Frustrated – Coping with Waste in Management Reviews


I've decided to write today about some personal frustration that I am experiencing as part of my daily work. My discontent stems from a form of waste that I have thus far been unsuccessful in helping others to see, yet one that I am forced to deal with to varying degrees on a daily basis. Preparing for ‘Management Reviews' is consuming far too much time and effort not only for me personally, but for the rest of the team I am currently working with.

The Management Review in itself is not my issue. I understand that while not a ‘Value Add' activity, Management Reviews are sometimes necessary to help gauge progress, ask for direction and decisions on key issues and even to make the case for additional support or resources where needed.

The problem I have with my team's current situation, is that we have fallen into several pitfalls that can come out of the Management Review process. Pitfalls that I'm sure many readers have experienced or can recognize. I've listed these below in a table along with my suggestions for how an organization on a lean journey might handle each.

Click on the image for a larger view.

These are just some ideas from my recent experiences. If anyone out there has any additional management review pitfalls with corresponding lean suggestions, or any recommendations for what I have already listed please leave some comments on the blog.

Based on your comments I will grow and refine this list and then share it with everyone by re-publishing it to the blog.

I look forward to your input!

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Luke Van Dongen
Luke, an auto industry engineering veteran, blogged here from 2005 to 2006.


  1. It would be interesting to go through a “5 Whys” analysis of one of those problems, Luke. Starting, for example, with:

    “Why do we aim to give managers what they want?”

    Maybe you can give that a try with one of them on your own, or in the comments area if you’re brave.


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