Interesting Topic Lean Manufacturing Concepts - Is 'Lean' hype?

Is 'Lean' hype?


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psyched1

Involved In Discussions
No other automotive maker cares more about design than Toyota. Other design cars, Toyota design car AND the system to build cars.

Why 73% existing owner would buy another Toyota, why BIG 3 lag by a hefty 40%? The value of design shall be judged by customers, not you nor I.
Thats funny you never hear of TDS = Toyota Design Systems.:lol:
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
Organizations hiring temps are not in the correct mindset for lean nor are companies who purchase from the lowest cost vendor without regard for quality.

If we consider value is design a value added item? The customer will pay for the product they usually do not care about the design. Is that why Lean/TPS avoids design engineering?
Actually TPS does address the design process. Your experience and training in Lean are not good. You simply don' thave enough good exposure to make judgements on Lean/TPS as you are judging based on a minimal implementation attempt of 'fake' Lean.

If you would likeo understand how Toyota and others utilize Len concepts I can begin providing some explanations and examples. If you are truly interested in learning about TPS/Lean I strongly recommend that you start with "The Toyota Way" by Liker. It's an easy read. I will however, caution you that many paradoxes are notompletely covered in this book and Mr. Like himself is n expert. (for example that will resonate with you based on lprevious bullet points of your issues with Lean. Mr. Liker's exposure to problem solving of complex problems cased by variation and design is very limited. Thus he makes a critical omission when discussing how problems are solved on the line. The approach he describes here is valid for error based problems and for the very simple variation based assignable causes. This is only one example. but in the main what he describes is true and effective.
 
W

wmarhel

Actually TPS does address the design process. Your experience and training in Lean are not good. You simply don' thave enough good exposure to make judgements on Lean/TPS as you are judging based on a minimal implementation attempt of 'fake' Lean.

If you would likeo understand how Toyota and others utilize Len concepts I can begin providing some explanations and examples. If you are truly interested in learning about TPS/Lean I strongly recommend that you start with "The Toyota Way" by Liker. It's an easy read. I will however, caution you that many paradoxes are notompletely covered in this book and Mr. Like himself is n expert. (for example that will resonate with you based on lprevious bullet points of your issues with Lean. Mr. Liker's exposure to problem solving of complex problems cased by variation and design is very limited. Thus he makes a critical omission when discussing how problems are solved on the line. The approach he describes here is valid for error based problems and for the very simple variation based assignable causes. This is only one example. but in the main what he describes is true and effective.

Reference this book for more information on Toyota's design process:
The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process, and Technology

Also Bev makes a good point regarding Dr. Liker. I had an opportunity to talk with him and hear his presentation this past October at a Lean Management conference. He does a good job with studying the process and communicating what "he" sees, but I think it stops there. He's very "academic", and that's not meant in a bad way, but academics and reality don't always mix. I don't think he could implement or drive a transformation.

A key factor in Toyota's success is the 3P process. I've seen this described as Product Preparation Process and Pre-Production Planning. This is what differentiates the men from the boys in my opinion. It is also the one aspect of which there is very little written information widely available, as compared to kanban, TPM, SMED, etc.

Wayne
 
Time for "thinking before posting"

It seems to me this thread is picking up too many personal "zingers."

I do not relish the role of censor - do not force me or other moderators to intervene by deleting posts - it's not fun and we moderators have too much to do in dealing with spammers , so we will probably seem pretty ruthless.

My take on the thread so far:
Everyone pretty much agrees there are "practitioners" who hype Lean. Heck, there are some practitioners who also hype Deming as a panacea. The principles of Lean, like those of Deming, are time-tested and do work when applied without a pre-conceived bias. (Sometimes, just sometimes, the individual worker is in the wrong job and his failure would not be replicated by the vast majority of replacements using the same process.;) )

Why not turn the thread to ways to ferret out and neutralize "pre-conceived bias" so the underlying principles of Lean can be applied broadly and NOT narrowly.

For one example, think about "spaghetti diagrams" which can show wasted movement of people and goods in a process without pointing a finger at an individual, but rather at the PROCESS (Deming Red Beads anyone?) directed by management.
 

psyched1

Involved In Discussions
Re: Time for "thinking before posting"

Thanks Wes but I am not taking it personally. This is a learning experience. While I might be precieved as a naysayer I am getting some good answers to some disturbing questions which my previous lean guru could not answer and perhaps others would not ask.

Wmarhel again very insightful I have ordered the book The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process, and Technology It looks like the missing key I have been looking for.

Bev their are many snake charmers/sharltons out their and I watched one company get hooked to the point they will be filling for bankruptcy next month (only 100 people lossing their jobs) so you can understand my displeasurer. Hopefully some of the point we share here will guide others away from false prophets/profits :tg:

Ok after value stream mapping where do you begin? We were taught to jump on bottle necks which ened up being symptomatic of other problems up the line. When I implemnet Quality Systems I have a structured path 1. Management Review, 2. Doc Control, 3. Contract Review, 4 Design Control ,,,,,,. Is there a structured path for Lean?
 
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W

wmarhel

Re: Time for "thinking before posting"

Ok after value stream mapping where do you begin? We were taught to jump on bottle necks which ened up being symptomatic of other problems up the line. When I implemnet Quality Systems I have a structured path 1. Management Review, 2. Doc Control, 3. Contract Review, 4 Design Control ,,,,,,. Is there a structured path for Lean?
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) shouldn't be the first step. The first step should be the Hoshin Planning process. VSM is usually done first because that is what the consultant/trainer uses to either:

1) Demonstrate the method

2) To try and convince you why your company needs to hire them on a regular basis

3) Etc.

Let's face it, even though huge benefits can be found through the rigorous application (and I do mean rigorous) of the concepts behind the Toyota Production System (TPS), there are many who still don't believe it can work in their environment/company.

Some companies don't want to dive headfirst into the transformation, and rightly so, without more information. They hire a consultant in order to try and see what all the "hype about lean" is really about. Typically, there is some "Lean Overview" training to cover some of the basics. This probably entails some simulation of a conversion from a traditional environment (batch and queue) to a lean environment over the course of multiple rounds. The next visit from the consultant might consist of a :eek: "kaizen" event. There is a good chance this will revolve around 5S or quick-changeover.

After several of these sessions, the company notices some benefits and receives some positive results, and at some point runs into the brick wall as the low hanging fruit dries up. At this point, the hurdles could be beyond the ability of the individual who was originally hired to assist in the transformation, or the person doesn't have sufficient experience to begin the integration of the entire business into the transformation and create synergy between all the departments/processes. If the hurdle/s can't be overcome, the transformation process grinds to halt and starts to regress. Think Sisyphus from Greek mythology as it becomes a never-ending pattern of make an improvement - regress - make an improvement - regress - etc.

This is where a knowledgeable/experienced consultant is really worth their weight in gold, and there are some very good organizations and individuals out there who can really help drive the business to new levels. But, for every good consultant, there are many more who cause more problems than they solve. Each effort to become lean and sustain improvement just helps to create more naysayers.

As for the question regarding value stream mapping as the first step, I would state that Hoshin Kanri or Policy Deployment should be first. This enables the entire organization to become aligned under common objectives (at the executive level) which are then broken down into manageable tasks as they move down the ladder. This is what should be driving the development of which value streams to map, and what key areas/processes should be focused on first.

Some of the methods such as 5S and SMED, are as much about getting people working and talking together (creating teams) as they are about removing waste. Unfortunately, there isn't a single roadmap which will make every company lean if they just follow the instruction sheet. Trying to become a Toyota is really more about the culture than it is any one method. The methods are a way to help break down barriers and begin the development of the necessary culture.

Wayne
 

psyched1

Involved In Discussions
Brillant!

Now could you explan Hoshin Planning. Our current Plant manager is new to the position but open to change perhaps this will bring the group together toward a lean culture.
 

Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
Re: Time for "thinking before posting"

It seems to me this thread is picking up too many personal "zingers."

I do not relish the role of censor - do not force me or other moderators to intervene by deleting posts - it's not fun and we moderators have too much to do in dealing with spammers , so we will probably seem pretty ruthless.

My take on the thread so far:
Everyone pretty much agrees there are "practitioners" who hype Lean. Heck, there are some practitioners who also hype Deming as a panacea. The principles of Lean, like those of Deming, are time-tested and do work when applied without a pre-conceived bias. (Sometimes, just sometimes, the individual worker is in the wrong job and his failure would not be replicated by the vast majority of replacements using the same process.;) )

Why not turn the thread to ways to ferret out and neutralize "pre-conceived bias" so the underlying principles of Lean can be applied broadly and NOT narrowly.

For one example, think about "spaghetti diagrams" which can show wasted movement of people and goods in a process without pointing a finger at an individual, but rather at the PROCESS (Deming Red Beads anyone?) directed by management.
The problem here, as in similar discussions about Six Sigma, is that we fail to distinguish between the container and the thing(s) contained. Although I put more stock in the general principles of Lean than SS, I think we can all agree that the core idea behind lean--identify and eliminate or neutralize waste--is a no-brainer. We get our shorts all in a knot when the vultures consultants put together magic-bullet packages and sell them to unsuspecting neophytes who are yearning for any way they can find to avoid spitting on their hands, rolling up their sleeves, and actually doing some work.

It's possible to implement a "lean" system without the word actually ever being uttered, and without using any of the would-be panacea "tools" that are being sold. But anything worth having--including quality improvement--will never be found at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.
 

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