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The Lean / KM Intersection for Organizational Excellence

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The Lean / KM Intersection for Organizational Excellence

Oct 02, 2023   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Ekta Sachania

These days I have been working on upskilling myself in Lean. As I learn Six Sigma, I see many similarities between Lean and Knowledge Management. Both strive for continuous improvement and waste reduction to improve organizational performance. I have added below various factors I see a cross connection with Lean and KM.

Waste Elimination – 

Lean -Lean principle emphasises on waste reduction by removing unnecessary steps and defects, and excess production.

KM – KM’s core focus is to reduce unnecessary wastage of time and effort by providing access to right information just in time.

Continuous Improvement – 

Lean: Continuous improvement is a core component of lean thinking focussed on addressing inefficiencies and identifying opportunities for improvement.

KM: Any robust KM strategy defines a continuous improvement plan based on lessons learned and aligning it to the organizational and business goals. Employees can learn from past experiences, reducing the likelihood of repeating mistakes and enabling ongoing improvent of processes.

Employee Empowerment and Engagement – 

Lean: Lean principles encourage employees to brainstorm,  identify and solve problems, fostering a culture of engagement and empowerment.

KM: KM supports collaboration and problem solving  by providing employees with  just in time access to knowledge and information to take up challenges and come up with Innovative solutions. It enables them to make informed decisions, contribute ideas, and participate in problem-solving initiatives.

Standardization – 

Lean: The goal of lean thinking is to reduce variation and improve predictability by standardizing processes.

KM is a way of documenting and disseminating best practices and procedures across the organization. The consistency and efficiency of processes are ensured by this method.

Cross-Functional Collaboration – 

Lean: It often takes collaborative effort across functions to create lean processes and reduce silos.

The goal of KM is to facilitate collaboration among departments by making knowledge available to everyone. Teams can share information and expertise, leading to more effective cross-functional collaboration.

As I see Lean methodology and KM can be seamlessly integrated to forge a comprehensive approach towards achieving organizational excellence. By amalgamating Lean’s unwavering focus on process optimization and waste reduction with KM’s emphasis on knowledge sharing and continuous learning, we can foster a more agile, efficient, and customer-centric organization. This integration paves the way for transformation and Innovation, propelling organizations towards unparalleled success.


Ekta Sachania has nearly 15 years of experience in learning and talent development disciplines, including knowledge management content management, and learning & collaboration with expertise in content harvesting, practice enablement, metrics analysis, site management, collaboration activities, communications strategy and market trends analysis. Demonstrated success in managing multiple stakeholder expectations across time zones and exhibiting good project management skills, by successfully developing and deploying projects for large audiences.  Ability to adapt and work in emerging areas with fast-shifting priorities.  Connect with Ekta at LinkedIn...

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