Achieving high standards with lean management
High quality products and services, minimal cost, minimal waste. Every organization strives for this combination. For years, many companies have employed an effective discipline to help them achieve it: lean management. The lean approach helps companies use clear and objective data to identify where and how they can become more efficient without compromising their bottom line or product quality. Lean management grew to prominence as a way to improve assembly line processes, and is now an application used far beyond manufacturing. Today, a broad array of companies apply it to general management needs, tailored and bespoke organizational processes, and the improvement of customer experience.
Supporting nonprofit partners
Yet, while more and more companies have lean management experts on staff, most companies do not fully realize what they can do with their lean management expertise as they develop pro bono programs to support their nonprofit partners. Nonprofits are notoriously resource constrained; unlocking operational efficiencies could go a long way toward powering their productivity and better enabling them to meet their missions.
Recently, Taproot partnered with MetLife Foundation to explore how the principles of lean management could be applied to nonprofit capacity-building challenges and empowering employees to rapidly identify and resolve issues. Our experience proved that the impact can be significant, dramatically improving efficiency to allow nonprofits the space and resources to better serve their beneficiaries. This paper shares our lessons learned from this experience with MetLife. We hope it inspires you to consider the opportunity corporate practitioners have to make the benefits of lean management available in the nonprofit sector by donating lean expertise to nonprofits pro bono.
“We should always look at spirit within any problem-solving endeavor. What is the higher process guiding us? That is what pro bono work is all about – helping us find the spirit of our work.”
-Das Madhavan, assistant vice president, Lean Center of Excellence, MetLife