Continuous improvement saves companies time and money by reducing operating overhead. It’s not about cutting people (although that could be a result). Instead, it is about streamlining and efficiency. Efficient workflows, just like having the right people in the right place at the right time, allow us to reduce wasted time and effort. Think about all the time wasted on projects where deadlines are continually shifting, priorities are changing, and the workforce is unskilled or under-resourced to meet the commitments.
Many organizations have adopted Lean as a standard for all their projects and work. Others choose to know about it, but keep it at a distance. After many years of continuous improvement proving to be a beneficial way to eliminate waste in production and administration, some companies have stated that the approach places constraints on innovation and creativity. While a common aspect to all organizations is the desire to reduce and eliminate waste, it’s also true that less formal creative processes and undertakings may be more valuable over the long term than saving some money on a specific process. Whether a company chooses to make continuous improvement part of their culture depends on their needs and the potential savings that might result.