We don’t make cars, do we?: Understanding how manufacturing techniques are (not) relevant to public services

Series Name Professorial Inaugural Lectures
Type Lectures & Talks
When 21 Nov 2017, 06:30PM - 07:30PM
Venue George Davies Centre, Lecture Theatre 1
Open To Public
Ticket Price FREE
For Bookings Contact inaugural@le.ac.uk

Lean - or the Toyota Production System (TPS) as it was originally known - emerged out of a highly specific context; automotive manufacturing, from one country and one specific company. A plethora of management tools, techniques and theories have made the sometimes arduous journey from their origins in the private sector to the public or voluntary sectors but lean remains one of the most intriguing. Simple to understand, yet simultaneously complex to implement; highly specific, yet the fundamental concepts seem eminently translatable to wider contexts. It is these tensions and contradictions that make the study of lean, particularly in public sector services, so thought-provoking.

Lean has become a popular approach to public service reform. In the current era of reduced public spending it promises to maintain service productivity, improve utilisation and maintain quality. This lecture will draw on extensive research carried out over nearly 20 years across government, education and health to explore the implementation of lean to date. Based on extensive research a ‘House of Lean’ for public services will be presented which emphasises the importance of organisational readiness factors, including the importance of leadership engagement, understanding demand and co-production. Beyond this I will argue that lean can only really achieve its potential when based within public service logic. Along the way we also chat about bicycles, cats and theme parks… so come along with an open mind, sit back and enjoy the ride!

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