Feb 19 2024  |  Insights  |  Colin Prout

Embracing Change: The Unavoidable Shift to Digital Lean Production Systems

In the evolution of lean production systems, the transition from traditional methodologies to digital practices marks a pivotal shift. Traditionally grounded in maximising value and minimising waste, lean production is now on the cusp of a digital revolution. This transition promises not only enhanced efficiency but also a transformative approach that integrates digital tools into lean methodologies, offering unprecedented agility and precision.

The Hesitance Towards Digital Transformation

The journey into digital transformation meets reluctance, often fuelled by myths of increased complexity, lack of engagement and concerns over initial investment and transition disruptions. Contrary to these beliefs, digital tools simplify lean processes, offering intuitive solutions that streamline operations and minimise manual errors. Addressing these concerns is crucial for encouraging Lean practitioners to explore the benefits of the digital landscape.

“Traditionally grounded in maximising value and minimising waste, lean production is now on the cusp of a digital revolution.”

Digital Enhancements in Lean Production Systems

  • Daily Visual Management: Transitioning to digital boards enables real-time tracking and data integration, enhancing decision-making and operational visibility.
  • Lean Assessment: Digitisation facilitates data-driven insights through advanced analytics, improving the accuracy of lean assessments.
  • Structured Problem Solving: Digital platforms offer comprehensive problem analysis tools, fostering quicker and more collaborative solutions.
  • Leader Standard Work: Digital tools assist leaders in monitoring processes efficiently, ensuring consistent management practices.

Advantages of Digitising Lean Production

Digitisation introduces efficiency, accuracy, and data-driven decision-making into lean production. Automation of routine tasks and advanced data analytics enables a streamlined workflow and strategic insights. Additionally, enhanced communication and collaboration through digital platforms support a cohesive operational approach, crucial for lean production’s success.

“Digitisation introduces efficiency, accuracy, and data-driven decision-making into lean production, transforming not only the workflow but also the strategic insights that drive success.”

Overcoming Reluctance: A Strategic Approach

Embracing digitisation requires a strategic approach, starting with small-scale implementations to showcase digital tools’ benefits. Prioritising training and fostering an innovative culture within organisations can smooth the transition, aligning lean production with contemporary technological advancements.


Digitising lean production systems represents a strategic evolution towards a more efficient, data-centric, and collaborative manufacturing environment. As the industry progresses, adopting digital practices is essential for leveraging lean methodologies to their full potential.

Iter Digital has supported many small and large organisations including Toyota Manufacturing UK through their transformation to digital by providing Lean tools and implementation expertise. To find out more contact colin.prout@iterdigital.co.uk

About the Author

Colin Prout

Colin focuses on the transformation and optimisation of manufacturing and supply chain operations, with a particular emphasis on LEAN. Colin has extensive experience in Agile Software Development and Programme Managing complex IT-based Business Transformations.