Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Enterprise 
25th Edition  
The topics for this edition are:
    • Kaizen Event Steps Outline
    • The Lean Leader Coach Series Continues with "Employee Empowerment" Part III

Free Lean Webinar Schedule

A complete schedule can be found at www.wcmfg.com

Free On-Site Policy Deployment Seminar

We will come to your location to present a 2-hour Introduction to Policy Deployment to your Leadership Team and selected team members.  
For questions or scheduling, call us at (260) 637-8064 or e-mail info@wcmfg.com 
Kaizen Event Steps Outline
While the event area, area improvement requirements, actual results, and team members may never repeat from Kaizen Event to Kaizen Event,  Standard Work does apply to all Kaizen Events. Use the 15 Step outline shown below as the starting point for continuously improving your Kaizen Event activities. (Remember, no Kaizen Events should occur other than those specified in Policy Deployment).  
by Larry Rubrich 
Step #0 - Event Preparation - Select event area, team, and create team package. 
  1. Area selection should be based on Policy Deployment. 
  2. About half of the team should come from the work area while the other half come from outside the immediate process. At least one person should be unfamiliar with the process and not afraid to ask questions and challenge current thinking. The supervisor of the area is not always a good choice. Team members may assume they are still expected to take orders from the boss even though we tell them this is a team effort.
  3. Team package is the written documentation used as background and reference information and should include:
  • Definition of the problem and event goals
  • Part specifications/drawings
  • Customer's part requirements by day/shift
  • Processing at each operation
  • Production hours per day/week
  • How to handle abnormal conditions
  • Event budget and how to obtain supplies
  • Event support personnel contact list
  • Results of prior events or improvements
  • Complete set of blank documentation sheets
Step #1 - Define the scope and goals of the event.   
  1. Goals are defined based on the reasons the event area was chosen.
  2. Write goals on Kaizen Event Summary Sheet or flip chart.
 Kaizen Event Summary Sheet
Step #2 - Train the team. Review the Lean/World Class Tool(s) and Techniques that support the team's goal.    
  1. Training on the focus of the event (VSM, 5S, Kanban, TPM, Set-up Reduction, etc.) 
  2. Include stages of team development.
Step #3 - Walk the event area, observe physical layout, review videos if  available. This step starts the idea creation process. 
  1. Allows everyone on the team to see the current situation and potentially dispel any misconceptions they had about the process. 
  2. Review goals of the event during the walk through.
Step #4 - Collect data on event Area (Scrap, Production, Time Studies, Videos, Etc.) - Develop/obtain the baseline performance measurements.
Collect data on the event area.  Examples:  
1. Number of associates
2. Amount of inventory
3. Size of area
4. Other pertinent information
5. Fill in any missing data on the Kaizen Event summary sheet
Step #5 - Brainstorm ideas - Thinking "outside the box" and piggybacking important here.
Brainstorming Rules: 
  • State problem in form of question
  • Record ideas on flip chart
  • Quantity of ideas most important
  • Don't limit thinking or imagination
  • No discussion, criticism, or judgment until all ideas have been presented
  • Encourage participation by all
  • Piggyback - build on each other's ideas
  • When all ideas have been presented - review each for feasibility and impact
Step #6 - Use multi-voting to prioritize top 8-10 ideas that will be worked on immediately.
Step #7 - Form Sub-Teams to go out and try/implement Ideas.  
  1. Team members assigned to or volunteer for a specific project
  2. Record roadblocks on Kaizen Event Projects Sheet
  Kaizen Event Projects Sheet
Step #8   - Check results - Each sub-team reviews  their results with the entire team so that consensus can be developed on the direction of each sub-team
  1. Simulating production
  2. Taking time observations
  3. Video recording process
Step #9   - Develop/Review/Update all Operator Instructions for all successful ideas  
    1.   Provide time for the team to train associates in new procedures
    2.   Make sure updates are formally documented
Step #10 - Develop Action Plan for all unimplemented ideas. Kaizen Newspaper Plan must include: what will be done, who will do it, and when it will be accomplished.
The event area must be fully production ready, all Standard Work must be updated and posted, and all Associates must be trained in the new sequence or methods before the team leaves the area. 
Step #11 - Report-Out to Management on the results of the event. During the afternoon of the last event day, the team will give management a verbal "Report Out" of the activities accomplished and the action plan. 
Basic "report out" format: 
  • Restate the original management goals
  • Provide before documentation
  • Provide after documentation
  • Show videos or pictures of the event
  • Provide a Kaizen Event Summary Sheet
  • Review the Action Plan for incomplete improvement ideas
Step #12 - Recognize the team.
Step #13 - "After Event" follow-up by team on all Open Action Items.
Step #14 - Measure event area improvements.       
Step #15 - Team disbands when all Open Action Items are completed.
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Certified Lean Facilitator Training (Manufacturing)

 Appleton, WI
This Certified Lean Facilitator "public" training session will be hosted by Goodwill Industries in Appleton, WI.
You can attend just one class or start the journey to becoming a Certified Lean Facilitator by attending all 3 weeks.
Session dates are:
Week 1 - March 22, 2010
Week 2 - April 12, 2010
Week 3 - May 17th, 2010
For more information and pricing, Click Here
For scheduling, call us at 260-637-8064 or e-mail info@wcmfg.com

Certified Lean Facilitator Training (Administrative/Service)

Mechanicsburg, PA

This standard Certified Lean Facilitator training session will be hosted by CenterPoint Engineering Inc. Centerpoint is a construction engineering firm.  

You can attend just one class or start the journey to becoming a Certified Lean Facilitator by attending all 3 weeks.
Session dates are:
Week 1 - March 22, 2010
Week 2 - April 19, 2010 
Week 3 - May 17, 2010 
For scheduling, call us at 260-637-8064 or e-mail info@wcmfg.com
For more information and pricing, Click Here
    The Lean Leader Coach Series -     
"Employee Empowerment" Part III 
This series is intended to provide tools, tips, ideas, and coaching for leaders whose organizations are implementing Lean as their operating system.
by Mattie Watson

In Part 2 of this Empowerment Challenge series, I stated that the first step the leader must take in helping associates choose to be empowered is to accept empowerment himself or herself.  This should result in behaviors that demonstrate to the workforce that changes are occurring at the leadership level. 

The next obvious change a leader must make is to let go of day-to-day activity.  Obviously, this can only be done successfully if first, you believe others are capable of making good decisions, and second, you are willing to provide the necessary information, coaching, and training associates may need to succeed.  If a leader is busy conducting business as usual, then he or she has no time to recognize and then eliminate what is standing in the way of associates engaging in the business and working together.  There is no time for coaching and training.

The best decisions will come from associates closest to where the activity takes place provided they have the necessary information to make those decisions and no one gets in the way by questioning why the decisions are being made.  This is a very difficult situation for most leaders.  A paragraph from A Company of Leaders by Gretchen Sprietzer and Robert Quinn sums it up best:

"How lovely to have energetic, dedicated workers who always seize initiative (but only when appropriate), who enjoy taking risks (but never risky ones), who volunteer their ideas (but only brilliant ones), who solve problems on their own (but make no mistakes), who aren't afraid to speak their minds (but never ruffle any feathers), who always give their very best to the company (but ask no unpleasant questions about what the company is giving back).  How nice it would be in short to empower workers without actually giving them any power." 

That's the core of the issue, isn't it?  We want empowered workers who think and act exactly the way we would.  We want the benefit of the empowerment without any of the risks.  We cannot have it both ways.  There will always be some risk associated with empowerment.  Fortunately, this is not an all or nothing proposition.  We can ease people into more and more empowerment.

A video we use in training, Leadership: The West Point Way, includes the subject of empowerment (they use the term delegation) as one of the six leadership principals that West Point strives to instill in their cadets.  One key point is that the leader needs to build ability in others by delegating progressively more difficult tasks.  The challenge for leaders is to understand where each of their associates are in terms of skills, ability, and confidence, and then provide an appropriate level of empowerment to each person.  As the individual's skill and confidence increase, the level of empowerment should be increased as well.  Please note that the confidence that is building is not just on the part of the associate.  The leader is gaining confidence in the associate as he or she meets and masters each challenge.   

Letting go of day-to-day operations will not be so terrifying if you understand that it does not have to happen all at once - but it does need to happen.  Take the time to assess each of your direct reports.  What is their skill level?  Are they willing to accept responsibility for a few tasks now?  If so, do they need access to information or some level of skills training?  Can you provide what they need or do you need specific outside help?  When can the training or information be provided?  Then start turning over specific tasks.  Don't be afraid to clearly define expectations and be specific about desired outcomes.  This does not contradict empowerment.  On the other hand, do not micromanage the process.  Let the associate come to you when the task is complete.  If they know they can approach you if they have questions and that you are willing to provide the support they need along the way, then much of their fear should be alleviated.  You may be amazed by just how much talent you have working for you.

In the next issue, we will conclude this series on empowerment by discussing your role as a mentor. 

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Next Edition    
  • Lean in a "Make to Order," Job Shop Environment
  • The Lean Leader Coach Series Continues with "Employee Empowerment" Part IV
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
© 2010 WCM Associates
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