The successful creation of the
model value stream necessitates a people-centred approach. You will need to set
up an implementation team in the area you have targeted. This team should
A senior manager from the area (Ensures adherence to the processes implemented
in that area)
Team leader or equivalent with good product knowledge and knowledge of the
Members of support functions
Trade Union Rep if applicable
The team members will apply the
deep knowledge gained during through the creation of the model value stream to
other areas of the business, able to act as change agents with the flexibility
to be seconded to any other part of the business to assist in the deployment of
the changes. Again the size of this team will be wholly dependant upon the size
of your organisation. If it is quite a small business, YOU may be the
The SBR is a five step,
macro-level approach to the lean transformation. However, each stage must be
tailored on a micro-level to suit an individual environment.
The Diagnostic phase has one
To give you a clear indication of where you currently are
Before embarking upon the
Diagnostic phase some preparation is required on your part in order to ensure
The object of the preparation
stage is to create the infrastructure required for the lean transformation.
Heighten senior management awareness
The senior management team must
first raise their awareness of lean principles and their associated benefits. A
good first step is to contact another organisation, which has already undergone
a lean transformation, to provide the management team with an overview that
combines technical presentations, visits, and practical experience.
Secure agreement to proceed
After heightening the
awareness, each member of the senior management team needs to make a commitment
to proceed with the activity. Any doubts must be expressed in an honest
discussion to eradicate fears or misconceptions.
Occasionally management members
have difficulty in adapting to change even after exhaustive explanation and
support. Where those managers are in a position of significant influence,
serious consideration should be given to whether the success of the programme
can be allowed to be jeopardised by their feelings or approach. If unable to
adapt, they should be positioned elsewhere within the organisation where they
can still make a valuable contribution.
Select the model value stream
Management then needs to select
the model value stream, which will be the focus of the intensive period. Three
factors apply. First, it is vital that the stream is a success because it will
become a model of lean manufacturing for the rest of the business. To increase
the probability of success, select a process that is of manageable size, highly
visible to the business, and which relates to a single product or product type.
Second, ensure the top management team is entirely committed to the selected
project and is prepared to provide the necessary time and resource to achieve
success. Third, select an area that will realise a significant, tangible
Typically, the lean
transformation should start at the point closest to the customer (generally the
last stage in the manufacturing process) and then proceed upstream through all
the other processes. The reason for this is explained under Key Success
Factors later in the manual.
Select change agents
The Manager responsible or
Implementation Team Leader should select change agents to work within the
Implementation Team full time during the transformation period. The change
agents will assimilate knowledge through the development of the model value
stream, and will then be able to lead the change process during the subsequent
roll out to other areas of the business. Proper selection of the change agents
is vital because success depends on their motivation levels and ability to lead
others. Being a change agent is worthy of the best talent the company has
available. It is unlikely that any outsider could successfully assume this role
because knowledge of the company and good communication links are essential.
It is important that the change
agents have assumed different roles in the business. All must be freed from
their current roles and dedicated full time to lean transformation. One should
be a production manager. This person will play a facilitative role in the
transformation and will become the key player in the roll out plan. The second
should be a process owner, such as a team leader. This person should be
experienced and have previously been responsible for Quality, Cost, and Delivery
requirements to the customer. Other Change Agents should be assigned according
to resource available and current business pressures.
A blame environment between
production management and the change agents needs to be avoided. Generally
people find it difficult to accept that others can advise them on how to do
their job better and more efficiently. If this occurs, a them and us
environment may emerge and production personnel may desire the system to fail in
order to discredit a colleague. The best way to avoid this situation is to
ensure that one change agent is the production manager, the person with ultimate
responsibility for the output of this process.
All change agents must also
exhibit specific qualities. They must be enthusiastic about the change process
and well respected at all levels of the organisation. They must be learners who
can become teachers. They must have capable communication skills to disseminate
lean concepts throughout the organisation. Other attributes of an ideal change
agent are given below in figure 6. However, there are several immeasurable
attributes such as a genuine willingness to work hard and learn.