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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: There are no particular tools that are better than others to get to continuous improvement.

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: dimanche, juillet 18, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

In my new book in progress we talk of three levels of lean (inspired by David Meier).  The outer level of the sphere is proliferation of tools by the experts which by itself is a “lean facade.”  This level is not sustainable.  If the experts teach managers the tools and they embrace and apply them they can get to the next level of “management as lean implementers.”    This level is sustainable, but typically managers tend to be sporadic in making improvements “when they have time.”  The best companies then advance to “continuous improvement by the work group.”  The final step is rare, and is a never ending journey.  In the early stages of this last stage I can imagine using a specific tool out of the TWI back of tricks.  In reality the only tool needed at any of the steps is problem solving.  By that I mean that the expert, manager, or work group would ideally focus on achieving a clear objective and use whatever methods and tools will help to advance them toward the objective.  The objective might be stated as a target condition in Mike Rother’s terms and should be a significant challenge.  Coaching is needed on using a good improvement method to achieve the challenge and there needs to be real passion in working relentlessly toward the challenging objective…which is where leadership comes in.  The most advanced organization will set the challenges based on a hoshin kanri process which aligns improvements toward company goals.  My view is that this whole process takes many years and you need to work inward toward the center–there are no shortcuts to dive into true continuous improvement based on any particular tools.

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