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If you are fortunate enough to have a secured a career as a team leader or project manager
in an organization that honestly and successfully embraces lean principles, then the lean project management tools that you use are going to be different than the project management tools used to plan a Christmas party or a facility move.
Sometimes you really do need to plan a Christmas party or a facility move, so your Systems2win templates include a Gantt Chart.
This Excel Gantt Chart template, however, has useful features not found in other Excel Gantt Charts.
such as the ability to adjust times based on your work calendar.
Download your free trial Gantt Chart
Sometimes, all that you really need is a simple To Do List.
This To Do List template, however, has useful features not found in other Excel To Do Lists,
such as advanced features to filter by Important and Urgent.
Download your free trial To Do List template
Any manager (lean or other)
will need to lead many projects and teams.
Your Systems2win templates come with an entire suite of tools to make it easy to launch any type of team, and to measure expected vs. actual results for any type of team or project.
Download a dozen free templates for lean team leadership
Lean Management Systems
Traditional organizations rely too much on traditional project teams.
Lean organizations apply lean principles to come up with many creative ways to manage people in ways that often prove far more effective than cumbersome slow project team.
Although every organization will ideally evolve their own unique management systems to support their own unique culture... there are many field-proven lean management systems that provide excellent idea starters.
Learn more about Visual Management Systems that often replace project teams
One of the most popular lean management tools is the A3 Report.
Or more correctly, the A3 way of problem solving.
Or even more correctly, the A3 way of thinking.
No long reports. Everything has to fit on one page.
No long meetings. And yet every stakeholder must be fully heard.
No jumping to conclusions before identifying root causes, and exploring multiple ideas for countermeasures.
Kaizen Event Leadership templates
If you have the luxury of being able to lock an entire team of 5-10 people in a room for 3-5 days to focus their attention exclusively on solving one important problem...
then the results of a Kaizen Event can be dramatic.
If you're going to be the leader of such a high-stakes event, you're going to want to be prepared.
PDCA Coaching templates
Lean Project Management is often focused on problem solving.
If the problem involves quality issues,
then the project might involve the use of Six Sigma tools.
If the problem involves outside suppliers,
then the project might use the 8D problem solving approach.
If the problem involves navigating unknown territory,
then the project might involve the use of PDCA kata coaching.
Learn more about Problem Solving Tools and Methods
Navigating unknown territory?
Use PDCA Coaching
Hoshin Strategic Planning and Policy Deployment should not be attempted by newcomers
until your organization has successfully picked some low-hanging fruit using some simpler foundational lean tools and methods.
But when your organization's maturity and culture are ready for it,
Hoshin Policy Deployment has the potential to trigger the creation of (and synchronization of the efforts of) more teams and projects than any other initiative in the history of your organization.
If you've never heard of Hoshin Planning, don't start now. You've got other things to do first.
Similar to Hoshin Planning, the purpose of value stream mapping is to answer strategic questions, like:
"What should we do first? What next?"
"What will have the greatest impact on our customers? Our bottom line?"
Unlike Hoshin Planning, you can't start soon enough.
If you've never heard of value stream mapping, stop what you're doing, and begin learning the enormous differences between a project manager and a value stream manager.
There's nothing else you could do that would have greater impact on the profitability (and the culture) of your organization.
Decision Making tools
In traditional organizations, when someone asks "why?", project managers sometimes have the luxury of saying,
"Because top management said so."
In the early stages of a lean transformation,
this same top-down forceful leadership is also common.
But as your lean transformation evolves,
top-down edicts become less and less common, and bottom-up ideas and catchball dialogs become more common
as senior leaders begin to entrust their front-line team leaders to apply lean tools, methods, and principles to make more and more important decisions.
The more that you demonstrate mastery of decision making tools and methods, the more that your senior management might trust you to make important decisions.
Download free trial
Decision Matrix template
Change Management templates
With lean project management, change happens faster than with traditional project management.
People's emotions, fears, and feelings change at the same pace as when Adam met Eve.
The truth is that any change has a tendency to trigger stress and fear.
Another truth is that there are systematic approaches and methods to anticipate and alleviate the inevitable (and ideally expected) fears and concerns of all the diverse stakeholders that will be affected by all these rapid and never-ending changes so common to 21st century business.
21st century project managers need to up their game to become more familiar with the Change Management tools and methods that your project stakeholders will greatly appreciate when you master them
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