Jump Start Continual Improvement Process - What works?

R

reigelser

#1
Hi all, I am writing to see if some of you could give some advice. Here the situation:

I am supposed to help my company to implement a CIP for the entire company (Job Shop, 140 People). So far I just have experience with that from the operation side as a supervisor (that was in a different company). A first analysis of the situation shows that there are the remains of efforts that were abandoned (5S, Kaizen Events, VSMs,...), there is a revived working CAR system, the operators are willing but pretty pessimistic ('They tried that already...' or 'Nobody listens to us...'), everybody points fingers at the other (particularly engineering and operations), there is a lot of waste on the floor (searching for stuff, waiting for stuff, parts piling up in front of machines), weak TPM performance and the general opinion on the floor is that chipping supercedes everything.
Based on some decisions with the COO we said we want to jump start the 5S efforts by retraining the operators and implementing in one area to create a good successful example for the shop. After re-scheduling an event/workshop 3 times due to personnel and production requirements I put the effort on hold and talked to the CEO about the problem to get commitment on the floor.(Quote: „If you want to tell the CEO we won't ship the part because of your 5S feel free to do so. I won't!")
Senior Management and particularly the CEO want the transformation and are supportive (as far as I can tell) and the CEO (he is there for 1.5 years and his predecessors must not have been very good of what I am told) himself told me that he has the impression, too, that his message has not been taken serious/has not been understood all the way down to the floor.
So he proposed to have a kick off meeting with all management levels to bring the point across again and he is also willing to do follow up and review meetings to make sure everybody is onboard.

Here my question:
He wants me to propose an agenda for that meeting where he wants to present and where I would present something and maybe the COO. What do you think should be part of such an agenda considering the boundary conditions? (Prior failed effort due to lack of commitment and accountability)

I read through Craig Cochran’s very good book 'The Continual Improvement Process' :agree1: as well as many of the cove threads and other literature so I think I know what has to be done once the kick off meeting is done.

What worked for you to create excitement or at least open mindedness to then carry on with the activities as described by Craig?

Thanks for your input.

Joachim
:thanks:
 
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errhine

Involved - Posts
#3
It sounds as though upper management is on board with continual improvement, but if they are not on the floor asking the hard questions along with everybody else, IMO they might not have the level of involvement required.

Everything I ever read about a truly successful lean program, the company's production appeared to be hurt in the very beginning. Hopefully the CEO is aware of the pain of a transitional period and is vocal (in word and deed) about the transition.

I am curious how this ends up going for your company as I am, as of yet, only a marginally successful change agent, with only a marginally committed (in word only) management team.

Good Luck!!
 
B

Benjamin28

#4
I would listen to the voice of your shop floor workers who are resisting your quality intiatives...."'They tried that already...' or 'Nobody listens to us...' You'll have to bring these people on board with what you're trying to accomplish, and the best way to do that is to align your goals with their goals.

5S typically makes life easier for the operator as well as for quality, and production, but certainly it will never work if the operators don't take ownership. In my opinion the best way to have them take ownership is to have them directly involved in planning the system.

Allow them to critique the system, make suggestions and offer feedback. Work with them, hand in hand if necessary, so that rather than imposing a 5S system onto the production staff you are developing 5S alongside the staff. Give them examples of how the program will benefit them. Be sure the supervisor and floor manager offer positive feedback to the staff.

If an improvement initiative fails because the floor staff aren't interested, that is typically because management has failed to organize, introduce and support the change. Another thing, find "champions" on the floor who will pursue the intitiative full on, this will help keep the change inline until it becomes habitual and natural to the floor workers.

Best of luck
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Hello,

Any improvement initiative should always start with a thorough analysis of the current "state of affairs" at the organization. It answers the question: "how are we doing?" Too many times, employees are asked to take improvement medication without telling them what the disease is to begin with. Employees are very smart, they know, have seen it before, and have long memories.

Lay it all on the table; the good, the bad and the ugly. Ask employees what they see as opportunities for the organization. Let them take a look at the numbers. Let them prioritize... You'd be surprised. Once everyone has had a chance to digest the information, continue with exploring improvement processes. Stay away from the programs with "nice, slick titles" (I shall not name them), instead, develop your own.. Call it XXXX Company Improvement Process, whatever...

That may be a (jump) start, for a change....

Stijloor.
 
R

reigelser

#6
Thanks for your input.
Stijloor, after reading your post and sleeping over it I decided I'll put together a couple of bullets for the CEO for what a kick off meeting could touch (since thats what he wanted) but I am also going to try to start what you suggested. Since we are going to meet with the COO too I'll try to open that discussion to review the whole thing and come up with a plan for us how to implement an improvement process that fits our needs.

One more question:
what in your experience is a good vehicle to have everybody give input: all hands meeting, team meeting, paper survey, interviews,...

Thanks

Joachim
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Thanks for your input.
Stijloor, after reading your post and sleeping over it I decided I'll put together a couple of bullets for the CEO for what a kick off meeting could touch (since thats what he wanted) but I am also going to try to start what you suggested. Since we are going to meet with the COO too I'll try to open that discussion to review the whole thing and come up with a plan for us how to implement an improvement process that fits our needs.

One more question:
what in your experience is a good vehicle to have everybody give input: all hands meeting, team meeting, paper survey, interviews,...

Thanks

Joachim
Hello Joachim,

Depending on the size of your organization, nothing beats "face-to-face" interactions. It's probably logistically impossible to get everyone together in one room. You may want to start interviewing employees at their work station, or invite them to have coffee with you in the break room. Have a simple questionnaire in hand that you complete. Remain focused on the system and processes. I have done this before and if you're not careful, your interview can deteriorate in a B & G session (you know what I mean).
Stay away from paper surveys at this stage. It is very impersonal and employees will not get a sense that they made a contribution. By the way, listen, listen, listen. Don't try to change employees' minds. Don't make promises.

Good luck with all your efforts. Please keep us posted.

Stijloor.
 
S

Swagg - 2009

#8
I lead the implementation of 5s at our site at the direction of our Operation Manager, at one of the monthly all hands meetings I have 10 to 15 minutes to launch the initiative. I showed pictures of our sites worst areas where 5s could really help. (This really got the attention of folks in those areas.) I gave a high level overview of the 5s, explained that our process was to create a core team (1 rep from each area at site) We had lots of volunteers.

The core team was assigned a neutral area to 5s (our front office mail room), we took before and after pictures and discussed the project at the next all hands meeting. Our plan was for each core team person to roll out 5s in their own area. Well before we could get all of the before pictures people starting 5s in all areas, it really spread quickly.

The core team performs monthly audits of each area and we award a 5s Area of the month. We rotate the core team every 12 months.
 
R

reigelser

#9
Swagg, thanks for your input. Sounds to me like you are ahead of the game in your company with regards to corporate culture and motivation. Those are the points I need to get senior management working on. Based on what I know from our place a roll out as described by you would not lead to that much action.

I hope you are able to keep the energy up and are successful with the implementation and sustaining of 5S.

One question:
do you have a larger scale initiative going where 5S is part of the efforts?

Thanks

Joachim
 
Q

QCAce

#10
Here are some roadblocks I've come across trying to implement CI in the past:
- ask 20 people what they think the top issues are and you'll get 20 different answers (opinions)
- buzzwords can be a distraction, don't let the focus become implementation of a 5S program or SPC or Six Sigma, etc., these are all good tools to help you make improvements but implementation of any one program does not mean your company is continually improving quality as a whole.
- how will you measure quality? Watch out when focusing on financials, many times things like scrap, returns, etc. can be measured but costs that don't get captured can be things like lost business because the customer was peeved they didn't get their shipment on time.

Any improvement initiative should always start with a thorough analysis of the current "state of affairs" ....
Stijloor.
I like this comment from Stijloor. Facts and data can help focus your team on the top issues by taking opinions out of the mix. I started with data collection points in each area and had production identify problems or nonconformances they were finding. With the data I could do simple Pareto's and report on the top issues found each month. Attached is a sample of a report I've used.

I hope you these comments are helpful and good luck.
 

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