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

Is 'Lean' hype?

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Re: Time for "thinking before posting"

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.



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.
I've attached a couple of files to give you an idea (it would take more time to explain the concept then it did to google it :) ): a whitepaper regarding Hoshin Kanri, and a second file which depicts the typical chart used in the process.

The chart, as used, would begin at a high level and then cascade down to the appropriate people/departments. They would then use their chart to identify and manage their objectives to ensure alignment with the overall direction.

I will say this though, a critical element in the process is the concept of "Catchball". In essence, it is a two-way dialogue between all parties.



Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
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...Is there a structured path for Lean?
The path really depends on your organization's Lean maturity.
You might want to start by gettign a couple of really good books on the subject - there is a mountain of information and this forum is probably best used to answer specific questions about specific issues or tool appliacations...

That said:
Ensuring that the organization really has a common set of goals and objectives and consenus on the strategy, metrics, timeframe etc. is essential.

Within this process the organization shodul identify a starting product or large function/service that is cumbersome and costly and really isn't getting the job done well...

You can then map the process*. Your consultant was correct that you start at the bottleneck (or constraint) of the process. However, the necessarry actions may not take place at the constraint as you pointed out. one must get to the root causes of the constraint. there are 8 wastes and they are inter related. One wase typically resutls in the other 7. Defects are the mother of all wastes.

One lean deployment that I worked on was a manufacturing process that had terrible cycle times, huge WIP, high cost, etc. The constraint was clearly teh Yield of the process. We went upstream to work on the casues of the poor yield. (This was a series of six sigma projects - the problems were fairly complex and variation based, not error based.) we didnt' too much traditional leaning since it wouldnt' have much effect at all given the yield problem. Once we had improved the Yields to a managable level, we imlemented Kanbans, single piece flow, cell layout, 5S and stop production. We then saw soem additionl incremental improvements in cycle time on top of the huge improvements in Quality and cycle time resulting from the Yield improvements. But the effect was minor as expected since the Yields were still the constraint. We did however, significantly reduce WIP and we were able to see the emerging problems thru SPC, stop production and our Kanbans with the reduced WIP. When somethign 'new' happened we saw it and were able to jump on it quickly and turn it around in a matter of weeks instead of quarters....

Hugo Gon?alves

Hi there.

Can we establish some kind of connection with Balanced Score Card and the Hoshin map you presented? Are both the same concept in different languages?



Hi there.

Can we establish some kind of connection with Balanced Score Card and the Hoshin map you presented? Are both the same concept in different languages?

The Balanced Scorecard Card (BSC) approach is about measuring items important to the business.

Hoshin planning is about determining the direction and goals of the company. It also takes into consideration the communication and deployment of those goals up and down the ladder.

I don't see why you couldn't integrate BSC into the Hoshin process, but I would view it as the duplication of work.




I think your message says it all - from my own personal experience lean will never work in an organisation where you have to sell the idea to senior management. They are the ones that have to drive it and "create the environment" for it to succeed. If they haven't already cottoned on to the fact that they have to improve their business more rapidly than their competitors and engage the workforce to fix the broken processes and eliminate waste from the value streams you're going to struggle.


What we do is to follow the standard lean six sigma approach by first implementing the 6S (5S + Safety) and then employing Value Stream Mapping to identify wastes and eliminate/reduce them. Nothing fancy.

Pazuzu - 2009

...have to improve their business more rapidly than their competitors
Said best by Masaki Imai. "Two gentlemen are on a safari, dressed fully from hat to boot, and start to wonder from their vehicle. Suddenly they notice a lion in the long grass peering at them yet they realize they are too far to make it back to the vehicle before the lion will catch them. Right before the lion springs into action one fellow runs for the vehicle while the other kneels down and takes his runners out of his back pack to change. The man running shouts "you're taking too'll never make it back!" The man changing starts running toward the vehicle, faster now then the first he passes him he says, "I dont have to make it back...I just have to be faster than you!"

2 morals:
  • taking time to accurately plan will leave you in a more favorable position.
  • you dont have to make it to the goal long as you are running faster than the competition.

If you have not...please take the time to see Masaki Imai (Kaizen Institute founder). Although the broken english can be difficult...he makes perfect sense.

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