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Mike Rother

Mike Rother: Depends on Your Goals

By Mike Rother, - Last updated: lundi, octobre 8, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

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Question:  Where do you think we should start the Lean process in the Press Shop?

Seems to me the answer to this question depends on what customer-related challenge your facility is trying to meet. In Lean terms, what does your 1-3 year, dock-to-dock future-state value stream map specify as the desired condition, on the way to the (dock-to-dock) vision of 1×1 Flow at Lowest Cost? This future-state map is a place to inject general Lean ideas like where to flow, where to pull, the scheduling point and lead-time goals.

With that overarching challenge or direction in mind, apply the rest of the pattern of the Improvement Kata to the press operations:

  1. Analyze the current condition of the work processes related to one product-family group of presses, i.e., study and describe the current operating pattern for the press operators, press scheduling, material handling, press changeovers, die maintenance and press maintenance. Each one of these is a separate process related to the operation of the presses. You don’t have to take them on all at once, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at all of them to get a feel for the overall current situation.
  2. Establish a next target condition for the processes you need to work on first. Each target condition should be no more than 3 months in the future.
  3. You can draw up a plan for how to get to a target condition, but most important is to begin conducting daily rapid PDCA cycles toward the target condition. This is the place to apply specific Lean techniques as needed to reach the target condition.

Notice I can answer your question with a meta process without telling you specifically what to do, which could be irresponsible on my part since I have no first-hand knowledge of your actual situation now. There’s only limited time in each workday to make improvements and there are competitors right behind us. So if you’re going to initiate activity then you should do your best to ensure people are working on those things they need to work on to achieve your value-stream goals.

This is also important because if you want your teams to be engaged when they work on improvement they should be working on something meaningful, not just random wastes or problems from a gemba walk or what someone like me writing a blog post might say they should work on. And, in reference to something you mentioned in your question, it’s not possible to implement Lean. As far as I can tell Lean is mindset, behavior and performance that an organization develops over time. Sorry, wish we knew of a shortcut.


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