What is the role of your lean facilitator?
This question comes up now and again, was recently posed on the LEI forums by someone looking for help with a job description.
I extrapolated from his question that he was looking to the job description as a line of defense against dilution of the facilitator’s focus and effort by projects that might not be going in the appropriate direction.
In effect, this is putting the lean facilitator in the role of a weakened zampolit with the role of educating the “correct view” and challenging decisions that run counter to it. Except that more often he has to sell the “correct view” rather than impose it.
The fact that the question is being asked at all indicates that the organization has not really thought through what their operational vision is. How will the company work, what are the responsibilities and roles of the leaders?
What are the leaders’ job descriptions in this new world?
Those job descriptions become a target condition for each of them.
What is the gap?
If there are gaps in skills and knowledge, then we need countermeasures.
At this point, the role and responsibility of a lean facilitator might begin to emerge as one of those countermeasures. Don’t have the expertise? Import it.
What doesn’t work, though, is to use the lean facilitator to substitute for the leader’s full and direct participation in the process of improvement. And no job description, no matter how carefully crafted, can fix that.