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A Scalable Lean Framework

A Scalable Lean Framework

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“The ABS Scalable Lean Framework is an open standards, proven, step-by-step approach for Lean adoption geared to Hawaii organizations”

If your organization is looking for a predictable way to increase value by lowering costs, optimize delivery and innovation while producing higher quality products and services, you can follow these Scalable Lean framework steps for success:

Executive Sponsorship

Successful Lean adoption is led from the top. That means leaders at all levels are hands on, out front, on the work floor letting the organization know this is how you will achieve your goals. It about transforming your people. The best value adding activities comes from the people who do the day to day work. You have to see Lean as your strategy not just a set of tools. It takes a long-term perspective and perseverance but the benefits that await can be astonishing…. 15% to 20% improvements in quality, delivery, customer satisfaction and employee morale year-over-year, every year.

Cascading Plans

A key component of successful strategic and operational deployment is developing cascading plans throughout the organization that provide action plans with greater levels of granularity. This is done by senior and mid-level leaders who develop tactics that will best achieve the organizations goals as laid out by senior leadership. One of the most important aspects of this process is a back and forth exchange with leadership, management and employees to ensure that the strategy and goals are well understood and achievable. It ensures there is strong alignment between strategy, tactics and operations with KPIs that are meaningful and appropriate.

Team Roadmaps

Team Roadmaps are useful for product and knowledge based teams that develop a common view about the future and what they want to achieve over time. It leverages the expertise of the workers and their managers where the work gets done. Roadmaps should be aspirational and help paint a bright future and how employees will contribute to the organizations overall strategy and Policy Deployment objectives by those who do the work. Contributor involved Roadmaps provide teams the opportunity to communicate their intent for achieving Strategic Intent and are an effective way to build employee engagement and create a “volunteer army” for Lean adoption.

Mission Vision Values

A mission statement explains the organization’s reason for existence. A vision statement describes the organization as it would appear in a future successful state. A values statement describes what the organization believes in and how it will behave. They should answer the questions of Who are we? Why do we exist? What do we do? Who do we do it for? What do we want to accomplish? What is important to us? How do achieve our goals?

A3 Strategy & Deployment

A3 is a paper size but an “A3 plan” offers the ability to put a plan onto one sheet of paper and use this to communicate the goals, current state and the steps necessary to achieve the plan. A3 Strategy & Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri) is an structured step by step approach ending with the implementation of specific improvement projects on the shop floor and resulting in clarity about everyone’s contribution to the team and achieving organizational goals.

Key Performance Indicators

A small set of actionable metrics, targets and core value drivers that communicate the level of performance you’re expecting to achieve at every level of the organization. It is also the best way to set goals and track progress over time. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets and using standard Problem Solving Processes to get things back on track when targets are missed.

Lean People Systems

Most employees care greatly about the work they do. Having the right incentive programs and answering the question: “What’s in it for me?” are essential to align personal self-interest with the goals of the organization and might include greater autonomy, acknowledgement, purpose, legacy, monetary, career advancement, quality of life, etc.. Lean People Systems is focused on the policies, practices, and systems that attract, hire, motivate and retain people to think on behalf of the organization’s Continuous Improvement efforts.

Leader Standard Work

Leader standard work is closed loop system that creates a fact-based focus to drive improvement. It relies on a disciplined approach to Policy Deployment, Visual Controls, Daily Management and is the foundation on which all employee Lean practices depend. It changes the focus of leaders, managers and supervisors from being the primary problem solvers to building the problem-solving muscle of their organization. It represents the current most efficient method for planning and controlling business activities. and involves two-way accountability systems such activities as weekly staff meetings, one-on-ones, Gemba walks, monthly Op’s/PD reviews, A3 Problem Solving Process, etc..

Problem Solving Process

A3 thinking is a philosophical approach and a Problem Solving Process (PSP) that centers on a well-communicated, team approach using the Plan Do Check Act (PCDA) cycle. The Problem Solving process consists of a sequence of sections that fit together depending on the type of problem to be solved. These include defining the problem, determining the background, analyzing the problem, generating possible solutions, analyzing the solutions, selecting the best solution(s), planning the next course of action and how the results will measured. It is useful to have a structure to follow to make sure that nothing is overlooked.

Lean Budgeting

Lean budgets should “bake in” anticipated cost savings by “under-funding” routine operational needs based on the previous year’s budget with the expectation that managers will scrub their budgets to find the savings to complete their approved plans and general operating requirements to meet KPIs. Lean Budget reductions should be offset by an annual innovation budget to provide extra financial support for new innovative initiatives not available through the normal budget process. This is about reducing operating costs to fund innovation valuable in the eyes of your customers.

Lean Innovation

Your customers look to you to define the future—to deliver innovative products, services and solutions that address their most pressing needs. You should be pursuing out-of-the box ideas, both large and small that add value in the eyes of your customers and makes a difference. Lean innovation embraces a philosophy of not letting perfection get in the way of progress. It leverages the Pareto principle that 20% of a product’s features (what’s distilled down into the minimal viable product) will most likely deliver 80% of the benefits sought by customers. Lean innovation is a more efficient and lower risk learning approach to innovation.

Daily Kaizen & Blitz Events

Kaizen is the Japanese word for ” continuous improvement” and refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the workers and everyone in-between to increase value in the eyes of your customers. It’s about getting your employees to approach problem solving and the analysis of actual root causes from a different and ceaselessly inquisitive perspective. Not only does this help to sustain operational effectiveness, it improves teamwork. The improvement of workplace standards is an activity best done by the teams who are closest to the work. It relates to activities done by all employees to continuously improve their work processes “Improving your job is your job”.

Daily Visual Management

Daily Visual Management is the use of daily visual aids to manage the operation including work assignments, schedules, performance tracking, and status. It’s a way of communicating to a broad audience in a clear, concise way and quickly puts information in the hands of those who can take action. It also requires that the leader goes and sees what is actually happening on the work floor, or the digital equivalent,  (known as Gemba) and should also act as a trigger for daily Kaizen and the leader coaching improvement Kata used to grow the continuous improvement muscle of the organization.

Root Cause Analysis

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a systematic process for identifying “root causes” of problems or events and an approach for responding to them so they do not recur. RCA is based on the basic idea that effective management requires more than merely “putting out fires” for problems that develop, but finding a way to prevent them. It involves defining and describing the event or problem using the ‘five whys’ technique to distinguish between root causes and causal factors so effective counter-measures can be developed.

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping is a lean technique used to document, analyze and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer. It is a flowchart method to illustrate, analyze and improve the steps required to deliver a product or service. It often goes from end-to-beginning and identifies the inherent waste in the process (often greater than 80%) and create a better process. Items are mapped as adding value or not adding value from the customer’s standpoint, with the purpose of rooting out items that don’t add value. A related Lean tool is SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers) and can be done anywhere in a process, often going from beginning-to-end.

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