When people first learn about lean, they become excited by its simplicity and the exceptional benefits it brings. They mistakenly believe that because the concepts of lean are so simple that implementing it in a company should be equally simple, but that is rarely the case.
Becoming a lean organization is not a single step or even a finite undertaking such as a typical project. Lean is a process in and of itself. The assumption is that no process will ever reach an ideal state, so it must always undergo improvement, and this principle holds true for organizations as well as all the manufacturing and business processes within it.
Adopting lean is as much a culture change as it is a process change, and as such, it must be carefully rolled out to ensure adoption. Lean can’t be implemented from the bottom of the organization up because of the profound shifts in metrics and cost structures, nor can it be implemented top down because of the need for process knowledge and change. Adopting lean must be a journey that the entire organization takes as a unit.