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...
The subject of electronic kanban (eKanban) often triggers deeply polarizing responses in managers. Some people intuitively perceive huge advantages of the concept while others are vehemently opposed to the concept. That said, it's vital for us to define what we mean and don’t mean by eKanban before we proceed…
By definition this is the movement of materials that adds no value to the product. In most cases, transportation waste is thought of as normal in a manufacturing environment. However, it is also evident in an office environment. For example, walking around to get signatures on documents. The excessive filing also leads to the waste of transportation since those files need to be moved from time to time.
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.
Over processing occurs anytime more resources are used than truly needed to satisfy customers. Unfortunately, over-processing is one of the most difficult wastes to accurately identify and assess, making it rampant in many organizations.
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.”
Straighten (Seiton) is the second step of the 5S process. After we have eliminated unneeded items for the workplace, we must determine where the remaining items belong. Straightening is all about arranging items in a way that maximizes efficiency. Thus, we should put the things we need the most, in a designated, close, and clearly labeled place. A common misconception is that straighten simply means to neatly arrange items, such as in orderly rows. But this couldn't be further from the truth...