The evidence of change is all around us every day. Lean, Six Sigma, and continuous improvement in general is in need of a major upgrade to reflect the changing industry structures, business requirements, innovations in technology, and cultural development needs. Again, the problem is not with Lean or Six Sigma or other approaches by themselves. The tools-based methodologies of improvement are not robust enough to address a rapidly evolving spectrum of complex, higher order opportunities – opportunities that are either deeply hidden, and opportunities that are totally unknown and waiting to be discovered. [Read more…] about Lean and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Lean Business System
As we mentioned in previous blogs, the Lean Business System Reference Model™ is a holistic, enterprise-wide, technology-enabled, and culturally grounded adaptive systematic process of improvement. The reference model integrates the behavioral “kata” attributes of cultural development, and the integration of emerging technology, aligning strategic improvement to today’s global business and economic challenges. This blog provides a client example of how the reference model helped to achieve new breakthroughs in improvement and operating performance. [Read more…] about Are You Ready For The Facts About Your Lean Initiative?
And how do you know? Ask a dozen experts to define a Lean Business System and you will receive a dozen different answers. Most answers will be centered around discussions about production tools, principles, and terminology. What’s wrong with this picture? If an organization cannot define this answer precisely, they cannot measure performance and improve how they improve.
If you have been around as a practitioner long enough, you have observed the evolution of what most organizations are currently attempting to replicate with mixed results: The Toyota Production System (TPS). This particular evolution of improvement began in the 1980s when Japan’s automotive, consumer electronics, appliance, heavy equipment, and many other industries stepped up the game of global competitiveness through the creative and meticulous application of basic industrial engineering, process improvement, quality management, and other continuous improvement fundamentals. They also created and continuously nurtured a very special soul-building DNA (improvement kata and coaching kata) into their culture with the deep moral conscience of a religion. [Read more…] about How Effective is Your Lean Business System?
Complex transactional processing environments have certainly introduced new challenges for the improvement practitioner. Many Lean initiatives have missed the mark in areas such as global supply chain management, sales and operations planning (S&OP), new product development, order fulfillment, supplier management, and distribution/logistics because of limited thinking on the principles and tools of the Toyota Production System (TPS). This is not a criticism of the TPS but a misinterpretation and attempt to universally apply the visible principles and tools. [Read more…] about Transactional Process Forensics
There is a major difference between a well architected adaptive systematic process of improvement and a typical Lean manufacturing program. Many Lean, Six Sigma, and other improvement initiatives have come and gone as discrete, short-lived programs while Toyota enjoys a unified continuous process of improvement and the spirit and culture to keep it in a living state. Lean and other continuous improvement programs of the past have been more focused on a narrow set of principles and tools to make improvements on production operations and equipment. Continuing on the same path of improvement in light of all the structural and technology-enabled process changes is the main reason why organizations are achieving less with more in their Lean initiatives: [Read more…] about The Lean Business System Reference Model™