In the beginning there was 5S.
Ever since the dawn of time man seeks to make woman happy and keep cave in 5S condition. Bows nice and tidy, dirt floor swept and sanitary with a place in the tunnel to scratch each internal audit. The benefits are almost immediate and the system seems to have a way of energizing the other "tribes." But even with success that dates back to prehistoric times why is it that 5S seems to have become the "beginners" project?
Endless hours of training go by every week on track fields around the world. The teammates are focused on only one thing getting better for competition; Call it passion, maybe desire or even just the want to claim a gold medal most athletes understand that with every event they must continuously improve to become better.
Ever had an annoying fly buzzing around you? You swat and swipe and you just can't get it away from you until you grab the right tool. I certainly have. Much like a fly swatter is the right tool for getting that pesky fly the swot analysis is often times the right tool to help you identify four very important elements of business, projects or venture objectives.
The Hide and Seek of 5S
Almost every organization in the world knows by now that the 5S system is an efficient, low maintenance and high impact means of driving continuous improvement. The system itself can be used in offices, shop floors and software systems. So why is it that many who have tried this powerful tool only yield small returns or feel as though something is hiding?
5 Principles for a Lean Thanksgiving
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or you're just getting ready for a hearty dinner, planning for the big meal can be quite the task especially if you have lots of guests to provide for. Hours of cooking, ordering and booking travel plans. It's no wonder turkey makes you tired. Allow us if you will to share 5 principles that will keep you lean this thanksgiving.
Many companies wonder, where should I start with my continuous improvement journey? And while the answer varies for everyone, in this post from our soon to be released Just in Time Course we will answer a key question that all organizations must consider, what is the foundation for continuously improving?
This past weekend while attending a Conference in Torrance, California I had the opportunity to network with many wonderful people. It seemed to be a common theme amongst attendants that they either had very little time to conduct Continuous Improvement events or they were focused on Quality. Quality truly is a make all or break all element of any Organization. Whether it is the quality of Information or the quality of a product or service that is produced there is no denying that quality is everyone's responsibility.
Happy Labor Day!
All year long we strive for improvements. Squeezing waste from every corner of organizations, Posting new videos, or trying to eliminate that pesky root cause. Whatever it is you do, labor day is for each and everyone of us. Here are some important things to keep in mind on your day off:
Happy Fourth of July!
From Each and Everyone of Us at Lean Strategies International LLC, we wish you a happy, safe and prosperous fourth of July. May we ever live with gratitude of the great freedoms we have. Celebrate the Fourth of July With Lean Strategies International LLC. with this beautiful medley of patriotic songs.
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Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA)
So you have planned out some improvement for an existing process, product or service but you want to ensure that it is a success. One of the best ways to make sure improvement goals are a success is to plan for possible failures. FMEA or failure mode effects analysis will do just that for you. FMEA is a method of identifying possible failures in a process. As the name implies "failure modes" hints that it will help us to understand the possibilities of failure. Sound like a valuable activity? It certainly is, so how is it performed?
Before we get started with an overview of FMEA you need to know that there are a few different FMEA methods. One is for process oriented analysis. You may have heard it referred to as PFMEA. The other type is used in the design or redesign of a process, product or service this type of FMEA is referred to as DFMEA. Today we will not focus on either one specifically. Remember you can find templates here.
How to Perform FMEA
In the first three phases of the REDUCE methodology, required data is established, the value stream is engaged for a deeper understanding and internal and external activities are differentiated or separated as defined in the SMED system. The first two phases are largely gathering information and analysis while the second begins to separate tasks and define what can be done while the machine is running and what can be done while the machine is stopped.
The video above is from Lean Strategies International LLC's Quick Changeover with REDUCE Course.
Of all the steps in a setup or changeover reduction, separating internal and external activities may in fact be the most important as well as the simplest steps you can take. In the most general sense, performing activities like preparing tools, kits and materials as well as transporting items while your line is running can reduce setup time by as much as 50%.
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In this lecture we will discuss the difference between lean thinking and traditional thinking. Let’s recall two of the types of work. Those work activities that add value and those that do not. In the video above we see an activity that is adding value. Value added work has three characteristics to it:
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Before improving anything in a setup, we must first consider the current state or common problem areas of what we are improving. In the case of setups, changeovers or turnarounds there are traditionally 4 basic steps where problems and opportunities fall. Those steps are:
Happy Memorial Day!
Memorial Day is a special holiday that is celebrated every year. Though many of us may think of those we have lost every single day, for one day an entire country stops to celebrate the lives of fallen soldiers. These brave soldiers are the essence of improvement.
Changing things around
If you travel into any machine shop, office or hospital facility in the world guaranteed you have seen a changeover before. The changeover occurs in between the last good part or service until the next good part or service. Some examples would be:
The ©Cure for Brainstorming Blues
Almost every project will include brainstorming of some kind at some point in the project lifecycle. Brainstorming sessions can be a powerful gateway to unlock solutions, make issues visible, prioritize actions and bring experienced minds together. When individuals come together as a team, innovative ideas can be born. One of the struggles of being a part of a powerful and productive brainstorming session is that they generate many great ideas and often reveal a large amount of issues. This can leave a group feeling overwhelmed. Often times, the wide array of ideas can be hard to organize, understand, validate and act on. Worse yet, many members of a team might leave feeling invalidated, unheard or completely shut down.
The fishbone diagram, cause and effect, or ishikawa diagram is one of the most common quality tools used today. Best known by its resemblance to a fish's body the fishbone diagram is used to show the many possible causes for an effect. The tool is used to help coordinating brainstorming in an effort to discover root causes.
IMPROVE with Gratitude
In a world full of opportunities to improve, trials, countermeasures solutions and yes, waste, we all have much to be grateful for. Whatever position you are in, whatever place you are at, gratitude can be a powerful tool if harnessed and used regularly. Studies all around the world have shared the benefits of gratitude in the workplace, homes and in daily practice. In this, the spirit of gratitude and before you share in the comments section below what you are grateful for, we would like to say, thank you. Thank you to each of you who work your hardest everyday. Thank you, to each of you who come home happy and ready to serve those you love. Thank you, to each of you who have indeed IMPROVED the world through gratitude.
Many years ago a sociologist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto developed what eventually would become one of the most well known concepts in the world. Pareto who had already made significant contributions to the world of microeconomics discovered that about 80% of the wealth in italy was owned by only 20% of the population. This revolutionary discovery eventually lead to what we know today as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. Over some period of time the Pareto concept began to gain a reputation for separating what is often referred to as the vital few from the trivial many. While it is important to understand history and how things come to be what we really want to understand today is when to use the Pareto chart and how we can leverage opportunities from analyzing the chart.
A winning chance with standards
The first day on the job is always an exciting experience for any new employee. A new chance to show your skills, meet new people and grow in a new organization. Excited to learn something new in training you get thrown to the wolves and here the phrase "you will figure it out." That can be a bit scary to say the least. Surprisingly as you start figuring out everything has procedures connected to it. Three days later and you have mastered erp, assembly and every office function in the organization. A bit surprised by this you're off to a great start!
In one of our Online Courses, a participant recently posed the question, "What is the Difference between Standards and Standardization"? To answer this question we need to first define each of the two terms.
First Time Yield (FTY)
A few months back I received a phone call from an old friend. After we had finished catching up for a bit he began describing to me how he had his employees calculate the yield of his pizza's. each day the employees would mark how much came out and how much was put in. The employee would then divide the out number by the in number giving him the yield percentage. Sound familiar? The method that was being used to calculate yield is known as traditional yield calculation. Out of curiosity I asked him, "what is your yield percentage?" He then shared with me that his yield for each day was always right about 96%. So what was the issue? 96% production rate is not the best, but it's not the worst either. That's when he mentioned that things didn't seem to add up.
So where do we start? Let's look at the process right! First I asked him to give me a run through of the process that was being used to make the pizza's. As it turns out he had two separate processes, one for popular orders and one for unique orders. We will look at the "popular order" process here.
What is First Time Yield?
The first time yield, first pass yield or throughput yield is a metric used to determine how a process is performing in relation to the number of good units or services it produces. In other words it tells us the number of good units to the total number of units excluding wasteful activities like rework and scrap on units that can not be fixed. In the case of our pizza we actually have a 90% first time yield not 96% as the traditional calculation showed us.
How is it Calculated?
6% change in a measurement is quite significant. Can you imagine if that change was in car parts, airplane parts or computers and not pizza's? The way we calculate first time yield, throughput yield or first pass yield is simple by dividing the number of GOOD UNITS (excluding any rework or scrap) by the THE TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS. If you are interested in a template the bottom of the page will give you a free download.
Why use First Time Yield?
So why do we use first time yield instead of traditional or final yield? The most obvious reason is that using final or traditional yield methods keeps the "hidden factory" hidden. The final yield only divides the number of acceptable pieces by the number original number, or what comes out in comparison to what went in. Looking back on our pizza's we can understand now that the yield was not really 96%, in other words using the traditional yield calculation hides wasteful activities like rework, lost time and many other forms of waste. However when a metric like first time yield is used we take into consideration only process steps that yield good parts or services and exclude rework (first pass). This gives us greater insight as to what is actually going on in the process. Using metrics such as first time yield also helps combat the famous, it's just the way we always do it behaviors by exposing rework and other wasteful activities so that they do not get built into future processes.
In the case of my friend he was losing 6% on every 100 pizza's which could turn out to be a significant opportunity to improve his process and gain additional resource time in the near future. Ultimately first time through yield is a significant step in the right direction, however most processes are linked together in order to create a systematic way of accomplishing tasks along the way. When there is a string of processes involved FTY is not the ideal way to measure. These cases like we will see in our "unique order" pizza's are better suited using a rolled throughput yield. So stay tuned as we calculate the complex unique orders of our pizza process using rolled throughput. Don't forget to download your free template by clicking on the link below.
Why, oh why?
The lecture above is from Lean Strategies International LLC's FISH Methodology Course. For More Course Materials, Ad Free Content, Handouts, Quizzes, Certification and Activities Click Here.
Have you ever gotten into a discussion of why? because. Why? because. Last weekend I had the great pleasure of this discussion for what seemed to be the first time. I never really put much thought into it but asking why never really was a difficulty for me.
Oftentimes when we want to use the 5 whys to drill from issue to root cause we end up in a pattern of why, because. Why, because. Or, we conduct a long analysis only to find out that none of our levels of causation matched at all. One of the best known examples of a 5 why analysis was performed by the master Taiichi Ohno. He used the example of a welding robot stopping in the middle of its operation. Like a sensei does he naturally went from initial issue to root cause with almost no difficulty at all. So, how do we begin developing this level of mastery with regards to root cause analysis? Here are a few important things to keep in mind when looking for the ROOT cause.
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