Last week we left off our Lean implementation with a clearly laid out plan on a 1 year road map. If you remember we first went through analyzation by mapping the organizations "door to door" current state value stream. This value stream helped us to understand what was going on right now not what should be going on. Next we identified the organizations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats by conducting a SWOT analysis. Having analyzed every portion of the organization it was then time to start the assessment and establish metrics/key performance indicators that would help us gauge our journey and ensure it stays on track. Then after measurements were established to track the course towards our vision we were able to identify some "Gaps," those gaps helped us to plan out the actions needed in order to begin closing the gaps. So, ultimately the output of our analysis and assessment is a clearly laid out plan of tactical activities that will guide the organization towards the vision and objectives. Now we are ready to begin the "Do" stage.
The do stage is all about the execution of the plan we generated in the prepare phase of our lean implementation. There will be 3 key elements that will go into this phase of the journey, which ultimately should begin moving the strategy further ahead.
Training and development
Like any other strategy "training and development" are one of the first big steps for the organization. Employees not only need to know what the strategy is but they need to understand how they can support it so they can do just that. The training should ensure that employees have the necessary skills and experience in order to complete any new roles or responsibilities they will have as a result of the deployment of a new or further initiative. If everyone is setup to succeed the overall strategy will succeed too, think of it like water around a boat as the water rises on each of the sides the boat inevitably begins to rise too and so will your organization/department and individuals.
Very Specific Kaizens
Of course there is no standard recipe for what kaizen event or projects should be deployed, but there is the prepare phases roadmap and assessment that was performed. The specific kaizens that are on your road map are the gaps that were identified in the assessment of the organization, they may also simply be some of the "opportunities" found in the SWOT analysis that you can now move forward with. Your very specific kaizens should be those that were laid out in the 1 year plan of the preparation stage, now it's time to execute each of them. Remember metrics were established not just to gauge the journey but to ensure the tactical events are infact pointing you in the right direction. You will know if they aren't and You will know if they are.
Application of appropriate tools
Now your lasered in on specific improvement events and employees are trained in the basic elements of your new lean strategy. You may even have some experienced employees on staff who have been through different implementations before, those individuals can be a great asset. With experience and trained resources we need to give them opportunities to now execute and develop their skill set. This stage will begin to apply tools such as: 5S, VSM, SMED and Poke yoke to the appropriate processes and areas in your organization.
After the application of appropriate tools your organization should be looking more efficient and have noticeably less waste in both the overall value stream and some targeted areas of the organization. Finally after completion of your road map the resources you have may be starting to notice they have more time for improvements after they get through the initial J-curve of the strategy.
Well it may seem like at this point of implementation that everything is done and complete, it's not we're only halfway through our PDCA implementation and a small percent towards the reults years of repetition can bring. Next week we will advance one more stage into the "C" or continuous improvement stage.