Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ten Things Our Sensei Told Us ( Lessons From Early In the Lean Journey )

" Lean " can have bad connotations, have a very clear "Leaned employee" re-deployment policy.
Lean is not Lean Manufacturing. There are probably more gains available outside of manufacturing.
  1. Lean is not voluntary; People who don't like it need to be re-educated or leave, Management needs to deal with the "antibodies".
  2. Ideas come out of the closet; Lean provides an opportunity for employees , good ideas to be heard. They have often had these ideas before Lean. They have often expressed these ideas before Lean. As management be humble.
  3. It's a journey of continuous improvement with perfection unattainable.
  4. Lead by example ; Interest, Knowledge, Support, Involvement and Dirty Hand.
  5. Get a teacher , you want a teacher not consultant.
  6. Strong Leaders are essential.
  7. You need to master the tools, but they are only tools, you need commitment, energy, stamina and ability. Follow through is an essential act and an essential message. Consolidate your gains while you push ahead for new ones. Need accountability.
  8. You cannot communicate too much with stakeholders, Lean team leaders cannot be managers of area being improved and the co-leader needs to own the process. Lean can drive your accounting people nuts, so get them on board early.
  9. Lean will not leap tall mountains ,,, that's why we call it a journey, becareful with the scope of events.
  10. Measure Accomplishments, in dollars , quality and customer service.
Lean is not about improving customer service and quality while cutting costs in unconnected parts of the company although that is nice , Lean is about managing the value that your deliver to your customers so that all the elements of delivering that value work together in a seamless, coordinated fashion and driving through the organization horizontally instead of vertically.
( Markem Lean Enterprise )

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How do I convince my leaders and companies to practice lean ?

We find it hard to distinguish "technical" issues from people issues. Indeed the two cannot be separated. And so the real question that matters is this; what does it take for lean to become part of the company's culture? The answer is ; a critical mass of people who both think lean and act lean. Regardless of how much has been published about the topic, thinking lean is not that obvious. Most people who observe their operations conclude that while they might understand this lean concept very well, it hust does not apply to their particular circumstance. They need help in seeing the connection.
One of the most powerful insights from Womack and Jones is that lean is not simply a toolbox, but a total perspective. In other words, you must trust people to solve their problems, regardless of the way the problem has been defined. A plant manager for example, typically defines a problem as, hit your numbers, keep the factory loaded, and avoid too much union or vendor problems. This effectively forces him to stay in his office, manage by the numbers, run large batches, and so on. A lean approach redefines the problem completely. His new goals would be ; produce only what has been consumed ( ordered ), never by pass a problem or let an operator face a problem alone and continuously improve all processes. This has dramatic implications for the work of the same plant manager. The only way to solve problems in this lean perspective is to spend most of his/her time on the shop floor trying to understand what goes on, and challenging teams to be more precise and improve their operation.

" So the first real difficulty with lean deals with both technical and people challenges. The change begins by framing the problem, which one recognizes in the factory from a lean perspective."

You can read , Jhon Shook and Mike Rother's book " Learning to See " , refer to genchi genbutsu ( go and see ) .

( Article is Taken from Lean Enterprise Institute )

How do I get started the Lean ?

While every individual or company embarking on a lean journey will have different challenges based on their particular set of circumstances, there are several crucial steps that can help reduce resistance, spread the right learning and angender the type of commitment necessary for lean enterprise.
Here are the key steps :
1. Find a change agent
2. Get the lean knowledge
3. Find or create a crisis
4. Forget grand strategy for the moment
5. Map the value streams
6. Begin as soon as possible
7. Demand immediate results
8. As soon you have got momentum expand your

For beginners seeking an overview of the entire lean system, as well as a sense of the types of human challenges which lean leader encounter.
( Jim Womack with the workbook " Lean Thinking " ).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Customer demand is the universal driver in change

Conditions that were satisfactory yesterday are not acceptable today. Tomorrow's demands will be even greater.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Framing The Toyota Production System

Framing is a well studied concept in social science. It can be described as implicitly selecting some aspects of perceived reality as more salient thatn others, thus orienting problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and eventually action recommendation.
The lean movement has been responsible for changing some frames in the industrial world. For instance, large inventories which werre once viewed as healthy assets that could be tapped when needed, are now generally seen as sources or symptoms of waste. Large batches produced to fulfil "economics order quantities" are increasingly unacceptable as a result of a new framework for seeing inventory. Toyota's expertise in creating level of flow of goods through a "pull" manufacturing system has changed the frame by demonstrating that the real issue was reduction of inventory, rather than the management of it.

In Toyota Production System , we have 4 frames that support our quality mindset to be delivered highest quality to customer.

4 Frames :

  1. Improving Performance
  2. Problem Awareness
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Developing People Before Making Parts

1. Improving Performance

Improving performance is the first goal of TPS, not implementing tools fot the tools sake.

  • Quality improvement, through building in quality 100% at the process rather than inspecting it in later.
  • Improving customer service by reducing response time, how can I please my customers by delivering to them exactly what they want, exactly when they want it, in the right quantity at the highest quality and lowest cost ?
  • Cost reduction through waste elimination, anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts and working time absolutely essential to production are merely surpluses that only raise cost.

2. Problem Awareness , Developing a kaizen conciousness

The 2nd deep frame of TPS is problem awareness, in which lean thinkers continually know precisely where the system falls short of perfection and relentessly pursue these "problems" everyday. In the word of Nampachi Hayashi : "The biggest problem is thinking you are okay".

A generally and understandable, human tedency is blame circumstances when run into difficulties. The TPS frame looks to take responsibility, challenge assumptions and conduct the framed "5 WHY" exercise of asking" WHY? until the root cause of a problem is uncovered.

3. Problem Solving , Go and See Quick Experiments and Rigorous Result Checking

3rd, TPS also conveys a deep frame for experiential problem solving. As Ohno said: "In a production plant operation, data are highly regarded but I consider facts to be even more important." The difference is more than sematic: TPS consider facts to be events that you have your self witnessed at the real place, with the real parts and the real people.

4. Developing People Before Making Parts

Recalling his days aas an Ohno dicipline. Teruyuki Minoura muses, " I don't think he was interested in my answer at all. I think he was just putting me through some kind of training to get me to learn how to think." Hajima Ohba depict TPS as fundamentally a system of training where everyone solves problems uner the guidance of a mentor. Kenji Miura, head of Toyota's Operations Management Consulting Division, on recent visit to a european plant chided the plant management , " Don't have kaizen-men and observers." This was strong way of saying that developing a "kaizen consciousness" was the responsibility of the management, not of staff "expert".

In fact, TPS frames every manager's job very strongly as :

  • Build the performance mindset
  • Establish the standard method
  • Track actual performance (make problems or abnormalities visible)
  • Teach a basic way for analyzing work
  • Develop employees through solving probems or improvement tasks.

Indo Lean Institute

What's Lean ???

Lean '
A manufacturing philosophy developed by Toyota Motor Corporation aimed at optimal levels of efficiency through the elimination of waste.

"Waste = anything that does not add value to the customer "

TPS is 90% operational/cultural
10% Physical/equipment
" Problem is Good and No Problem is Problem " ( Teruyuki Minoura )
Goals of Lean :
  1. Deliver the highest quality to customer.
  2. Deliver product with the lowest cost for overall operations .
  3. Shortest the lead time , fastest collect the cast.
  4. Flexibility for any of changes.
  5. High Safety
  6. High Morale ( Mutual Trust and Respect )
Phases of Lean Implementation :
1. Physically
2. Culturally
3. Operationally
Indo Lean Institute