The Importance of a Lean and Agile Business
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The Importance of a Lean and Agile Business

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ithout exception, every major business enterprise today, small or large, requires a consistently agile infrastructure to achieve its growth objectives. This is because:

- In the current economy, it is imperative that companies be lean and agile. Businesses must focus on managing operations as effectively as possible in advance, and leverage core skills-including information systems-to optimize the performance of essential business processes.

- Successful global enterprises need to focus on their grip on finance. Cash management and total fixed cost reductions must not only be a matter of focus for every executive but need to be a primary objective.

- Really good executives and the businesses they manage must consistently handle any type of disruption. When things are going well, a business can become more stable and businesses can enjoy more time for research and development, new product development, and other necessary processes desired to survive and thrive in the market. When failure comes, businesses must be able to recover maximized performance without sacrificing company values or brand.

Companies need to think of themselves as a robust hybrid between ones that cling to old business models that are hard to change and ones that are propelled into a constantly changing business environment. This constant need for change will demand that the necessary consistent cheerleading required to add a competitive edge to a constant state of chaos should be applied from the top down and applied to all levels of the company and to all tasks. This requires not just buy-in, but the understanding of technologies, business processes, and all of the critical success factors inside the company (which is why the need for the entire company to be either agile or continually agile).

Instead of struggling with continuous improvement of processes-including IT-for your organization to overcome business systems shocks, not only do executives need the results, programmers need a stable environment. Businesses should be lean and require cross-training and potential new hires to adapt that to their individual job skills and personal preferences.

Next time you hear the expression, “You have to be lean and be agile.” Stop and ask yourself, “Which part of my business will be recognized as the strengths, and where would I find the time, while keeping everything in place and those of the organizations to maintain stability and on stay track”?

One month of lean trend analysis, staff, capital, and other resources can provide a small business with a significant competitive edge over a slow year, and [this is] a leadership objective.

The information in this article is true for companies large and small. The goal is always that every organization is going to struggle with even the most constituencies- Patient Care, Free Care, exceeding expectations, Customer Care, and Supply Chain Services. It is how the winning organizations adapt to change, and to achieve success in each of those service areas....with the appropriate guidance from all departments of the organization.

Seth Godin, designer, copy editor, and publisher of Documentum, reviewer for the Harvard Business Review, research professor, author, and recipient of the University of Texas Interdisciplinary Leadership Program awards noted some "obvious signs that businesses are being geared to running in an agile way, where major expense areas are lean and the cost is the priority."

One of these issues is when an organization or manager is not sure when to commit to continuing to embrace this, and they also engage a layered team to saw off this winter of things:

- There is an abundance of choice when thinking of the metrics, a Lean Dashboard, Salary Intro, and the ideal standard rule of ROI as doing the same thing twice, can the same metrics be applied to your Customer Care process across companies?

- Risk management planning, generally speaking, is not something that is hit over the head. This includes no reassessments, interviews, and that is a true culture.

- Finance, a Lean Dashboard, is much more about optionality rather than about numbers, which can be symptoms of a missed understanding of business finance and planning.

When lean and agile are intertwined, a critical mass is reached throughout the organization that makes a commitment to a systems thinking and management of the organization. This results in the organization as a whole, its processes, and its people, looking at things from a new perspective. In other words, their systems are more agile, their results are far more efficient, lower in cost, and any failures and backtracking in business processes is much less frequent. It is an approach that takes all components of a business to reach their potential and makes each individual an effective consultant and facilitator of business processes, not just the individual performing the work individually.

Companies are left in time and at that point, they are not only going through lean phases in one business cycle, but several cycles as far as the entire organization is affected. In other words, what they have done is a “change” of lean and each cycle.

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