Facilitating a successful kaizen event requires a sound plan and reasonable expectations. That way we can keep our team on task and be ready to recognize and address challenges as they arise. To assist in these efforts, the following is a recommended schedule for ensuring kaizen event week success.
Just like any event, adequate preparation is a key factor in kaizen event success. Always be sure to allocate sufficient time to prepare for your kaizen event. That said, it’s best to plan kaizen preparation in addition to your actual kaizen event. Our first tool in this effort is a kaizen timeline...
Most of our time should be spent doing value added work. However, if you take a look at the total lead time through value stream you will discover that “Muda” or waste steals a lot of our time. Another thing that a lot of companies do is to try and reduce the overall lead time by making the value add process more efficient. In reality there’s more value in reducing the waste in the process first before worrying about improving the value added steps.
In lean, motion refers to any movement of people. The waste of motion is any motion that occurs, which doesn’t add value to the product. Common examples of this in the workplace, include retrieving tools or equipment (including reaching for them), searching for missing information, and exerting effort to lift things from the ground. Any excess motion or effort more than what is required to add value to a product is considered waste.
The waste of waiting is any idle time spent by people or machines, when materials or information aren’t immediately available to proceed. In manufacturing, workers may have to wait on equipment such as a forklift to become available or for maintenance to complete if the planned downtime was inaccurate. Unfortunately, overproduction or busy work often obscures waiting
While inventory is often thought of as an asset, being one of the 7 wastes suggests that may be wrong-headed. In fact, as a waste, inventory can actually represent tremendous loss. Not only can inventory cost 40 percent or more of its direct cost to carry, it ties up precious cash that could better be used elsewhere in the business. A simple definition of the waste of inventory is any on-hand material other than what is needed right now to satisfy customer demand. Inventory can be categorized in various ways.
The fourth step in the lean 5S (6S) process is seiketsu, or standardized. Standardize is fundamentally about establishing clear, unambiguous norms for people to perform. Standards are a prerequisite for continuous improvement. As Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS) put it, “Where there is no standard, there can be no improvement.”
Seiso is the third step the lean 5S process. Seiso translates from Japanese as “sweep” or “shine”. However, this translation often contributes to the superficial interpretation that sweeping or shining only relates to making areas subjectively clean or hygienic.
Lean is a collection of operational concepts, frameworks, and approaches for driving continuous improvement in organizations. Lean accompishes this through relentlessly focusing on maximizing customer value while minimizing the 8 wastes, such as inventory.