11 Nov, 2022

LEAN Reviews are a recognised tool to ensure best practice in the highways sector. In fact, Question 19 of the Department for Transport (DfT) Incentive fund self assessment questionnaire explicitly states:

Has your local authority undertaken a LEAN or equivalent transformational change management review of its highway maintenance service or any aspect of it?

So the ability to understand, undertake, implement and measure the impact of LEAN Reviews is of paramount importance.

Done correctly, the LEAN Review focuses on the customer and provides an opportunity for everyone involved in the service area to participate.

Key features:

Continuously find new and improved ways of delivering services to highway users and managing highways assets

Deliver a sustainable balance between meeting the needs of highways users, eradicating waste and minimising costs – LEAN projects have achieved returns of 10:1, often within one year of the investment

Ensure all of the solutions identified during the LEAN Review process are relevant, realistic, repeatable, scalable and sustainable

The Process

LEAN Reviews consist of seven consecutive stages – each must be completed effectively to identify key information and establish a platform for what follows next.

Stages include:


Understand the scope of the LEAN Review at a high level – including the most significant opportunities and the key challenges.

Set Up

Clearly define the purpose of the project, identify the key stakeholders and agree how the project shall be run.


The key staff will collectively build a knowledge base of the current processes undertaken – making sure to ask the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the way that work is currently done and delivered.


The key staff will develop new processes and agree how to test them – ensuring ‘buy in’ from staff and that they are fit for purpose.


Collectively test the designs proposed – this should include re-iterations. Don’t expect to get it right first time.


Implement the new system and embed the measurement regime that will ensure that the performance of the system is continually challenged and improved. Also included at this stage is the implementation of any changes to roles, structures and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT).

Operate and Continually Improve

Embed the operation of the new system – leaders should ensure that effective measurement, learning and improvement continue.


Get Help From The Experts

At XAIS Asset Management, we employ ex Local Authority Officers of different disciplines and have over 100 years of senior management experience to assist in your LEAN Review.

We will guide you through each stage and embed our team within the process where necessary – providing constant challenge and support to your leaders and teams as new processes are designed and refined.

If you need help to transform processes, unlock efficiencies and improve service then contact our LEAN Review experts today.