Project Sweden - Teaching Lean - A Diary

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asutherland

Guest
#1
I just began this project on August 9. The purpose on this new thread is two fold. First - to provide you the blow by blow as it rolls out. And second - to avoid any critical errors along the way by understanding and applying your feed back.


Background: Project began 3 weeks ago. I spend 2 wks in Sweden teaching lean, then 1 at home, then repeat this process over 4 months.
Environment: Manufacturing - Union Environment - In our first sit down the union representation unit, their first statement was " we just tried this in one of our other European branches and it failed. Why should we do it here?
(The response was in Swedish also " we had a group of Americans come over, they did most of the work, then they left")

(Don't you just love walking into a "tried that, didn't work attitude"?)

Have support from Division level, but everyone in a fog on how to roll out successfully, and everyone in doubt as to its value.

So, how to begin.

I started by putting together a "reason for change" presentation that takes about 3 hours to present. (PPT 108 pgs). I then spent the rest of the 1st week examining both the visible and invisible barriers.
The rollout began with training by myselft to a core team which consisted of a leading member of the union, one of the manufacturing managers, the Managing director of the plant, as well as key management leaders. The presentation was given in English with full disclosure hand outs in Swedish, as well as an overhead Power Point presentation (PPT) that was prepared also in Swedish. ( of course, English speaking core group ).

I set up a special program with the union representative to train weeks in advance of the VSM program, 5 S program, as well as the Standard Work/Kaizen program. (TPM to be done later as this environment has mostly very low tech machinery). The purpose of which was to provide as much information as possible to the union stewart before roll-out, for acceptance and understanding.

Other invisible barriers included: Many of these people spoke good English, but I was not comfortable with the fact that I thought they understood Swedish better. So, in preparation, I had all of the training overheads as well and participation documentation converted to Swedish, so if they did not understand what I was saying, they could refer to the overhead.

So, how did the first week go? The union steward is already spreading the word in support, the managing Director is giving the presentation with the help of one of the Manufacturing managers as well as the union steward to the entire shop floor, and three suppliers have already been brought on boad with 3 more being scheduled.

During this week that I am off, another trainer is doing the VSM presentation. (Personally, this kind of set uneasy with me :mad: but I will get over it).
Some early feed back from this program expressed some concern about the accuracy of data, (primarly cycle time at each process), so I will examine this when I return next week.

My next entry should be an update from my 8/27 -9/9 visit. My intent is to verify the VSM data, and roll out 5S.

Please stay tuned.... Same bat time, same bat channel.
 

Claes Gefvenberg

Administrator
Administrator
#2
asutherland said:
Background: Project began 3 weeks ago. I spend 2 wks in Sweden teaching lean, then 1 at home, then repeat this process over 4 months.
In Sweden, no less? Now I'm curious. Whereabouts?
asutherland said:
their first statement was " we just tried this in one of our other European branches and it failed. Why should we do it here?
(The response was in Swedish also " we had a group of Americans come over, they did most of the work, then they left")

(Don't you just love walking into a "tried that, didn't work attitude"?).
I hear you. I suppose most of us spend a lot of time fighting it .
asutherland said:
Many of these people spoke good English, but I was not comfortable with the fact that I thought they understood Swedish better.
Good call. Most Swedes speak passable English but we don't always have proper command of the language (missing out on idioms and such). I know that native speakers sometimes feel a bit bewildered by this.
asutherland said:
My next entry should be an update from my 8/27 -9/9 visit. My intent is to verify the VSM data, and roll out 5S.

Please stay tuned.... Same bat time, same bat channel.
I'm looking forward to it. Have a good trip.

/Claes
 
A

asutherland

Guest
#3
Thank you,
Looking forward for round 2.

I will be in Kalman.... I think thats about 5 hours south of Stockholm.

Nice place, lot of tall ppl.

Was in the sauna last week and a guy stripped down to his birthday suit, and then jumped into the hot tub.... very strange.... I asked the hotel clerk if this was normal for this part of the country. She replied no..... Which may be a little too bad... I was hoping for the ladies track team to be next.

Oops, did I type that out loud?
 

Claes Gefvenberg

Administrator
Administrator
#4
asutherland said:
I will be in Kalmar.... I think thats about 5 hours south of Stockholm.
Yes, more or less. Hey, make sure you get yourself over to Öland if you get some time off (The big island just off the coast).
asutherland said:
Was in the sauna last week and a guy stripped down to his birthday suit, and then jumped into the hot tub.... very strange.... I asked the hotel clerk if this was normal for this part of the country. She replied no..... Which may be a little too bad... I was hoping for the ladies track team to be next.

Oops, did I type that out loud?
:lol: LMAO. A bit exotic, eh? Yes, the further north you get, the more saunas you'll find (They keep us from freezing solid in the winter). Ok, the standard procedure is to spend a good while in the sauna and then go jump in a lake (NB: It is a good idea to cut a hole in the ice first;) ), not a hot tub.... Of course, you'll have to wait a few months for the winter in order to try it, but maybe you'll find the track team?

/Claes
 

Attachments

Wes Bucey

Consultant/Advisor
Moderator
#5
On topic:
Any chance for audience interaction or questions during this presentation? I'm a big fan of Socratic method when I present "Change" - hoping to lead the audience to self-realization of the need for change without beating them over the head.
During this week that I am off, another trainer is doing the VSM presentation. (Personally, this kind of set uneasy with me
but I will get over it).
Have you monitored the session at least once to see if it jibes with what your vision is?

Overall impression:
Good topic. I'm looking forward to more.

I thought it was Finns who were big on Sauna (did I pronounce it correctly? The Finns in Minnesota always laugh at my pronunciation.) They do some flagellation with branches as part of the ritual. Personally, I think the reduced sunlight in winter addles them a little. They do some rolling in snow, too! They claim the shock to their system improves circulation and makes the complexion clear.
 

Jim Wynne

Forum Moderator
Moderator
#6
asutherland said:
I started by putting together a "reason for change" presentation that takes about 3 hours to present. (PPT 108 pgs).
This seems at odds with your advice in this thread: http://elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?p=118558#post118558 where you said,
Where to start..... 1st.. start of a brief presentation on why it is necessary to change. (emphasis added)
If 3 hours is "brief" I don't want to attend a long presentation.
Also, it would be helpful if you told us a little more about the project itself; what are you trying to accomplish? Are you doing this as a consultant, or do you work for this company?
 
A

asutherland

Guest
#7
3 hours seems a little long for ANY presentation on any topic - I sure hope you have bathroom breaks.

I usually break for 10 to 15 min after each 45min. (The text presentation is 2 hrs, I add actual viewed shop floor activities in anamation form to liven up the presentation...)

I have found that with 20 yrs of "I've always done it this way, It's always worked before, Tried it, didn't work" syndrome, that it is difficult to over come in 1 hr presentation.

Any chance for audience interaction or questions during this presentation?

Although I encourage questions during the presentation, I rarely get them. (In any country). I suspect that no matter what country your from, you still have " I dont want to sound like a dummy" syndrome.

Have you monitored the session at least once to see if it jibes with what your vision is?

Yes, the presentation is good... My fear was that 1) When one is speaking to another in their own tounge, the speaking is usually fast pace. I found that this leads the speaker to forget the "base-line" of their audience and speak too quickly losing impact as well as interest. and 2) I personally perfer to do the VSM after the Kaizen event so that with greater understanding of available tools, comes a greater success of realistic Future State Mapping results. ( I was over-ridden on this request).

This seems at odds with your advice in this thread:

I will try to be more exacting in my choice of words for your edification. (From my perspective, 10 day Kaizen even, 5 day 5S event, 2 Day VSM event..... the term brief seemed appropriate.)

Also, it would be helpful if you told us a little more about the project itself; what are you trying to accomplish?

It appears I was too short in my background description.
Our attempted accomplishments include the following;
Reduce cost by 3000 Euro per unit to increase market share on smaller size units.
Increase efficiency by 20%
Increase delivery to 95% accuracy
Reduce lead time and inventory by 20%
Introduce O.E.E.

Are you doing this as a consultant, or do you work for this company?
I am a consultant for a corporate lean team... (Yes, I found that amusing also).
 
A

asutherland

Guest
#8
Sorry for the long delay in up-dates.... I spoke with my ISP about my outgoing mail box and we corrected the problem. I should be able to send mail from Europe again.

Anyways ... In my 1st vist, the purpose was to provide information to the plant on why we want to implement "Lean", hence, I did many training sessions as well as train the trainer sessions in continuing "Reason for Change".

So... What were the results? The training is continuing and we are now about 50% complete for plant wide "Reason for Change" training.

The next phase was to introduce 5 S.
Needless to say, my expectations were to have a flawless execution and roll-out. I certainly was not surprised to find it was not.

This facility can basically be broken into three parts. The management team, Welding department, and Production Assembly.

We began with "Sort" in both the Welding and Assembly areas in an area where both the Managers felt that had very little excess material in the work area. (These work areas were about 16' X 40'). (These areas were identified as bottleneck process's from the VSM done the week before).

In both areas we pulled 4 pallets of unnecessary materials from both of these areas (which was of course a bit of a surprise to the Managers as well as the group leaders).

The welding mgr said, "this is great, we got rid of a lot of stuff". (Yes, we set up a "Red Tag" area, and yes, we took many before and after pictures).
The assembly mgr said, "we need to try not to interrupt the workers so much when working in their area". ( We will discuss this problem in a little more detail later ).

We then went to Cleaning and organizing. The welding floor was so dirty, it could not be cleaned the first day, even after 3 times doing. Assembly was much easier. We set up a facility wide grid lay-out and plan, and used this lay-out for these two areas as well as for future roll-out areas.
We were able to complete about 95% in welding and 70% in Assembly.
The welding manager said "this is amazing, it is clear to see what I need, what goes where, what is needed, and what orgainzed looks like. I can find anything, and put back anything, where it belongs".
The assembly manager said " why are we moving all our stuff to boards where they are farther from the line". (Grrrrrrrrrr... we will discuss this later).

We then continued to on the subject of "Cleaning". We set up a matrix of what needed cleaning, by who, buy when and defined what supplies we needed to accomplish the task.
The welding manger said, "this is great, we now know who has to do what by when, so I can see if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing just but looking at the task list". The assembly manager said " this is just common sense, there is no value in defining who should clean what and when, we just need to tell people to clean". (Grrrrrr, my patience is growing thin, however we will discuss later.)

We then put together a 5S audit check list, and performed an audit.

We then put together a Radar map to examine progress of 5S activities.

In conclusion I tasked each manager to provide me with a plan over the next six months as too what areas they well complete 5 S for the rest of their plant.

This looks like its getting a little long, so bare with me as I start another page.
 
A

asutherland

Guest
#9
I will be going back to Sweden to start Kaizen/CPI next week.

Feel free to recommend some course of action to improve the thinking of the assembly manager.

This person has been doing the same thing for about 20yrs. He mico-manages his group leaders to the point that they do not know what to do about anything, nor do they do anything unless directed to do so.

What I would recommend for myself is the following;

1. I know that 5 S or any program by itself is simply a program. It only has face value. From my experience, the key to any program is to understand the underlying purpose and phylosophy of why such a program is benicificial to the user.

From this perspective I purpose to tell the assembly manager;

1. This program is not going as well as it should because you do not belive in it.

I also have been in manufacturing for over 16yrs and I have done the same things that you are doing now; focusing on how much you can produce. As a result you are micro-managing your team, running around like a chicken with your head cut off, fixing the same problems today that you have had last week, last month, last year and the year before. From this perspective, you are absolutely no value to this company. I can hire 100 people off the street just like you.
Stop focusing on making parts and start focusing on systems that help you manange the manufacturing of quality products.
2. Stop interrupting the class duing my training excercises and if you continue to voice opposition, and negative defiance to this activity or any other activity that we are working on, I will have no other recourse but to recommend to the managing director, to move you to another position.
3. What I need you to do is; ask questions that support this activity, give positive feed back to your team about this activity, and monitor and support this activity throuth your entire team. - Do you have any questions? -


Any thought here?
 

Jim Wynne

Forum Moderator
Moderator
#10
asutherland said:
I will be going back to Sweden to start Kaizen/CPI next week.

Feel free to recommend some course of action to improve the thinking of the assembly manager.

This person has been doing the same thing for about 20yrs. He mico-manages his group leaders to the point that they do not know what to do about anything, nor do they do anything unless directed to do so.

What I would recommend for myself is the following;

1. I know that 5 S or any program by itself is simply a program. It only has face value. From my experience, the key to any program is to understand the underlying purpose and phylosophy of why such a program is benicificial to the user.

From this perspective I purpose to tell the assembly manager;

1. This program is not going as well as it should because you do not belive in it.

I also have been in manufacturing for over 16yrs and I have done the same things that you are doing now; focusing on how much you can produce. As a result you are micro-managing your team, running around like a chicken with your head cut off, fixing the same problems today that you have had last week, last month, last year and the year before. From this perspective, you are absolutely no value to this company. I can hire 100 people off the street just like you.
Stop focusing on making parts and start focusing on systems that help you manange the manufacturing of quality products.
2. Stop interrupting the class duing my training excercises and if you continue to voice opposition, and negative defiance to this activity or any other activity that we are working on, I will have no other recourse but to recommend to the managing director, to move you to another position.
3. What I need you to do is; ask questions that support this activity, give positive feed back to your team about this activity, and monitor and support this activity throuth your entire team. - Do you have any questions? -


Any thought here?
There are two possibilities:
  1. This person is doing what has worked for him in the past, and his bosses have apparently not had a problem with it, as he's still doing it. You can't do any good with a full frontal attack on the guy himself--you're an outsider, and he knows you're going to be gone soon. You can't provide the inspiration needed to change a person like this by threatening him, especially if the threats are impotent.
  2. He might be too far gone. When making radical changes in the way business gets done, it's important to have a plan in advance for dealing with this type of employee, and a decision has to be made to let him go if all else fails. This person's boss--not you--will have to explain the alternatives to him, and then follow through decisively. Note that sometimes letting a person like this go (as a last resort) sends a positive message to the rest of the company, and tells everyone that management is serious about adopting the new philosophy.
 
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