Do's and Don'ts for a Lean Initiative Implementation

Do's and Don'ts for a Lean Initiative Implementation

One of the keys to a lean implementation is to become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.

The following list of do's and don'ts is aimed at keeping manufacturers focused on the right thing rather than indulging in the ultimate waste: wasting time.

Do's

1. Do perform a root cause analysis to understand wasteful habits. This analysis requires the question "why" be asked at least five times to find the original root cause of waste in the facility.
2. Do create a process map to clarify steps that occur with team members from cross-functional departments. Having this visual recreation of the steps can eliminate wasted time caused by misunderstanding a verbal explanation.
3. Do develop a value stream map to differentiate the value added steps of a process from the non-value added steps, sum the time for each individual step and determine how much time is given to a process.

Don'ts

1. Don't move forward with a lean strategy without first ensuring the processes being evaluated and optimized are consistent and predictable. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
2. Don't optimize a bad process. Ensure current and future processes are accounted for when implementing lean initiatives.
3. Don't react negatively to individuals for statements or ideas brought forth about lean processes. As long as ideas are presented in a respectful manner, they should be documented and considered.

Top Keys to Lean

Here are a baker's dozen keys to successful lean implementations:

1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.

2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.

3. Use pull systems to avoid overproduction.

4. Level out the workload (work like the tortoise, not the hare).

5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems to get quality right the first time.

6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.

7. Use visual controls so no problems are hidden.

8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.

9. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.

10. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.

11. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.

12. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement rapidly.

13. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.

 

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