The underlying principle of developing and sustaining a Lean Culture is the understanding that Lean is a Journey. Our vision embraces the principle that the Lean Transformation is never ending: “Defining Excellence – Providing Solutions In Real Time for Real Results.”
Our vision recognizes that businesses and consumers alike continually redefine expectations in real time. This is the very nature of a perpetuating global economy. A culture is based on an underlying common belief system or understanding that sustains its existence. While the culture may evolve over time, the core beliefs remain constant. What is your definition of culture? What defines it? Religion, politics, government, democracy? Has it survived for years or centuries? Why? Has it changed or evolved?
Embracing Lean principles can transform any company to achieve world class performance. However, executing a successful Lean Strategy requires the full support of the executive leadership team. Lean is not a “program”. Simply mandating Lean practices and looking for quick results will lead to certain failure. Continuous Improvement is not a meeting its an activity that by definition is never ending. The same is true of Lean.
Lean provides the foundation to eliminate waste and control or reduce variation in your operation. Just as the Vision and Mission statements align employee thinking with company objectives, an effectively communicated Lean Strategy will establish a culture of Lean thinking.
We will be developing the concept of Lean Leadership as the core component of Lean Execution.
The basic requirements of your Lean Leadership Strategy should ensure that:
- A Lean Vision is defined.
- A road map and key milestones is developed.
- Appropriate milestones are set to monitor progress.
- Resources are identified and available.
- Ownership of key processes is defined.
- Metrics are established to measure performance.
- Individuals are accountable to the team.
- The team is accountable to the Leadership.
- The Leadership is accountable to everyone.
Lean is not a mix of complex theory and methods. It is in fact quite the opposite. If the desire is to develop a culture of LEAN thinking in your organization, then keep it simple. It only becomes complicated if you make it that way! What is the purpose of LEAN? To eliminate waste in your organization.
The ultimate goal of LEAN is to implement the tools required to achieve the above objectives. There is no “formula” for success, however, the thinking must be in place before you even consider implementing a tool. If people don’t understand the ultimate goal, they will have no way of understanding the performance requirements to achieve the objectives. Certainly, one of the keys to Lean implementation, is understanding the metrics that you may have, or want, to put in place. OEE happens to be one of the metrics that we explain in detail through our posts.
Clearly defined goals will result in clearly defined action plans where people can be held accountable for their specific activities and their successes.
In some environments, the word “lean” means “job loss”. Perhaps this depends on the business you are in. I would strongly suggest that adding capacity to your current investments is a more cost effective approach to growing your business. Of course this will also assure your prices remain competitive. I contend that the way we think may require “change”, however, the manner in which we work will “transform” or “improve”.
If people are the most important asset of any company then leaders must engage people at all levels of the organization to assure their continued success. People are also customers – the very reason the business exists. The leadership of the organization is charged with creating and sustaining an engaging business culture where everyone embraces lean principles and practices to assure the company’s continued success. Executive leadership, senior management, and front line supervisors are quickly beginning to realize that employees are capable, willing, wanting, and have the capacity to do more.
An effective leader is able to communicate a clear vision with a strategy that spawns an environment where company and personal employee goals are synonymous.
The OEE Implementation Roadmap
We recommend keeping it simple. Overall Equipment Effectiveness or OEE is an easy metric to calculate and there are many different technology solutions available to get you started. Some solutions can be very costly and unnecessarily more complex than what is required to achieve effective results. Visit our “Free Downloads” page to get your OEE template that is ready to use immediately.
- Executive Overview of Overall Equipment Effectiveness
- Metrics (OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality)
- Communicate Strategy to all employees
- Select a Pilot Team
- Train all Pilot Team employees
- Select Pilot Project
- Keep it Simple and Start EASY. Easle & Paper or Whiteboard Systems are easiest to implement and serve to emphasize that ANYONE can calculate OEE. Too much complexity at the beginning of your implementation process will have people blaming computers and software for reporting or data integrity problems.
- We recommend choosing a process, machine, or work center where capacity may be constrained or production rates are cause for concern.
- Prepare the work area.
- Commence with Data Collection and Results
- Team / Individuals Identify Opportunities for Improvement
- Team Review Results and Develop Action Plans to Improve
- Post results and actions by shift / by day.
- Monitor pilot project and develop procedures to enhance integration process.
- Expand program to include additional parts or machines
- Expand program to include additional departments
- Make OEE a company wide experience.
Training must be completed for each expansion of the integration process.