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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: What is Lean Teamwork?

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

Question:  Lean focuses on individual problem solving, yet stresses the importance of teamwork. What would be your definition of teamwork in the lean sense?

(Who says Lean focuses on “individual problem solving”?! I’ve never seen an individual solve a problem solely by him- or herself. Think about it.)

You can say a team is a group of people working on a shared objective. In regard to teamwork in the lean sense, I think something Toyota does that sports teams do, but many business organizations do not, is deliberately teach team members a common and systematic means for achieving objectives. A kata.

So we could say a Lean Team is:

A group of people equipped with PDCA skill and lean-specific knowledge, who learn as they strive to move from the current situation to a new situation in a creative, directed, meaningful way.

Mike


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