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Body of Knowledge for Lean Manufacturing

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Bill Pflanz

#21
I have three ASQ certifications: Certified Quality Manager, Certified Quality Auditor and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Those who have taken the CQE say I probably know enough to also pass the CQE and some of the other certifications.

The reason for pointing that out is overlap in BOK's as more certifications are created by ASQ. Six Sigma is constantly criticized because it is nothing more than the CQE body of knowledge with some new buzzwords. As someone who researched the history of Six Sigma, I am at a loss as to why Lean Enterprise was included in the ASQ exam. Now ASQ has decided that is not enough so they want to create another BOK for Lean. Eliyahu Goldratt and James Womack promoted theory of constraints, continuous flow manufacturing, and other lean techniques both when TQM was the fad and then re-invented it as Six Sigma later on. I learned many of the lean concepts both in engineering and also in my Operations Management and Quantitative Analysis MBA courses so it is not necessarily owned by the quality profession.

What I am seeing in job ads now is references to those with "Lean Manufacturing experience". It has become a buzzword as much as Six Sigma with no real meaning of what it is or how you prove you have it. There are a lot of psuedo black belts our there who took a few courses from GE or where ever and now claim expertise and get jobs based on the designation. I hope Lean Manufacturing is not suffering the same fate. That is also the reason why you are working on a BOK for lean and will probably lead to yet another certification.

Bill Pflanz
 
#22
Bill Pflanz said:
I have three ASQ certifications: Certified Quality Manager, Certified Quality Auditor and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Those who have taken the CQE say I probably know enough to also pass the CQE and some of the other certifications.

The reason for pointing that out is overlap in BOK's as more certifications are created by ASQ. Six Sigma is constantly criticized because it is nothing more than the CQE body of knowledge with some new buzzwords. As someone who researched the history of Six Sigma, I am at a loss as to why Lean Enterprise was included in the ASQ exam. Now ASQ has decided that is not enough so they want to create another BOK for Lean. Eliyahu Goldratt and James Womack promoted theory of constraints, continuous flow manufacturing, and other lean techniques both when TQM was the fad and then re-invented it as Six Sigma later on. I learned many of the lean concepts both in engineering and also in my Operations Management and Quantitative Analysis MBA courses so it is not necessarily owned by the quality profession.

What I am seeing in job ads now is references to those with "Lean Manufacturing experience". It has become a buzzword as much as Six Sigma with no real meaning of what it is or how you prove you have it. There are a lot of psuedo black belts our there who took a few courses from GE or where ever and now claim expertise and get jobs based on the designation. I hope Lean Manufacturing is not suffering the same fate. That is also the reason why you are working on a BOK for lean and will probably lead to yet another certification.

Bill Pflanz
Everything you write has some validity:
  • ASQ BOK do overlap
  • Many agree there is too much "specialization" to the end result nobody is "general" enough to coordinate the specialists.
  • Not much new in Lean besides a few buzzwords that I, personally, dislike
  • The value of any certification, especially an ASQ certification, depends on the perception of the hiring officers - publicity and public relations are important in creating and maintaining value. Once a person has a designation, he has a vested interest in maintaining the value by pumping up the publicity.
  • ASQ as an entity did NOT create the Lean Division - it began as the "Advanced Manufacturing Interest Group" - even I am not sure of the genesis of the evolution to "Lean" - some say Lean was chosen to encompass non-manufacturing organizations. An Interest Group is formed by a few like-minded individuals within ASQ who have a special interest in a topic. Almost every existing Division began as an interest group (no dues fees for interest groups, but ASQ provides services to interest groups as extensions of services they offer members.) Apparently, once an interest group reaches a critical mass, ASQ offers to let them become a Division.
  • Pseudo black belts and pseudo Lean gurus will continue to be a problem for years to come - the question is how to differentiate a pseudo from a real. In my travels, I've come across ASQ certified folk who strike me as pseudo and non-certified folk who strike me as real. "Handsome is as handsome does." still holds true. I'm pretty sure other professions also have a similar problem (doctors, lawyers, accountants, stock brokers, carpenters, plumbers, etc.)
The bottom line from my point of view is
"Do I want to sit on the sidelines and snipe?"
OR
"Do I want to be part of the decision making process so I have less to snipe about?"
 
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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#23
Wes Bucey said:
The bottom line from my point of view is
"Do I want to sit on the sidelines and snipe?"
OR
"Do I want to be part of the decision making process so I have less to snipe about?"
I hope this becomes a topic of discussion of the big meeting in Milwaukee of Section Chairs and Division Chairs in October.
 
B

Bill Pflanz

#24
For me the best place to start to describe a BOK for Lean Manufacturing is that described in the Six Sigma Black Belt BOK from ASQ. They are listed as follows with a brief summary of what I understand they are. What I do not know is how many other concepts, methods and tools should be included if one is practicing true lean manufacturing.

Lean Concepts

1. Theory of constraints as introduced by Goldratt in The Goal and then expanded in Theory of Constraints. Removing bottlenecks from a process was the primary target of the theory with the goal of increasing throughput, reducing inventory and lowering costs.

2. Lean Thinking as introduced by James Womack in The Machine That Changed the World and a follow up called Lean Thinking. Understanding and adding value to products and services was the primary focus. It became associated with the Toyota manufacturing system, just in time production and flexible work forces.

3. Continuous flow manufacturing focuses on a continuous flow of production that is smooth and uninterrupted. The goal is to reduce the time to move through the process and meet or exceed customer requirements for delivery with lower costs and higher quality.

4. Reduction of non-value added activities in inventory, testing, rework, transportation, storage.

5. Cycle time reduction which includes the concepts of 5S, visual management, motion studies, muda (wastes) and kaizen events and targets having a clean, efficient organization that reduces wasted motion.

Lean Tools

Lean tools are such things as visual factory, kanban, poka-yoke, standard work, SMED for cycle reduction, and TPM for reducing maintenance down time (see below).


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

TPM focuses on corrective and preventive maintenance to increase throughput.

My thoughts: Assuming I have included the main concepts, there is enough theory and conplexity in the concepts that one could create a body of knowledge that adds more detail to my summary. If that is the goal of ASQ than it would clarify what is Lean Manufacturing and what is needed to implemented it.

Bill Pflanz
 
A

asutherland

#25
As a lean pad wan. I have only been practicing for about 16 yrs.

I am tired of buying the lasted version of books, so I now wait 5 to 8 yrs and examine the change. On a recent purchase of a lean book 10 yrs old, it is clear to see we starting writing before we started understanding.

Basically I try to treat all information as I would a fish dinner.

Eat the good stuff, throw out the rest.

So from this perspective a BOK would be great. I can still not eat the bones.

I have found that not every process works for every manufacturing situation. But I have also found that every philosophy works for every manufacturing situation. (with respect to lean of course)

Lean has nothing to do with tools.

It has to do with how we use tools to meet our specific needs, and yes, as far as i can tell, most of these tools have already existed for years.

If someone thinks they can make a fortune because of this BOK, thats Americia. Me, for one, wouldn't mind weeding through another 100 pages of crap to find one that is good.
 
C

Craig H.

#26
Wes Bucey said:
[/list]The bottom line from my point of view is
"Do I want to sit on the sidelines and snipe?"
OR
"Do I want to be part of the decision making process so I have less to snipe about?"

OR

"Do I want to hang around and see exactly what people are including in the lean tool set so I can try to make some sense out of it?"
 
#27
Now, let me turn the tables a little.

What is better about kanban or kaizen or poka yoke than CPM/PERT?

CPM/PERT Critical Path Method/Project Evaluation Review Technique has a long history of actually working, but its buzz words have fallen out of favor with the intrusion of new buzzwords.

CPM/PERT is still taught in some places (here's one site - caution! annoying music! http://www.snc.edu/socsci/chair/333/stones/page3.html )

I have a strong dislike of attaching people's names to an existing process which the person has merely described or popularized, not invented or discovered.

Ergo, I don't expect to see John Doe's Theory of Walking or Mary Roe's Algebra in the same way as Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Similarly, Ishikawa did not invent the herringbone diagram, but he did use it to great effect.

I have at least one Japanese acquaintance (an ASQ Fellow and holder of a number of ASQ certifications, including SSBB) who has been a top Quality consultant in Japan for over 25 years. He absolutely ridicules the terms kaizen and poka yoke as being "stupid" and the techniques they represent absolutely NOT invented or created in Japan and, most importantly, says they are often detrimental as they are applied wrongly in Japanese industry.

He prefers the terms improvement and mistake proofing, as do I.
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#28
Wes Bucey said:
He prefers the terms improvement and mistake proofing, as do I.
Now there's an interesting idea...words we can understand, and even know how to spell...gee that sounds like "Lean meets vocabulary." Wes, you might be starting the next great movement in quality...
 
#29
hjilling said:
Now there's an interesting idea...words we can understand, and even know how to spell...gee that sounds like "Lean meets vocabulary." Wes, you might be starting the next great movement in quality...
From your lips to the controlling Deity's ear.
 
A

asutherland

#30
Wes Bucey said:
One of the first things I would do with Lean is dump ALL the Japanese terminology and acronyms and stick to plain English terminology to make the entire system more accessible to non-geeks. Deming said (paraphrasing) "Dump slogans, mottos, exhortations, remove fear, and gain profound knowledge about your operation."

Anytime we set a system to create an "us vs. them" situation, we are adding a level of dissension to the mix. Note that ASQ is not charging for a copy of the BOK, unlike ISO which charges for a copy of the Standards it creates. Is there a difference between a Standard for a Management System and a BOK for a "subset" of established Quality tools? What do you think?
Isn't it great to be in America where we can not see beyond our own arrogance?

With English being the World language of business, as foreigners come to this country, we expect them to speak English. And, as we go to a foreign country, we also expect them to speak English. (Thank goodness many of them do). How arrogant is that.

Does this really mean we should no longer say "Kanban" without any implied acronyms? Should we call this "purchase order", or "invoice" depending on its function? Should we call it " ticket that makes purchasing 90% obsolete". Or should we simply call it "Kanban" with an English translation of its function?

How dare us to steal a function from another country that was stolen from us and was made more simple in its application and more functional in their environment.

Need we be reminded that the Japanese culture is not our enemy, but our competition. We should not strive to use these tools to be as good, we should improve on them to make them better.

When we fail to implement lean manufacturing concepts into our environment, are we not arrogant is saying, this only works in Japan because of their culture. Are we so blind to our own faults to admit our failure and lack of understanding? Or are we just arrogant enough to blame someone else for our poor understanding, and worse, truly believe it?
 
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