Standard Business Roadmap

Implementation Manual



An Introduction to Lean Manufacturing




   The purpose of the Standard Business Roadmap Implementation Manual is to guide clients through the  lean transformation process.  Many organisations have attempted lean transformations, and most have failed through several key pitfalls.  The team at Beyondlean has recognised these pitfalls and developed the SBR programme to ensure maximum chance of sustainability for such a transformation.  The basis of this programme is a structured and methodical approach to change while encouraging maximum knowledge transfer of lean concepts to the Business through the application of the accompanying material.  Ultimately, the SBR cannot guarantee the sustainability of the project.  It takes significant effort to first maintain and then improve a system.  The client must be willing to commit the required time, resource, and attention to ultimately succeed in a lean transformation.


This document is not intended as a detailed self-led step-by-step implementation manual.  It is more a guide for you to refer to as you progress through each phase of the programme, as each individual business will have different requirements and obstacles to overcome and will need to deploy different tools in order to achieve this.




This manual has three main segments.  The first introduces the principles of lean manufacturing and establishes some common themes, then presents SBR’s lean manufacturing model.


The second gives an overview of the SBR programme, outlining the SBR’s high level project approach to achieving and sustaining business benefits through the application of lean concepts .  This approach has five distinct stages, each of which you will pass through on your journey to becoming Lean. The amount of time and effort you will spend in each stage will depend completely on your individual business needs.


The third segment examines key success factors for lean transformations, starting with the ten most likely causes of failure.  An appendix provides a programme check list and a glossary of key terms.




There are a number of preconditions for an organisation to succeed in a lean transformation. Your organisation must possess each of the following attributes before successfully embarking on a lean transformation.


Will the top management on site:


1.                  Actively participate in lean production activity on a regular basis?

2.                  Commit to no redundancies as a result of lean production activity?

3.                  Modify shop floor payment methods, if necessary?

4.                  Modify roles and responsibilities of personnel?

5.                  Spend money on justifiable changes to the production system?

6.                  Allow production personnel involvement in lean activity during normal production time?

7.                  Systematically review project activity on the shop floor?

8.                  Offer focused maintenance support in the pursuit of a model value stream creation?

9.                  Enforce company policy?

10.             Provide appropriate resource for the programme?

11.             Be willing to make sure company measures are compatible with lean?

12.             Communicate the compelling need?

13.             Encourage a cross-functional approach to designing systems rather than processes?

14.             Commit to a long term programme of lean manufacturing?

15.             Be prepared if necessary to make fundamental changes to organisational structure?

16.             Fundamentally, will the managing director or most senior person on site be willing to change the way he operates, becoming a champion of change and drive in the transformation through active involvement in ‘Go, Look, See’ & Process Confirmation activities. Will he set up and chair a ‘Steering Committee’ to ensure best practice is transferred across all functions?


Many of these issues are perhaps best illustrated with the following quote from a study on UK Productivity.



Text Box: “The lower level of productivity (in UK manufacturing plants) is caused by a failure to implement fully best practice “lean manufacturing” techniques.
Progress has been made, but not always enough, and the challenge for management in some companies will be to recognise this failure and act on it…In some cases…management does not realise the gap in knowledge that exists between what they think is lean production and the reality.  In some cases, however, management seems content with a level of improvement that is below both the possible and the necessary”






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