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Information organizations and the Lean approach to service delivery

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Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Lean services methodology as a mechanism for improving products and services in libraries and information organizations. Through a high-level exploration of the philosophy, goals and principles of the methodology, the reader will gain an understanding of the methodology and its usefulness to information organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

– This paper is a general overview of the philosophy, goals and principles of the Lean services methodology. As such, it serves as a brief introduction to the topic.

Findings

– The Lean services methodology is an important tool for libraries and information organizations as they attempt to improve customer satisfaction and service. Having been adapted from the principles used in manufacturing to improve processes and customer satisfaction, Lean services is an appropriate tool to enable organizational improvement through individual empowerment.

Originality/value

– While the Lean services methodology has been widely adopted in other service-based industries, there is scant literature about the role of Lean services in libraries and information organizations.
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Keywords: Customer service improvement; Employee empowerment methodologies; Lean philosophy; Lean service methods; Organizational development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Publication date: November 9, 2015

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