Monday, March 26, 2012

Last word on P3 The Right Process will Produce the Right Results

In my previous blogs, I have tried to caution you about running amok around the organization with your toolbox looking to use them on other people's process. Remember that as a lean leader, it is DISRESPECTFUL for me to fix your process. So, how do I go about using my new tools? 

Work to make 2 concepts clear throughout the organization.....FLOW and PULL. Imagine an order coming from your customer, and moving at a set pace through the company, without stopping. Like an assembly line, it comes in one door and "leaves" when you deposit the check in the bank. Pull is how fast this assembly line is moving. The orders are never waiting anywhere. When a person finishes working on one, the next one shows up "just-in-time". This is a place we can probably never get to, but we can all continuously work, in small steps toward that goal.  Imagine a world where your customer gives you an order, and it moves through all of the value streams in your organization, from order entry to production to shipping to invoicing, and every process adds value only, not defects, over-processing, waiting, transport, motion, inventory, etc. This is the goal. Every second of non-value added time has been eliminated, and customers are lined up outside because we are the fastest in our industry. 

All of our lean tools help us get to FLOW and PULL. Either by helping us see or eliminate one or more of the 8 wastes. Before improving any process (kaizan), start by STANDARDIZING it. Watching a video of a process together is a great way to standardize. Value stream mapping is another great way for everyone to come to agreement on the current condition. DON'T map their process. Teach the process owners how to use the tool, and let them do it, and answer their questions. Let the process owners identify the opportunities for improvement. Help people seize these opportunities using A3. (I will cover A3 in a future blog). As the usefulness of additional tools becomes apparent, teach them! Continue to do this until people understand which tools make sense and are comfortable using them.

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