This news comes via the new Productivity Press “Lean Insider” blog that has been ramping up. I've been critical of the Shingo Prize before (as have others) for honoring individual factories that do lean things or use lean practices and tools, while the company around them crumbles. Shingo Prize award winning companies have done very poorly on Wall Street (it's time to re-visit that analysis, more than six months later).
The Shingo Prize committee will reportedly start awarding prizes for “enterprise” lean. Ideally, this should be based on how “lean” a company is, meaning do they have a fast and successful product development process, are they meeting market requirements and growing as a business, how do the pieces fit together into a long-term profitable company?
Ross Robson says:
The existing criteria will be maintained, but “we are in the process of developing enterprise-wide criteria,” Ross says, with more emphasis on lean in the office and administration, covering everything from research and development to marketing to customer service.
I hope that the Shingo Prize folks REALLY look at the total enterprise. My fear is that they'll go snooping around individual departments looking for local examples of how finance used Value Stream Mapping and how HR has a cute little 5S initiative in their offices. And all of that, the use of tools in different departments, will miss the point and be no more of an “enterprise lean” indicator than looking at the plants would be.
Sorry, but count me a cynic on this one. What are your expectations or hopes for this? Is there any value in working on Prizes like this? Do they drive companies toward real lean adoption?
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