Monday, April 20, 2009

A Visual of my Lean Implementation Plan - WHY, WHAT, and HOW to Implement

I've been working on a visual of my Lean Implementation Plan, this methodology is used as part of my training sessions at various companies around the U.S. I have discussed different segments of this throughout my previous blogs.

As you can see "problem solving" is the core of implementing change within a company and their ability to implement a Lean culture. Most companies tend to jump to the "how" start with the TPS tools which usually only show short-term gains. This is because the "purpose"...(Why we are doing this?) Isn't understood totally. Once a company's employees understand WHY then we move on to the WHAT and that is engaging, involving, and challenging them to "think" or problem solve. Only then can the tools be taught and fully understood as the "whole management system".
Once this new way of thinking (culture development) begins it must be visualized and posted for all to see. This can quickly show team members their current situation vs. where they need to be in regard to the standard or --companies expectations (key performance indicators). We call this Workplace Management Development System (WMDS) and it brings together the goals of the company with the ability to develop team members in the systems/tools to reach those goals. All these processes lead a company to eliminating waste, and profits by cost control. It looks simple, its just not easy!!! You implement all these processes while managing them by the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act)...these systems=success in a company guaranteed!!!!
Til next time
Tracey Richardson

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

8 Step Problem Solving - Everybody-Everyday...Is this your Culture?

In traditional Cultures only the "six sigma black belts" or "highly skilled" problem solvers are looking at the day to day issues team members may have. There are so many problems and yet not enough of the "specialized people" to go around; often we create a low morale in the workplace because team members have lost faith in management to make a difference in "their" work area.

In Toyota's culture we tend to think "Problem-Solving, Everybody-Everyday", meaning we empower our people to make a difference in their own work areas therefore in some ways they are contributing to their own job security. This is a powerful paradigm shift in how we do business in today's industry.
This can easily be applied by valuing and respecting people as the most important "asset" to the company. If we do not ask our people to think and respect that they are the "professional" on the job then we are missing out on the extraordinary "brainpower" they have to make a difference that could very well lead to improved company business indicators. This is a essential element of Toyota's culture and how they implement so many ideas that leads to improving the "cost" indicator for the company. It's not only a process the team member learns but really an "expectation" of their job to think about improvements and not become complacent in their actions.

The process used to strengthen our problem solving skills is called the 8 step Problem Solving process, some know it as TBP or Toyota Business Practices.

the 8 Steps consist of:

Step 1 - Clarifying the Problem

Step 2 - Breaking Down the Problem

Step 3- Setting a Target

Step 4 - Root Cause Analysis

STep 5 - Develop Countermeasures

Step 6 - Seeing Countermeasures Through

Step 7 - Monitor process and results

Step 8 - Standardizing and Share Successful Practices

The 8 step Problem Solving is basically PDCA, then first 5 steps of the 8 Steps are planning, Step 6, 7 ,and 8 and the D, C and the A of the process. It's a very efficient and effective way to "think", again thinking is what we should value in people.
Stayed tuned to further posts regarding the 8 Steps.
Til next time
Tracey Richardson