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Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Enterprise 
Greetings!
 
The discussion on "How to Get More Out of Your Lean Implementation" from edition #2 continues with:
 
1) The Misuse of Kaizen Events
2) Developing Behavioral Expectations for Your Associates   

The Misuse of Kaizen Events 

by Larry Rubrich 
 
Kaizen Events are a powerful improvement tool! Like Value Stream Mapping, Kaizen Events unfortunately are often misused. They have become an "end all" to themselves. Organizations do Kaizen Events just to do them. These events are often called spot, point, or drive-by Kaizen Events.
 
When examined, organizations are found to have hundreds of wasteful activities that cannot all be eliminated at once. Use Kaizen Events to focus only on the improvements which support the organization's current goals, plans, or budget. This strategy prevents us from using resources and time for an improvement activity that is currently not on top management's radar. Lean and Kaizen Events must be used and seen by top management and the entire organization as the "system" by which the company achieves its goals. 
 
Kaizen Events should ultimately be scheduled using this "pull" strategy. Early on in the Lean implementation, it may be necessary for the company's Lean Facilitator to "push" or tell a particular area to do a Kaizen Event. This may be based on a particular team operating below their "committed to" goal (which supports the achievement of the organization's goals). Once all the teams and areas of an organization "own" their goals and measurements, they will pull Kaizen Event help from the Lean Facilitator when they find themselves off target. 
 

Book Review -- Policy Deployment and Lean Implementation Planning  

 

% Lean 
 
For years, Industry Week magazine has reported that roughly 75% of companies using
Lean as their business improvement activity have reported little, if any, progress. Since
Lean can solve any business problem, why are 75% of organizations using Lean showing
such little progress, when properly implemented Lean activities can show significant progress the first year?
 
The answer is that business organizations are not "closing the loop" between their business goals, plans, budgets, and Lean as the system to make
the plans a reality.
 
For most organizations, Lean is an add-on, an appendage. These businesses are not using Lean as a way of running their business. They are not closing the loop between required goals and required results and therefore Lean is underutilized as a business improvement process. See the above Figure.

In this book, Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning, top management is given an easy to follow, 10 Step Roadmap to Policy Deployment using Lean as a System:

1. Establish a Mission and Guiding Principles
2. Develop Business Goals (Safety, Operating Income, Cash Flow, Revenue, ROIC, etc.)
3. Brainstorm for Opportunities to Achieve Goals
4. Define Parameters to Value Opportunities
5. Establish Weighting Requirements, Rate Opportunities, and Prioritize
6. Conduct a Reality Check
7. Develop Lean Implementation Plan
8. Develop Bowling Chart
9. Countermeasures
10. Conducting Monthly Business Reviews
 

Developing Behavioral Expectations for Your Associates  

by Vince Fayad

What Kind of Leaders

The chart above was developed based on former GE CEO Jack Welch's definition of performance and values. The "X" axis is based on performance. How well you do your job? The "Y" axis is based on how you get work done (values/culture). We generally equate this to the traditional used car salesperson. His job is to sell cars. You could easily measure how many cars he sells and at what profit margin. But how he sells cars is just as important. He could lie and try to cheat you by telling you that the car has features that it really does not, or that it was driven by a little old lady once a week to church (down hill both ways) or he can be truthful and honest.
 
In the lower left quadrant are those people whose performance is unacceptable and who will never fit into the Lean culture we are trying to create. 
 
In the upper right quadrant are your high potential people - the people you plan to build the company upon. 

In the upper left quadrant are those people who have the heart and desire to fit into the Lean culture but whose performance is still unacceptable. 
 
Jack Welch will tell you that the most difficult quadrant of all is the lower right quadrant. Most organizations are very reluctant to do anything about those people who do not want Lean to be successful. They will do whatever is necessary to undermine this process. They do not want to empower their people, they want to keep all the power to themselves (generally because they have all the process knowledge and are unwilling to share this knowledge). In fact, these people like firefighting; they will sometimes start fires just so they can go out and solve problems. 

Most organizations do a good job in identifying "Personal Performance Metrics" (such as a Project Manager who completes a project on-time and within budget, a salesperson who hits his sales objective for the year, etc.). However, organizations do a very poor job of identifying and measuring behavioral characteristics (personal integrity, empowerment, teamwork, communications, etc.).
 
Measuring desired Behavioral Characteristics (and establishing a Lean culture) can start by the organization issuing "behavioral expectations." Behavioral expectations or codes of conduct are short statements, usually presented in the form of a laminated pocket card, that are "a set of rules or standards" that members of the organization use to guide their behavior and actions. An example of behavioral expectation for an organization is shown below.
 
St. Camillus' Behavioral Expectations
Work Safely
Keep Customers First
Respect Others
Be Accountable
Communicate
Keep Learning
Be Positive
Be a Good Listener
Help Solve Problems
Take Pride in What You Do
Tell the Truth
Work as a Team

These behavioral expectations should then be integrated into job descriptions, the new associate orientation program, and performance reviews.

It should be noted that the behavioral expectations will only produce culture change if they are modeled by the Leadership Team. Since the culture change process can take years, the Leadership Team must be committed to the guidelines as a new way of doing business.

Next Issue:

    • Empowerment = Lean Success 
    • All Value Added Work is a Process
 
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2009 WCM Associates
 
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