Green Lean : The Legacy Worth Leaving
Finding the ‘one’ thing you want to leave behind
The word ‘Legacy’ is most often than not associated with inheritance which the affluent leave for the future generation, so that their future generations continue to live a prosperous life. Now, if I were to ask you what legacy would you like to leave for your future generation and if you were to define that in one word what would that word be — Money? Land? Stock options? Mansions? Jewels? Crowns? What if I told you legacy should be — clean breathable air and access to clean drinking water and this legacy is far more important than any other jewel you would want to leave for the future generation.
Taking the discussion further on Green Lean, a concept I wrote about in my previous article, I wanted to delve into the fundamental principles of Lean thinking (a practice perfected by Taiichi Ohno)
The five fundamental principles for lean thinking, which can be applied to any process (Building Lean Green Buildings or Net Zero Buildings)
(1) Specify Value: Specify value from customer’s own definition and needs and identify the value of activities, which generate value to the end-product. The end- product is creating a Net Zero building which can produce as much energy as it consumes and lower down the carbon footprint.
(2) Identify the Value Stream: Identify the value stream by elimination of everything, which does not generate value to the end-product. This simply means, questioning every step in the process right from inception and asking “can it be done better? Is it adding value to the end-product and if not eliminating the step and creating a ‘leaner’ process by avoiding (muri, mura, muda) the 8-wastes of lean.
(3) Flow: Ensure that there is a continuous flow in the process and value chain by focusing on the entire supply chain. Focus has to be on the ‘process’ and not at the end product. However, the flow will never get optimal until customer value is specified, and the value stream is identified.
(4) Pull: Use pull in the production and construction process instead of push. This means produce exactly what the customer wants at the time the customer needs it and always prepared for changes made by customer. The idea is to reduce unnecessary production and to use the concept of ‘‘Just-In-Time’’. Creating houses people need rather than making houses which lie idle and occupancy rate is not considered.
(5) Perfection: Perfection cannot be attained without continuous improvement. The definition of the end-product must have ‘ands’ to create a product which exceeds the customer’s expectation eg: A house which is livable, and can produce as much energy and is not depended on external sources (power grids) which is needed to run the house and can reduce its carbon footprint and cut down on carbon emission without increasing the buying cost of the house. Phew!! sounds like a lot but trust me it is possible.
The fact is that creating a ‘legacy’ worth leaving is no longer just a dream but a reality which needs a conscious and conscientious focus and lean as a philosophy allows us to do that wonderfully.