Nonprofit Accounting

Top 10 Tips for Lean Initiative Success

Best practice resources for nonprofit financial leaders

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com April 2018 1 TIPSHEET Top 10 Tips for Lean Initiative Success BY LUCY M. MORGAN For public and social sector organizations providing direct services, lean principles can lead to many benefits not only for the service organization but also for the people they serve. While lean concepts deliver proven and powerful tools for organizational improvement, not all lean initiatives live up to the promise of better outcomes and a more empowered staff. Let's take a look at the top 10 tips your organization should consider when implementing a lean initiative. 1 Develop a clear strategy. Successful lean implementations start with a clearly defined strategic plan. Begin by defining what lean success means for your organization, and make sure you can clearly articulate your strategy and goals for the overall initiative. 2 Get leadership involved. For staff to feel confident in the initiative, leadership must communicate its dedication to change. Does it matter enough to the organization to support the culture change and resources necessary for success? 3 Focus on the client. Make sure that your initiative keeps its focus on what delivers value for the people you serve through your mission and objectives. Take the guesswork out of figuring out what's important to your clients. Discover what matters through outreach and direct communication. 4 Ensure employee involvement. Make sure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and communicated to staff members. Staff and managers should feel supported and rewarded for their involvement in the lean journey. 5 Provide adequate training. To be effective in their roles in the lean journey, employees must be trained on lean principles, concepts, and values. Employees should also become familiar with the process and goals of the initiative as well as the impact it will have on their work experience.

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