Putting "Lean" into Action for Nonprofits


"Lean" expert Matt Horvat shared how to manage work more effectively at YNPN's professional development event on October 15th. Thanks to Matt, and to TaborSpace for providing our event space!


Matt's discussion included examples of his experience using Lean at PeaceHealth and with other nonprofit organizations, giving the audience easy tools to take back to their work. Lean's principles are based in engineering and manufacturing, with influences from companies like Toyota.

Common themes of the evening included constant improvement, examining systems step by step, and measuring results with numerical data - gathered in innovative ways. The event concluded with breakout sessions where attendees worked through problems they face in their jobs using Lean tools.    

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"If you have a good system, the work takes care of itself."

To see Lean in action, watch this video about a food relief agency looking to serve more people after Hurricane Sandy. Toyota production system experts worked to make small, simple improvements in the agency's process. Reflecting the Lean principle of Kaizen, or "continuous improvement," those changes had a big impact for hungry families.