The IUP Journal of Operations Management
Lean Fails a Lot, Even Today –Are Organizations Taking Care of All Success Factors to Implement Lean?

Article Details
Pub. Date :May, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Operations Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJOM20520
Author Name : A S M Touhidul Islam
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 22



Success of lean implementation can bring tremendous benefit to any organization, but practically, the failure rate is very high. Hence, academics and practitioners are still interested in a broader understanding of how to implement lean successfully. In this direction, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the success factors for lean implementation very comprehensively, analyzing the extant literature of the last 20 years. While as many as 36 factors are found influencing lean implementation, nine factors are likely to have more impact. With further analysis based on the last 10 years’ studies, the author has come to the conclusion that leadership from top management, organizational culture, effective communication, and knowledge and mindset have remained the top factors for successful lean implementation. Basically, the contribution of this research lies in a dependable and up-to-date list of all success factors as guidance for prioritizing them in any context so that organizations can prepare well for the successful and sustainable implementation of lean.


Over time, the term ‘Lean’ is defined as a system (Hopp and Spearman, 2014), a philosophy (Faron, 2012), an approach (Perboli et al., 2018) etc., which is applicable to the entire value stream (Czabke, 2007) in both manufacturing (Taj and Berro, 2006) and supply management (Howell, 1999) to eliminate waste, reduce required time, ensure quality and lower cost (Liker and Wu, 2000) by minimizing inventories and using less resource (Achanga et al., 2006; and Dennis, 2016). Although lean has received incredible attention in the last 40 years, many companies attained neither expected results nor sustainability of positive results with their lean implementation efforts (Aikhuele and Turan, 2018).


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