COVID-19 Guidance

Lean Can Help Your Business Survive and Then Thrive After COVID-19

Operational Performance Solutions Inc (OPS) knows that these are difficult times for all businesses, as well as healthcare. In response, we have posted a series of articles by experts on how Lean principles and methodologies can help you manage the COVID19 crisis better plan for now and the future.

Business and individuals are working hard to "flatten the curve" and respond to societal needs. Some of these activities include the shifting of business models to meet changing mandates (eat-in restaurant switches to take-out), changing the products they produce (alcohol production to hand sanitizer), and changing processes within their organizations to sustain the overall business (continuity of operations).

Lean can help you figure out what needs to be done, prioritize what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and what needs to be implemented as this challenging environment .

For example, Lean methodologies and tools outline the role of leadership and highlight the characteristics of a successful leader. Lean also illustrates what leaders need to do to support their staff and employees in a way that builds trust, credibility and loyalty. In these times it is necessary for leaders to inspire, model behavior and communicate well.

There are industries in the U.S. who utilized Lean prior to the pandemic, such as the automobile industry. Many of these large Lean companies are poised to switch production lines from cars to ventilator parts and mask production. If they were not Lean organizations, they would not have as great a capability to modify their operations to become a part of a different supply chain. Lean enables businesses to be nimble and respond to customer needs more effectively.

Lean can also guide the successful implementation of new processes. Healthcare organizations are setting up new procedures to provide COVID-19 testing and care. The planners of these processes must acknowledge that the people who understand these processes the best are the front-line workers, not the executives. This is consistent with the Lean tenet that you must respect the people who do the work. They are the subject matter experts who must be a part of the problem analysis and solution creation.

Each of these OPS blog posts will illustrate how different Lean tools or techniques can be employed by you to help you better respond to this crisis. We trust that these articles will help everyone learn something that can be used today so that operations are more efficient, safe and effective. Waste has no place in our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Safety is paramount.

Remember that in times of significant challenges, there are also great opportunities to excel. Even in this crisis, you can move your business to the next level and sustain with Lean.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our experts, please contact OPS through our website at or call us at 410-871-0995. Stay strong, stay well.

Rachel I. Mandel, MD MHA
Senior Healthcare Advisor
Operational Performance Solutions

Principles of Lean

  • Think Long-Term
  • The Right Process Will Produce the Right Results
  • Add Value to the Organization by Developing Your People
  • Continuously Solving Root Problems Drives Organizational Learning
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