Lean Resource Center

Lean Manufacturing Pitfalls

These are twelve of the most common reasons we have found to contribute to the failure of lean initiatives. A lean effort can probably succeed and even thrive with one or two of the dirty dozen in play. However, if your organization is guilty of four or more, your lean initiative is in serious jeopardy.

  1. Not documenting the financial impact/savings.
  2. Lack of commitment from leadership.
  3. Not changing scheduling techniques.
  4. Using traditional purchasing practices.
  5. Failure to address workforce issues.
  6. Not really mistake-proofing the root cause.
  7. Thinking lean is just for manufacturing processes.
  8. Not using beneficial technology.
  9. Not leveraging successes.
  10. Permitting a NIH mindset to exist.
  11. Getting too lean.
  12. Failing to hold the gains.