Lean Implementation Planning

Once the Lean direction and vision is set, the commitment has been communicated across the company and the deployment policy has been outlined across all level, we are now ready to put an actionable plan in place to implement lean across the organisation.

The preferred Lean method of planning is to use simple and consistent planning tools, such as an A3 plan. This tool is then used consistently throughout the organisation to drive the policy and to achieve individual and team goals. When the policy deployment strategy [link last post] has been clearly defined at all levels of the organisation, each of these main actions then requires its own plan.

Creating these A3 policy deployment plans needs to be done with a cross functional team. A clear scope and set of objectives needs to be outlined. The metrics that support the success of this project also need to be clearly stated and these need to be relevant to the appropriate level of the plan. It may include inventory reductions and lead-time reductions at the shop floor level, meeting consumable budgets at the production level, and meeting overall financial goals at the corporate level. The key here is to ensure that all of these plans and the value stream improvements are consistent with the site business objectives.

These plans map the process flows for key product lines and are documented with appropriate measures (examples include lead-time, cycle time, quality yield, labor hours, inventory levels, and quality/delivery performance).  The types of planning examples would be;

  • Mapping Current State key product flows.
  • Design Future State for changes to be implemented in the next 6 to 12 months.
  • Design Future Vision for changes anticipated in the next 2 to 5 years.
  • Create implementation plan based on future state analysis –  A3 plans.
  • Link the measurable improvement goals to the annual operation plan.

Once the plans have been created by the cross functional team they need to be communicated to other stakeholders and shared across all levels of the company. Then they become living breathing documents which are actioned upon and reviewed on a regular basis. It is only then that the beginnings of a daily improvement will begin.

And remember as Winston Churchill said “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential”. And with good plans based upon solid policy deployment with a commitment to improve and, of course, that vision to keep us pointing in the right direction, a truly lean enterprise will begin to take shape.

when should you start implementing lean principles in a project
When  and where to start implementing lean principles
Robert Chittenden

Author: Robert Chittenden

Robert Chittenden is a Senior Lean Consultant at TXM Lean Solutions