Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Roadmap to Lean: Analyze the Opportunities

In order for an organization to transform from its current state of operation to one of a Lean Enterprise Organization, a two phase approach – Planning and Implementation - can be utilized. The fourth step in the Planning phase is to analyze opportunities for Lean in the organization. In this step, we want to:
  • Create Current and Future State Diagrams of the Business Processes
  • Identify Non-Value Added Activities
  • Identify Potential Process Redesign Opportunities
  • Define and Document Expected Improvements
  • Review with Management for Approval

Using a value stream approach to looking at the current state of the processes used in the organization, non-value added activities can be identified and targeted for elimination. With this map of the current state and the knowledge gained by the team though the strategy development activities and the education to date, a future state of the organization can be developed. Deliverables from this task will include:

  • Current and Future Process Flow and/or Value Stream Mapping Documents
  • New Process Layouts and Material Flow Diagrams
  • New Organization Diagrams and Work Team Assignments
  • Ranked List of Potential Lean Opportunities

By developing a future state map of the organization and identifying where the various Lean concepts can be applied, waste eliminating opportunities will be identified. The specific opportunities that come from this analysis will lead to Kaizen events in the implementation phase and will form the basis of the plan to be developed. The ranking decisions will incorporate the magnitude of the change, the impact on the organization, the potential cost, the potential benefit, and the ease of implementation. This information will become inputs to the next and final step of the planning phase, Creating an Implementation Plan.

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