Friday, September 19, 2003

On Sustaining

I wrote recently about the challenge of sustaining process improvement and an example I saw recently in a painting plant. This morning, I gained further insight. And, as so often happens, the simplicity of it astounded me.

At a steering committee meeting of the Wabash Valley Lean Network, the topic of sustaining process improvements came up (and will be a major focus of our programs in 2004). Jim Clark, of Toyota's Fork Truck Manufacturing facility in Columbus, IN described how they do it.

  1. Process improvements are written and documented.
  2. Workgroup leaders monitor the conformance daily.
  3. Managers audit the area weekly.
  4. Executives audit one area of the plant monthly.
Boom. Have a system. Audit it daily, weekly, monthly. And, a walk through their plant indicates that this really does work.

I suspect most of us are not anxious to a) clarify the improvements that well and b) do the walk throughs that regularly. Then again, most of us are not anxious to audit our diets all that closely either.

I'm working on some simple forms and visuals to try to make this happen. I'll update this piece on how it goes.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

No comments: