SAFe Principles Suite

LEAN THINKING

Leaders apply and teach Value, Respect for People and Culture, Flow, Innovation, and Relentless Improvement.

Value – Our ultimate purpose is to provide value to the customer – delivering the highest quality solution in the shortest amount of time. In a DoD context, keeping the customer happy means keeping us ahead of our adversaries.

Respect for People and Culture – A Lean approach doesn’t implement itself; we need people. In a Lean organization, people are empowered to evolve their practices and make improvements. Leadership challenges the workers to change and may steer them toward better ways of working, but it’s the individuals who use their problem-solving skills to make improvements.

Flow –During system development, delays, rework, or starts and stops, result in an ineffective result. Work must flow through the development process continuously and efficiently.

Innovation – Innovation improves value. Your teams are talented and want to improve their systems. Let’s give them a chance to do so. During deliberate innovation periods, the teams can solve plaguing problems or develop new capabilities. Those teams that don’t spend time innovating are doomed to keep their system status quo while the competition – or our adversaries – are advancing.

Relentless Improvement – Continuous improvement is a term many are familiar with, but “relentless improvement” conjures up a vision of more drive and urgency. “Those who adapt the fastest, win.” Relentless improvement encourages learning and growth through endless reflection, process improvement, and product enhancement.

Leadership – Leadership is the foundation of a successful Lean transformation. Deming said, “Such a responsibility cannot be delegated.” Leaders must lead the change by staying up to date with these new and innovative ways of thinking, relentlessly seeking to understand, and applying the principles and behaviors of Lean leadership.

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