The deployment of any successful Lean initiative will be largely dependent upon the capacity of the organization to adopt the changes that are part of the overall approach and a major driver for this will be how the workforce chooses to embrace the methodology involved. Within the Life sciences Industry, this effect is often even more pronounced due to the highly regulated nature of the business processes involved.

No matter how effective the methodology is, if it is not welcomed, embraced and incorporated with enthusiasm, then it is unlikely that a sustained return on investment will be achieved.

Due to cultural, regional, age, educational and gender differences, new ideas and information will be received, processed and incorporated at different rates, so an analysis of what you have at your site should be a key part of any approach before systems are rolled out.

This stakeholder analysis should be part of any Risk Analysis and mitigation plan that is performed prior to deployment and before any deployment plans are finalized. Often this is best performed by an outside group such as a pharmaceutical consulting company, because this allows for a more objective assessment to be developed.

One key point to address is to define for the workforce what the new “Desired State” for the company looks like. It’s very important that the management and workforce clearly understands what they are working towards and how they know when they have arrived at that point.

Goals and objectives will be part of that end point and it should be clear that success will be attained when those points are reached. At that point there should be a clear understanding of how the company should recognize that success and there should be a plan in place that provides incentives to the workforce to move towards the “Desired State.”

In summary then, true success and ROI for a Lean initiative will be attained when there is a melding of the involvement of the workforce with the clear intent of the company objectives and the mechanisms and tools to assure that the “Desired State” will be reached on budget ,on-time and delivers the promised added value to the company business.