Lean Thinking as a Key to Successful Digitalization

Why process optimization is a core component of successful digital transformation initiatives

It's not just about technology

Too often, firms focus on the technology aspect of a digital transformation and forget about the importance of process optimization. By implementing lean principles, businesses can make their operations more efficient and maximize their profits in this ever-evolving digital age. Lean thinking is a management framework that identifies and eliminates waste to optimize processes and boost efficiency. By recognizing sources of waste in operations, firms can create a process improvement plan that will directly impact their digital transformation efforts. Here’s what firms need to consider when looking at digitalizing their processes.

What is Lean Thinking?

Lean thinking is an approach to running a business that focuses on minimizing non-value-added activities and maximizing the value produced by each step of the operation. It emphasizes improving customer satisfaction by providing products or services more quickly, at lower cost, with fewer defects, and with higher quality than competitors. The goal of lean thinking is to eliminate all forms of waste from the production process.


In detail, the framework identifies seven wastes that typically affect processes. Those activities or processes consume resources but do not add value to the delivered product or service. These include inventory (unnecessary stock or supplies), waiting time (the amount of time between steps in the production process), overproduction (producing more than necessary), motion (nonessential movement such as walking around the office), overprocessing (using too many steps when one would suffice), defects (errors or mistakes) and transportation (moving materials unnecessarily).


Tools that teams rarely use, or developed features that are not delivered


Task switching, interruptions, unnecessary data movements across systems


Unnecessary movement of employees or resources


Waiting for resources to be delivered


Activities executed or resources produced but rarely to never used


Spending time on a task for features with negligible value added.


Bugs or defective results that need to be reworked

A shift in thinking and a focus on process optimization

Process optimization helps businesses make their operations more efficient by streamlining processes and reducing costs. This includes automating manual tasks with technology solutions like robotic process automation (RPA) or artificial intelligence (AI). By optimizing processes with technology solutions, businesses can make them more efficient while freeing up resources for other projects, such as digitalization initiatives like data governance or omnichannel sales. In addition, optimized processes help employees work faster and smarter so they can focus their energy on creating innovations rather than spending time on repetitive tasks. It’s an efficient way to work smarter rather than harder and remains integral in helping us push toward future progress.


Many companies struggle when trying to implement digital transformations. They focus on the technology and not on the processes that need to be changed. Indeed a digital transformation is often more a management challenge than a technological one. Lean thinking and process optimization are instead all key components of digital transformation initiatives. By identifying sources of non-value-added activities within their operations, firms can develop plans to make processes more efficient through technological solutions like RPA or AI, while reducing costs.

Through this approach, businesses can take full advantage of digital opportunities to maximize profits while also creating an environment where employees have the freedom to innovate without being bogged down by repetitive and resource-intensive tasks.

Ultimately, this combination of lean principles and digital technologies will enable businesses to succeed in our ever-evolving world.


Related Services

Serving as your digitalization partner, we offer an efficient and cost-effective way for your business to evolve and meet the demands of the digital space. To this end, you can rely on us to provide you with the following services

Business Analysis

The identification of needs and their associated solutions to maximize performance.

Solution Design

The design of the system architecture needed to achieve the desired outcome.

Smart Reporting

Providing stakeholders with in-depth insights into a company’s finances.

Intelligent Process Automation

We design the technological infrastructure to provide complete, end-to-end and AI-powered automation of business processes.

Robotic Process Automation

The conversion of corporate processes into more efficient and profitable digital incarnations.

Architecture Modernization

We upgrade legacy systems — from IT resources to operational guidelines and principles.

About the Author

Francesco Di Cugno, Managing Director, Convolut GmbH
Francesco di Cugno
Managing Director
Francesco is a Technology Director with a proven track record in building customer-centric solutions using the latest technological innovations. He works with global organisations to realise their strategic vision and goals.