Many organisations believe that
once they have gone through a lean transformation and driven out the vast
majority of waste, theyve reached the end of the project. However, this is not
the end, but the beginning.
As part of the evaluation
process on the area, carry out the original steps from the diagnostic phase once
more i.e. Current state analysis, business assessment, Cultural audit etc. This
will give you a very accurate picture of exactly how far youve come. This is
also the first step in moving through the cycle again in that area, continuously
improving as you go and applying the knowledge gained on the previous project.
This will include the next future state map and Tactical Implementation Plan for
the new journey ahead.
If you have other areas in your
business that you are keen to apply this process to, dont just transfer all the
change agents from the original area to the new one to start a new project.
Ensure there are sufficiently knowledgeable people remaining in the original
area to maintain and improve upon the gains already made.
Other key points to consider
when looking at the next area to target:
Define new roles for change agents
New roles must be defined for
the members of the implementation team as they re-create the same approach and
transfer their knowledge across other areas of the business. Thus, they should
no longer be accountable to just their original function, as they will be
influencing many different departments and functions.
The roll-out objectives must
next be prioritised to give a clear definition of the path to the future
vision. When determining priorities for the roll-out objectives, there are many
possible areas where the company could start, but only a few where it should
start. There are four considerations in assigning priority to roll-out
Take the same approach as in selecting the model value stream.
Rather than trying to change the whole environment overnight, be sure to start
small, take a narrow and deep approach to improvement, and identify a single
product and its associated processes.
Start with an established manufacturing process rather than one
that is due to enter production shortly. During the early stages of lean, it is
necessary to build confidence in the structured approach by visually
demonstrating success. Only focus on new production preparation processes after
securing a genuine level of commitment from all line management fostered by a
significant level of success on existing production lines.
Identify areas of similarity with the model value stream in the
factory. The change agents can save valuable time and develop their own
confidence by applying the same concepts in similar areas.
Select areas with positive-minded management teams to ensure the
objectives success. Good managers always smooth the introduction of the lean
Identify remaining knowledge gaps
The change agents and
management team should identify any remaining knowledge gaps. They should fill
them appropriately with the relevant training to maximise the likelihood of
Enhance knowledge of lean
The change agents must continue
their development of lean knowledge. It is critical that the change agents
realise their knowledge of lean must expand beyond those tools and techniques
applied on the model value stream.
SUCCESS FACTORS IN LEAN TRANSFORMATIONS
The following section discusses
eight key success factors for a lean transformation.
DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING SENIOR MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT
Senior management commitment and
understanding of the change process is the single greatest predictor for the
sustainability of a lean transformation. As mentioned earlier, the business
must be willing to commit the required time, resource, and attention to
ultimately succeed in a lean transformation. Nature says there is a tendency to
progress from order to chaos without outside intervention. Thus, it is critical
that the managing director or the most senior manager on site fosters true
commitment and understanding from colleagues about the lean transformation.
lists the 10 top reasons for failure of a lean transformation, based on our