One thing that is often† encountered during the lean process, and in life every day, is the challenge of finding the best possible solution to any problem. Lean is really nothing more than applying problem solving thinking to the challenges of individuals, teams, groups, and entire organizations, and inevitably you will come to the fork in the road where a decision is needed on a countermeasure. One thing that has taken a very long time for me to really understand is that there is no “one best way” to do anything. Every choice and possibility has both pros and cons. Everything‡ is a trade-off.
Think about this in the physical world. In aircraft for example, there is a trade-off between lift and drag. Lift is needed for the plane to actually fly, and typically† a larger wing with a larger profile (airfoil shape) will provide greater lift, and thus lift a heavier plane. But the larger wing also causes more contact with wind and resistance (like a bicycle rider sitting straight up) and thus more drag. Increased drag requires more power to overcome the effects (just like it is harder to pedal a bike with a strong head wind), but that comes with the trade-off of increased fuel consumption. Read More→