Is the first Lean Step in Sales and Marketing; Standard Work? 1

Many Lean Consultants or internal Lean Champions deal with the supply side of the equation. Sales and Marketing work on the demand side. So, you have to find common ground to introduce Lean. I think the first step is developing a consensus on Standard Work. It will meet resistance, but it is the one thing that can have a significant impact, almost immediately. I am not talking about developing call scripts, checklist, etc. I am talking about characterizing how we do things or in other words, provide clarity. At that point, best practices will surface and a few bad ones will be obvious even to the naysayers.

Many people will want to jump into Lean Practices of Value Stream Mapping, Process Mapping and even Customer Journey Mapping as the first step, start improving a process. I think that is too cumbersome. If there is something easy to do and that has a high payoff by all means do, My First PDCA for Sales and Marketing. However, make sure you take that project outside of your Whirlwind, see Standard Work as your Whirlwind–Manage it!.

Taiichi Ohno: “Without a Standard there can be no Kaizen.”

Dr. Balle: “Lean is not a revolution; it is solve one thing and prove one thing.”

At a higher level, and in workshops, I use the Business Model Canvas developed by Alex Osterwalder and discussed in his book, Business Model Generation. This platform is used in many circles for Business Model Innovation, but I have found it to be challenging for many companies to document their current process using it. The nine blocks that make up this canvas provides the organization the necessary structure needed. It provides a one page document that highlights the entire Value Stream of your Sales and Marketing Process. You can find more about this in past blogs:

Do You Know the Right Job For Your Products?

What’s new in Business Model Generation? Customer Value Canvas and more

Steve Blank on the Lean Startup at Ann Arbor

Join the conversation at the Lean Marketing Lab.