How Lean Management Can Help You Manage Your Home Better

Lean what? Perhaps that’s your first reaction. I’m sure many others had that reaction too.

Often, there seems to be such a disconnect between management theories and practical applications in domestic settings simply because most of these concepts are hatched in an industrial or professional setting.

For instance, lean management trickled down from Henry Ford’s Model-T production line. In a bid to make production faster and cost-effective, he introduced lean management to ensure a continuous flow of work.

Decades down the line, Toyota perfected it and has since been the poster child of lean management. In the ensuing years, many companies have also picked it up and made healthy profits subsequently.

But away from the industrial and manufacturing setting, lean management has great benefits for everyone. If you want to improve your personal life, reduce waste, better manage your resources, and increase efficiency, lean management is right for you. Here’s why:

1. Smart Inventory

There’s no doubt that inventory is an effective way to prevent losses and ensure money is saved. However, from a lean management perspective, inventory can have its downsides. For instance, buying up a store of say toilet paper enough to last for two years may be a bad idea. 

While on the face of it, there seems to be a cost-saving component, it can create cash flow issues for the present. Based on lean principles, by buying such large quantities of “inventory,” you’re spending tomorrow’s money today. Lean management methods can help give you accurate predictions with regards to the use of your resources. A case in point is the monte carlo simulation, which is an incredibly effective way of forecasting for strategic planning. 

2. Better Movement

How you move around has a direct influence on your finances. While this may seem trivial, just think of the gas costs, time, and resources that are spent each time you make a shopping trip for your home.

Under lean management, waste is not just examined in terms of how many dollars are squandered but also how much movement. To achieve lean management, it would be wise to combine a good number of errands into a single trip instead of making separate trips. For example, if you have to go the shopping mall, the hospital, and the gym, you can tweak your schedule to make all these activities align so you can make one trip instead three trips back and forth.

Carpooling is another perfect example. Instead of expending gasoline on long trips, carpool with people who are headed the same way. This will save you money and could probably give you rest from driving.

Another way to incorporate lean movement is rearranging and reorganizing your kitchen. Based on how you cook and the movements you make, you can arrange utensils and cooking items to aid your flow. For instance, your cutting board and knives should be in one vicinity just as your glasses and your refrigerator should be neighbors. 

While this may seem pretty simplistic, it saves you the stress of moving around the kitchen too much, and it keeps everything organized.

Do Away with “Work in Progress”

Half-finished tasks are always going to be a liability. Instead of leaving your tasks “in the pipeline,” it’s helpful to always finish your tasks. 

While there are some tasks you can multitask on, there are other tasks that are a no-no when it comes to multitasking. For instance, if you are folding clothes, finishing folding clothes before going on to clean the windows. Streamlining your process of work helps you to accomplish more in the time you have. Unfinished tasks have a way of exacting more from you.

To Wrap It Up

Project management procedures are not alien to domestic activity. Specifically, lean management is a concept that can be adopted in your home and personal life to ensure efficiency. 

While you may be practicing lean management already, the awareness and knowledge of lean management principles will help you get more results.

Photo: Pixabay

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