Knowlton Project Support

NHS trust benefits from Lean Benchmarking

As the turbulent economic and political environment continues, organisations across many industry sectors are faced with fierce competition, shrinking operational budgets and reduced profit margins. The public sector too has been tasked to deliver greater value for tax payers, with the governments spending review in October 2010 stating that departmental budgets will be cut by an average of 19% over 4 years.

So, the pressure on leaders in the NHS and the Healthcare sector to find more innovative ways to improve performance continues…no surprises there, but how are the more enlightened organisations facing up to this challenge? And, more importantly where to start?

Benchmarking is widely recognised as a systematic process for identifying and implementing best practice, or in simple terms it is about learning from the experiences of others. Comparing performance with organisations in either similar or dissimilar sectors enables individuals and teams to develop improvement plans and adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance.

Whilst lean has its origins within the automotive industry, it is now being applied successfully across many service based sectors including Healthcare. Many of the more progressive NHS hospital trusts have lean transformation programmes covering clinical activity, support functions and back office administration.

Susan Whitaker, heads up Lean improvement programme for The Bedford Hospital NHS trust and describes how Lean Benchmarking has contributed the their Lean transformation programme; “When starting on a lean journey it is difficult to know how far you have come as an organisation, especially in terms of measuring the impact of lean on the organisational culture, the mind-set and empowerment of staff. A few successful projects do not necessarily mean that lean is embedded throughout the organisation – it may be that we are successfully delivering results on projects but in reality we are only tinkering around the edges with a select few. Lean benchmarking provides a useful tool for monitoring how far you have travelled on your lean journey. It provides a snapshot at a given moment in time and helps to identify gaps, open up dialogue and refocus on your organisations lean or change management strategy and priorities. It is also useful to compare your organisation with others – not that it’s a competition! For these reasons, we have found lean benchmarking a valuable tool for understanding where we are and have used this to support training programmes for change agents in lean.”

Dr. John Coleman, Director of Alturos Ltd  has used Lean Benchmarking as part of the Alturos Lean Change Agent training programme. “It is important to understand peoples different perspectives as to where the organisation is on its lean journey. This helps us adapt our approach accordingly. We encourage teams to discuss their views until they have reached a consensus and have understood how well lean principles are embedded across the organisation.”

 Summary of benefits

  • The LeanBenchmark™ report creates a performance ‘Gap Analysis’ enabling organisations to target improvement resources more effectively.
  • The advanced account includes access to LeanKPI™ where relevant  Key Performance Indicators  can be selected to establish quantifiable financial savings
  • LeanKPI™ also includes the facility for creating an Action Plan linked to the recommended improvement projects, measurable savings are shown within the LeanKPI™ report to demonstrate the true impact of the lean programme.

What next?

Download a sample LeanBenchmark™  report

Register for the Advanced LeanBenchmark™ and LeanKPI™ account

View a slide show about Lean Benchmarking

Watch a short video

Take the free trial

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