There is an interesting computer-industry trend called Moore’s Law that can be applied to Lean thinking.
Per Wikipedia, Gordon E. Moore pointed out since 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. It has continued for almost half a century and in 2005 was not expected to stop for another decade at least.
With performance doubling every two years as the basis for Moore’s Law, how does this apply to Lean thinking?
I think it is easy for people in Lean organizations to get stuck in the mode of always going after PERFECT instead of focusing on 50% BETTER. With Moore’s Law, they did not wait to release electronics until the transistors were a perfect size. This thinking can help you and your team stop waiting and do what is possible now to get an improved performance.
The second way Moore’s Law applies to Lean is the continuous improvement element. There is a great thrust and expectation set by this law that performance will double every two years. This drives people to continuously improve electronics all the time with no end in sight.
Many organizations early in their Lean journey look at the thinking and tools as theory or philosophy. Many Lean articles and books have documented improvment performance with clear cause and effect connections due to Lean thinking. Maybe it is time to start calling it Lean’s Law!
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My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation. How can I help harness that inspiration?