This phase assumes a company has stabilized lean processes and behaviors. The goal is to integrate lean into every activity so it becomes a natural part of day-today operations. Lean should be the fabric of the organization. It is what holds people, processes, and products together and dictates how an organization manages its daily activities. Many of the Phase Four characteristics do not differ significantly from Phase Three — except for intensity, depth, and duration. Phase five is the long-term transformation.
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