By André Barbosa (*)
The concept of "Digital Transformation" is today part of the vocabulary and daily life of companies, both those that were born digital and that act in the creation of innovative products and experiences at a great speed, as of the others that operated in the model and that in the face of this growing democratization of technology they had to adhere to the transformation in order to continue their activity.
The digitization became part of the agenda of the leadership teams of large, medium and small companies, who were forced to review their business models and internal processes, to rethink their relationship with the consumer and to their business culture. Digital transformation is not a fashion, it is an inevitability for companies, and goes far beyond developing new technologies and innovative processes, represents an opportunity for these companies to become more competitive in the market, more efficient in data analysis and more the way they relate to the customer.
In this context, the Lean methodology has assumed an important role and a tool for companies to find their place in the digital space. Known for its ability to optimize costs and reduce waste, the Lean methodology has been around for some time, and in sectors such as industry and manufacturing, it has always been a benchmark in management processes. However, it is mistaken if it is thought that this method only applies to Industrial companies.
Lean metrics can (and should) also be applied to companies that produce services. The service processes tend to have long operational cycles, many complex variables, multiple decision points and interactions with a diversity of computer systems, and therefore, here too the application of Lean has the role of helping in the alignment between strategies, technologies and people, in order to generate a flow of value for customers and provide a competitive edge for the company. In essence, it will be fundamental to simplify complex processes and manage to establish in an agile way the role of each actor in their activity.
More than a method, Lean assumes for many companies as the strategy for a new reality, a new global and digital market. And why is this methodology one of the ways to transform companies? Because it contributes to breaking the paradigms that occupy the minds of managers and leaders and can hold them to archaic processes, stimulating a culture of learning and continuous / collaborative improvement, which combines multidisciplinary teams to generate innovation.
Digital transformation is not just about being present in the digital environment or implanting new technologies in organizations, it has a significant impact on the structure of companies. New experiments, new ideas, new concepts and technologies are assimilated and the focus is directed towards solutions that really fit the real needs of the clients, but at the same time, they are minimalistic in the use of resources. When applying the Lean method, the tests and trials will happen in a planned and controlled manner. In this way, mistakes can be corrected without generating disorders, besides learning to be accumulated as organizational knowledge.
These effects, in addition to pleasing leaders who deliver more and better, gain confidence to drive the profound changes that are necessary, also motivate the people involved in the project who see their work to bear fruit and to be valued. With the favorable results on the balance sheet of the companies and teams most involved, the digital transformation process becomes more solid and does not run the risk of becoming a frustrated attempt towards the digital model, like so many others.
Digital transformation takes businesses out of their comfort zone, requiring the incorporation of new technologies and skills, impacting business from every angle and making the competitive process even more challenging. Lean transformation standardizes the work processes (all processes, whether physical or mental), optimizing them, eliminating or reducing any waste that is being committed strenuously. The Lean methodology is an approach that can help transform the people who are part of and make this transformation, because it promotes a bottom-up approach and requires the training and involvement of all employees and a new type of leadership.
With lean, processes are remodeled to gain agility and simplicity continuously. Self-indulgence does not have space within this method of management, and teams are forced and encouraged in action to find innovative solutions that make the business profitable and captivate the client in the shortest possible time.
We believe that the Digital Transformation with the Lean Methodology will be the "perfect match" of technological needs with the needs of the processes enhancing the results of the organizations.
(*) Head of Digital Transformation