Leaning Towards Lean Design
Published in: Technology
Published in: Technology
Because Aedis likes to take on branding projects for small businesses, we’ve have taken care to streamline our process in order to maximize results without driving fees into the clouds. As this focus on efficiency has developed, I’ve noticed that our method of working has organically evolved toward something resembling Lean Theory. Recognizing this, I’ve decided that it is time to fully embrace the Lean Philosophy.
What is Lean you ask?
The Lean Theory was born in the production industry as way to measure efficiency and time spent on “productive” work. Companies like Toyota used Lean Theory to completely redesign their production process with outstanding results. At its core, Lean Theory attempts to limit the time companies spend on preparation, getting information, getting materials, moving semi-products, correcting errors, and other less efficient work.
The object is to trim waist, get more work done in less time and bring the client in to participate in the process. The result is an increased production using the same resources, faster processes and a dramatic reduction in reported errors.
How Can Lean Apply to the Branding Process?
With the overall goal of bringing our work to light faster, there are many places where Lean can shine within the branding process. For one, I am electing to place less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the experience being designed. Traditionally, in the design process, there are piles upon piles of documentation. Many unnecessary hours are eaten up putting together detailed explanations of numerous concepts. Most of which will never come to fruition.
With Lean, documents are discarded or, at the very least, stripped down to their bare components, providing the minimum amount of information necessary to get the concept across and move forward. Long detailed design cycles are eschewed in favor of very short, iterative, low-fidelity cycles, with feedback coming from all members of the team early and often. Collaboration with the entire team becomes critical to the success of the project.
One area where I feel the Lean approach benefits the client directly is in this emphasis on collaboration. No longer does the client need to wait patiently to receive dozens of concepts that miss the mark. Early input on initial ideas keeps projects on target and helps the client to have a heightened sense of ownership in the process.
Lean Theory brings many advantages to small business branding. As our process continues to evolve and we continue to implement more Lean concepts into the mix, it is my hope that we can provide a more rewarding experience to our clients and build upon their trust in our ability to help them succeed.