Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lean Thinking Online

When you’re aiming to improve the way that you do things – to make yourself more efficient – take a lesson from the Japanese inspired method of ‘Lean Thinking’.

There are many lessons that we can learn from Lean Thinking, which is now practiced in many large organisations around the world. The technique which we’re going to look at here is PDCA – Plan, Do, Check and Act.

This technique is not a ‘one off’ review – it will help you to continuously improve your performance, starting today!

Looking at the steps in logical order:

  • Define the issue/problem that you are addressing
  • Understand the root cause of the issue – why is it happening?
  • Develop the detail of what needs to be done
  • Prioritise, to ensure that you do the right things at the right time
  • Do it! – implement your solution to the problem.
  • You might do a test first or a pilot, or you must just ‘go for it.’
  • This is really the crucial step in PDCA. Check on the results of your actions. Are you getting the results that you expected? If not, why not?. What else can you do? 
  • If you’re online, this may involve using Google Analytics to measure your performance.
  • Reflect on what you’ve learnt in the ‘Check’ step.
  • Understand what needs to be done differently.
  • Act on the findings
So the cycle starts again - Plan (on the  basis of your previous learnings), Do, Check and Act.
This is one of the techniques that will help you continuously improve – think PDCA:
Plan it, Do it, Check it, Act on your Learnings!


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  1. This is an interesting technique and I can see how valuable this could be when applied. Many of us spend a lot of time doing the first 3 but hesitate to take action, but that's where everything has to end to start the cycle again. Thanks for an informative post.