Capes for the Unemployed: A Lean Management PerspectiveA few years ago, a jobs center in Florida received national criticism after $14,000 was spent on 6,000 capes, which the center intended to hand out to jobless Floridians.

Following media furor, the jobs center canceled its "Cape-A-Bility" PR initiative, which also included a "Which Superhero Are You?" quiz and more than $2,000 spent on cutouts of a "Dr. Evil Unemployment" character.

This incident illustrates arguments in favor of extending Lean management practices into industries outside manufacturing. Had Lean principles been implemented by the jobs center, this ill-fated campaign would never have begun.

Here are a few reasons why.

Lean Management Helps Define Customer Value 

Lean management teaches that your product or service's value can only be defined by the end user.

If you are an automotive aftermarket manufacturer, vehicle owners define the value of the equipment you manufacture.

If you are a hospital administrator, patients define the value of your services.

If you happen to be a Florida jobs center, unemployed individuals define the value of your products and services. (more…)

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