Few days ago I had question posted on Linkedin asking :Which is the most effective lean tool you have ever used and why?
One of my reason to ask this question was help me decide which tools would be the best and effective to use in lean transformation. I was searching for something simple yet brings confidence and faith in the Lean concept at the process level.
All the answers I got were really valuable to expand my understanding. Some of the top tools people selected were 5S and VSM
Personally I have used 5S as the first event to get visibility. People can understand it without even telling them that we are using lean concept, which sometimes scare people who don’t like change. The sustainability is a challenge if you have not been able to get accept it. Small rewards either monetary or could just a trophy for having best , clean and standardized workstation have helped many to motivate the people. But should not end there proper audit system may help you to some extend , the best way to know you have succeeded is when the people start believing in system , start using this tool without being initiated by the management.
VSM is another important and yet simple tool, and could be used at more strategic level too. It gives you a bigger picture of how many processes are related to each other to add Value. It is good tool to plan the future state. Due it its versatility its used in different applications Like Scott E. Davis and his team used to to reduce time for change order processing.
Juan Carlos Sol & Michael Della Fortuna both agree that People play important part in this whole process rather than the tools. Tools on most occasions are not used as exactly described in the book but will be combined with others, adapted to suit the situation using common sense.
The biggest thing we learn every time we go through this process, and that most people who answered agreed, is that if we do not have the commitment of the top level management for the lean transformation it is not possible to get any significant results.
I will consider all these inputs from all the people in my plan to develop lean transformation Road map and would like to thank all the people who answered and offered valuable advice.