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Lean Culture Change

The Lean Culture Change Symposia: Even given a cadre of managers and supervisors with the knowledge and skills need to support Lean transformations, Lean often fails because the organization doesn’t address head on the fact that Lean won’t stick unless their culture…their organization’s DNA…undergoes a major transformation. And, further they often don’t recognize that it is changed behavior that drives a changed culture, not the reverse. Mission statements, slogans, strategic planning documents, while important, don’t drive basic shifts in an organization’s culture. Changed behavior does. This series of ten discussions and planning sessions has been designed to engage managers and supervisors in tightly focused reviews and discussions of action steps they can take to transform their organization’s culture into one that supports and sustains Lean work processes. David Mann’s book, Creating a Lean Culture is the primary resource for this series of discussions, focusing on the following issues:

1. Program Overview:

• The components of a Lean transformation: Beliefs, Leadership Style/Techniques, Work Processes

• What is Lean thinking?

• What is Lean seeing?

• Culture change imperatives and Lean transformations

• The Japanese Rice Culture with its reinforcement of traditional relationships (rentai) of mutual obligation between managers and workers in Lean manufacturing.

• Value systems that support Lean manufacturing and those that don’t: Mass production’s focus on individuals and individual efficiencies compared to Lean production’s focus on cooperation and total system efficiency.

2. Lean Management System:

? Lean processes require Lean management:

? Focus on processes rather than on results

? Eliminate “Do whatever it takes approach.”

? Measure the process against expected outcomes, interventions can be started before end results are impacted

? Culture is a result of Lean management and Lean practices:

? Bad processes or “habits” must be extinguished rather than broken

3. Principal Elements:

• Leader standard work: Shift focus from solely results to processes and results

• Visual Controls: Translate performance into expected vs. actual, throughout production and management systems

• Daily Accountability Process: Allows leader to set direction for improvement

4. Leader Standard Work:

• Ensures the process runs as designed, then improves the process

• Don’t spend time putting out fires, note interruptions and focus on addressing root causes

• Must be process-oriented

5. Visual Controls:

? Performance Tracking Charts: Measure how process actually performed vs. expectations

• Be sure to note reasons for misses or gains

• Performance should be tracked across several different intervals

? Priority Boards: Provides replenishment schedule for operators running equipment

? Visual Controls: Enforce discipline if updated regularly and used for corrective action

? Visual Controls: Are timely, accessible, verifiable, customizable, less intimidating than systems, “owned” by operators, and low cost. Less visible and less accurate than IT systems

6. Daily Accountability Process:

? Utilize visual controls to improve processes and implement changes

? Eliminate bottlenecks, don’t just recover

? Assessment, Assignment, Accountability

? Time saved using standard work should be used to improve processes

? Gemba Walking

? Gemba: The “real place”; where the work is being done

? Gemba Walks: Regularly scheduled and fairly frequent. Method for setting and following up on expectations.

7. Leading a Lean Operation:

? Key leadership behaviors for a successful Lean transition:

o Passion for Lean and potential for improvement, discipline,

o Project management orientation,

o Lean thinking and understanding Lean concepts,

o Ownership of area,

o Balance between Lean ideas and technical details,

o Balance production changes as well as changes in management systems,\

o Work effectively with support groups

? Successful implementation of Lean is a continuous process, requiring effective teaching and dogged attention to the process

8. Solving Problems and Improving Processes – Rapidly:

? Focus on solving the root causes of problems rather than working around them to meet schedules

? Utilize a structured problem solving approach

? Corrective actions must have an owner and be time bound

? Kaizen events can be very effective in making technical changes and training personnel to see with “Lean eyes” and must be supported by management systems, as well

? Support groups need to respond at a rate determined by TAKT time and this may require some organizational realignment.

9. People-Predictable Interruptions; Sources of Ideas:

? People will continue to generate ideas if ideas are visible and implemented quickly

? Visual tracking board for employee suggestions (The Idea Board)

? Workers may not have time to implement these suggestions, must be aided by team leader or supervisor

? Utilization of visual controls for labor qualifications, attendance, and rotational assignments can help organize and stabilize labor planning

? Make sure team members are in a position to succeed before disciplining

? Have team leaders take notes of behaviors that need to be corrected

10. Sustain What You Improve:

? Discipline is the key to maintaining Lean management

o Maintain leader standard work, visual controls, and daily accountability process

? Periodically assess status of your Lean implementation

o Clarify goals, compare expected vs. actual performance in converting systems, ID areas to improve

o Make assessment process straight-forward and as easy as possible

? Focus on the process and how to improve it.