Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Enterprise 
7th Edition
Our discussion on "How to Get More Out of Your Lean Implementation" from edition #2 continues with:
1) The Challenge of Empowerment
2) Daily Management - What is it and Why is it Important to Your Lean Implementation?  

Another Free 2 Hour Seminar - Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning
The Most Powerful Lean Activity Your Organization will ever Accomplish!
When: Thursday, June 11th from 9:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Hampton Inn, Chicago-O'Hare (Schiller Park, IL)
I-294, exit Irving Park road, west to Mannheim road, south to 3939 N. Mannheim Rd.)
Free Hot Breakfast
Seats are Limited, Registration Required: Email kelly@wcmfg.com, or call 260-637-8064
The Challenge of Empowerment 
by Mattie Watson
One of the critical components of a successful Lean organization is an empowered workforce. Yet ask anyone the definition of empowerment and you are likely to get as many definitions as the number of folks you asked. While most people say they would like to be empowered, they also believe they are not empowered much in their current positions.
There appear to be two clear sides to the empowerment issue. Leaders are frustrated by followers who, despite being told repeatedly, do not act empowered. Followers, on the other hand, are frustrated by bosses who say the workforce is empowered but do not provide the resources (information, time, budgets) for empowered activity. If leaders want their followers to be empowered, and followers want to be empowered, what is the problem? Clearly, the missing element is trust. 
A major myth of empowerment is that one individual can empower another.  Empowerment is not something that can be bestowed. True empowerment only occurs in an environment where individuals feel free to empower themselves - where people feel trusted to make decisions, support each other, take initiative, and do the right things. 
Leaders must ask themselves what level of empowered behavior they want in their workforce. This must be followed by asking, "What is standing in the way of that behavior occurring?" This is a difficult question to ask and to get answered. Associates may not be able to articulate the obstacles that exist.
An excellent resource for clarifying the possible obstacles is A Company of Leaders by Gretchen Spreitzer and Robert Quinn. The authors do an excellent job of identifying the five key reasons why empowerment fails and what must be done to eliminate these issues. Of particular value is an assessment that allows individuals to determine their own level of perceived empowerment in four key areas. With this information, specific actions can be taken to improve conditions.
Empowerment is not optional in a Lean organization, it is an absolute requirement. Until an environment is created where empowerment can flourish, the entire Lean initiative will produce only modest improvements. The power of Lean comes from unleashing the talent and enthusiasm of every single person in your workforce. Empowerment will make this happen. 
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Daily Management - What is it and Why is it Important to Your Lean Implementation?  

by Vince Fayad
Daily Management is the performance of business fundamentals in an organization required to serve customers and be profitable on a day-to-day basis. A World Class Enterprise can be built only on a strong foundation of an under-control workforce and processes. Lean and Lean improvements require the discipline of having procedures throughout the organization that all the associates follow. Lean can be successful only when the daily business fundamentals are under control - those things that you do on a daily basis to serve your customer and run the business.

There are fifteen signs or symptoms of poor Daily Management:

1. Quality problems and incidents increase when vacation or other relief workers are employed

2. Process performance (quality and output) is noticeably and quantitatively different from shift to shift

3. Planned process changes/product changes do not go smoothly

4. Different operators run the same equipment differently

5. The same work rules, methods, and conditions have existed for a long time and things are not getting better

6. Process performance deteriorates with the age of equipment

7. Problems in key performance areas (e.g., quality, delivery, productivity) have been solved numerous times only to return after a short absence

8. Different departments (and individuals within departments) have, or appear to have, different goals and objectives associated with their outputs

9. Equipment failures and outages create havoc for the organization because dealing with them is almost always reactionary
10. Processes are run to the best of the operator's ability and adjustments and corrections are made based  on judgment (as opposed to data)

11. When "seasoned" employees change jobs or retire, problems spring up in the area they left

12. Process performance modification and control is not documented empirically

13. Many problems of quality, traceability, and accountability are traced to between-shift transfer or handoff

14. Expedited orders slow down (even get lost) between shifts and/or between departments

15. When someone important is due to visit, you have to take special time and effort to clean and organize things

Without the discipline of Daily Management, Lean, or any other type of improvements
are not sustainable. These improvement efforts would then just be added to the organization's wasteful activities. See figure below.  

Daily Management  

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Next Issue:

  • How to Prevent Lean Implementation Failures - 10 Reasons Why Failures Occur.  In each of the following ten newsletters, we will discuss, from the least critical (Reason #10), to most critical/fatal (Reason #1) why Lean implementation failures occur. Our next newletter will discuss Reason #10, Bonus Pay Systems Where the Only Measure is Company Profitability  

  • Team Killing 101

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Don't forget to register for our free seminar!

Upcoming Lean Events & Activities - Registration is Required (unless noted, all activities are free) 

June 11th - Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning - Hampton Inn, Chicago O'Hare, 9-11 am
Concurrent Sessions:
July 14th - Introduction to Lean Healthcare - South Suburban College (IL), Oak Forest Campus, 9-11 am
July 14th - Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning for Healthcare - South Suburban College (IL), Oak Forest Campus, 9-11 am
Concurrent Sessions: 
August 4th - Introduction to Lean - South Suburban College (IL), Oak Forest Campus, 9-11 am
August 4th - Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning - South Suburban College (IL), Oak Forest Campus, 9-11 am
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2009 WCM Associates
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