Application of lean thinking to business process management: the case of Kenya Revenue Authority
The objectives of this study included identifying Lean practices employed in process management, establishing the extent of adoption of Lean thinking as well as the challenges of adoption of Lean thinking in process management for which KRA was taken as the case for study. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Qualitative research was done using unstructured in depth interview guides with the heads of departments while the quantitative phase employed the structured self administered questionnaires to a representative number of employees in each of KRA’s four departments. The findings of this research indicate that Lean management and application of related tools, equipments and techniques is a continuous process at KRA highly driven by the need to improve service delivery and tax collection while netting those evading taxes. The definition of Lean is clearer among the senior staff despite general agreement to the use of the tools, techniques and equipments associated with it. Among the cited tools, ETR, simba system and use of technology e.g. networked computerisation were the major mentions to Lean implementation. The extent of application of Lean involves all departments and all employees being targeted through communication, training and reviews among other means which have turned out to be successful. Despite benefits of Lean management being realized at KRA, organizational culture and resistance to change, backlogs and work pressures, lack of awareness and knowledge about lean and illiteracy in IT have been the major bottle necks towards implementing Lean and the related tools equipments and techniques.