Category Archives: Lean

Best Practices

Best Practices

A Best Practice is that practice that has been proven to achieve the best results. It represents creative solutions to common problems and has the potential to be replicated internally and externally. Companies are able to learn from other successful organizations by adopting their best practices without the need to reinvent the wheel. Companies can also develop and share their own best practices and innovative solutions. Read more »

Standard Work

Standard Work

Standard work means working on standards to produce correct and consistent results. It represents the best sequence and the most efficient methods to perform a process. It is considered a way to achieve the highest possible degree of consistency in any process. The purpose is to ensure that everything is done by everyone in a similar manner and carry out the work that achieves the highest quality, best service and lowest cost possible. Read more »

Value Analysis

Value Analysis

Value is one of the most important concepts within Lean thinking and one of the most valuable outcomes Lean provides. Value Analysis focuses on what adds value to business processes as perceived by the customer. A process that does not add value to the product or service should be redesigned or eliminated altogether. Problem solving and continuous improvement efforts often focus on those aspects of processes that add no value to the customer and are therefore wasteful. Read more »

Waste Analysis

Waste Analysis

In a Lean culture, Waste is anything that doesn’t add value from the customer’s perspective. It includes activities and resources beyond what is needed to meet customer requirements. Waste Analysis involves identifying, quantifying, eliminating and preventing waste in manufacturing, service and office environments. Many Lean tools and techniques focus on continually identifying and eliminating these wastes to bring efficiency and effectiveness to existing processes, and this is one of the core principles of Lean thinking. Read more »

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping

A Value Stream Map (VSM) is a visual representation that helps to understand the flow of value in a business process as perceived by the customer. Its primary goal is to identify and eliminate waste (Muda) and make the process as close to lean as possible. It is considered as an improvement tool rather than just a definition of how the process operates or should operate. Although it is often associated with manufacturing, it can also be applied in product development and service related industries such as: healthcare, hospitality and logistics. Read more »

Visual Management Checklist

Visual Management is a technique that uses information displays, visual controls, labels and signs, color coding and other markings instead of written instructions. This Visual Management Checklist will help in detecting abnormalities and reinforcing standards ensuring stability and safety remain a top priority. It also provides an opportunity for performance review and promotes continuous improvement. Read more »

Flow Process Chart Template

A Flow Process Chart is a representation illustrating the sequence of activities within a process. This type of process map is preferable when documenting processes that are more sequential and containing few decisions. This template allows to record the steps of a process in a tabular format. It can be used to identify waste in processes by analyzing the non-value adding steps, long delays and excessive transportation. It then produces performance indicators such as: total value added time, distance traveled for transport activities, and value stream ratio. Read more »

Visual Management

Visual Management

Visual Management is a business management technique that communicates important information in the physical workplace. It is a system of information displays, visual controls, labels and signs, color coding and other markings instead of written instructions. Lean organizations rely heavily on visual management to detect abnormalities and reinforce standards while ensuring stability and safety in the workplace. Ideally, everyone should be able to assess the status of a situation at a glance, even the casual observer. Employees also need visual displays that show what is expected from them and to keep them informed about production status and customer needs. Read more »

Observations and Gemba Walks

Observation

An Observation is a data collection method used to gather detailed information about a process or a situation. It allows the observer to collects data in real time at the location where the data is generated. Observations are commonly used during process improvement and change management initiatives as well as in customer service environments. Read more »

Process Yield Measures

Process Yield Measures

An ideal process must produce without defects and without rework. To expose these unnecessary and costly inefficiencies, you should have the appropriate performance metrics to measure the process yield, or otherwise, you may be misled and the true process yield might be underestimated. These metrics should be able to expose even the smallest inefficiencies in a process enabling operations to understand their true process yield in order to set realistic improvement targets. Read more »

Kaizen Event Charter Template

Kaizen Events are focused improvement activities designed to improve a process or work area. They emphasize on the elimination of unnecessary non-value adding activities. This will result in improved quality, efficiency, delivery, cost savings, standardized systems and employee engagement. Kaizen can be used on any process, task, or function. Read more »

Kaizen Report Template

A Kaizen Report is a form that documents and summarizes continuous improvement activities. It is used to share and spread best practices across an organization, division or group. There are a variety of ways to share Kaizens including public display boards, emails and the intranet. Some departments or teams may prefer to use a dedicated Kaizen bulletin board. In all cases, Kaizens should be written simple and interesting to read. Kaizens with photos or drawings tend to capture more attention. Read more »