Do your Lean activities result in the positive fatigue of a job well done? Does Lean wear out your CI staff? How can you initiate and maintain momentum for continuous improvement?
Members who attended our October SIG at Innomotive Solutions Group came to talk about many aspects of lean implementation. They were concerned with how to deal with staff who were too busy to spend time on Lean initiatives. They wanted to know what pitfalls to avoid. They were also interested in how to apply Lean to the challenge of short lead times and made-to-order goods.
As part of our discussion of those (and other) topics, members offered a lot of advice, such as:
- Start with a small project and keep it simple to result in a success that shows the rest of the organization a positive outcome.
- Pick a first project that’s a surefire success and have a welcoming cell work on the project to generate a win. [The strategy often generates excitement, but other members cautioned that the excitement will only take you a short way.]
- Prepare people for change. All employees need to know that change is coming, why it’s important, and what Lean is.
- Train the continuous improvement team in all the Lean tools, but otherwise each project should drive which tools are most appropriate and provide additional training to other employees in just those tools.
- Take pictures before and after. It is surprising how quickly you forget the old way once the new way is in place.
- Recognition is key and shouldn’t be purely financial. The recognition should take place when the project is completed. Also, don’t reward every successfully completed project. Enter projects into a draw and then reward one.
- Have your employees learn from each other’s lean activities using presentation days. Finding out what activities are taking place in other places in the plant goes a long way to increasing lean thinking.
Naturally there was much more discussion, especially about the cultural part of Lean implementation. Join us at our next SIG to get the full benefit of your peers’ insights.
Thank you to our host, Innomotive Solutions Group, and to all the participants who joined us at the SIG.