Here is where we depart from most Lean implementation authorities. Nearly all recommend the delay of any major pursuit of waste that brings down cost until all of your people, not to mention suppliers and trades, undergo substantial training and the organization is deemed ready. In reality, this is the perfect strategy to ensure your organization is good and bored before you really begin.
Out of desperation during the downturn, we, as Lean consultants, were forced to circumvent the traditional early training requirements for the simple reason that no one would pay for them. Reluctantly, we redesigned what to outsiders is termed a “Kaizen Event” to enable builder staff, suppliers, and trade partners to hit the ground running. Much to our surprise, we found that everything got better, in a hurry. Now we wouldn’t do it any other way.
That leads directly to step 4, but a caveat: the Kaizen process redesign is critical. You cannot simply skip the need for training, you have to replace it with exceptional process that gets to the same issues more quickly and effectively.