Standard Business Roadmap

Implementation Manual



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 ideally comprise:-


  • 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 area
  • Members of support functions
  • Operators
  • 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 implementation team. 




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 primary goal:


·        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 success.




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 business benefit.


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.


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