Lean Staffing Process: What You Need To Know

Over the last few weeks I have been asked about the process I use when dealing with issues like process, organization, and staffing tools.  The process is called “Lean Staffing”, now while this is similar to the lean in lean manufacturing or the lean used in project management, the terminology is a little different, instead of expenditures, we have processes, procedures, metrics, people, tools etc. 

So for the purposes of staffing Lean means: taking a process, procedures, metrics, organization, tools  and breaking it down into their core components, metrics, procedures and removing any redundancies, combining any like steps, removing or improving on short comings in ability, cutting down time allowances, selecting the correct tools, and removing any wasted communications.  Or perhaps the best definition of lean that crosses all boundaries is simply put; doing more with less.

This will be the first in a 3 part series were we discuss using Lean Staffing to help with our processes, organizational structure, and tools. It consists of 3 types of analyses; Lean staffing process analysis and Lean Staffing Organizational Analysis, and Lean Staffing tools analysis.

These analyses can be done at anytime and multiple times on several different levels. Meaning you can do a Lean staffing Process analysis of the process as a whole and or the specific work process of an individual. First up Processes.

The way I approach this is to research, and observe each and every step in the staffing process being used, and the time allowed to perform them. I then create a line chart being sure to incorporate every step, every communication point, any system involved and how it is used. From there it is a simple matter of crossing off the redundancies, combining like steps and removing any needless or wasted communications. 

For instance at one company I worked the staffing process from position needs assessments to hire had over 30 steps, and over 50 communications links. After analyzing the process and creating my line chart, I was able to take the 30 steps and narrow it down to 15, and take the 50+ communication links and narrow them down to 18, and take time allowances and cut them in half. Long story short we had a process that was shorter, easier and quicker.  

Now in this post we spoke about “Lean Staffing” as it relates to the process of staffing. Over the next few posts I will explain how “Lean Staffing” works with Organizational structure, tools, and more.

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on January 15, 2014 at 10:53pm

This is TERRIBLE, Dean! If companies used this as a means to hire more efficiently and effectively, huge numbers of 3PRs would go out of business. Based on the past, I don't think that'll be a problem, though....


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