The Best Tool – Q&A

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.

2 thoughts on “The Best Tool – Q&A”

  1. Thank you for valuable thoughts and opinions you are posting on your blog.
    I should agree with the last paragraph of this article. Management commitment is absolute prerequisite of any change in the organisation. I saw many beatiful lean and non-lean methods and tools that reqire change in behaviour. None of them work without a management will. And it does not refer only to desire of top management but also to its capability to convey that will to all management levels. Management will comes from sincere vision of benefit coming out of this change.

  2. Thanks Andrey for your feedback. Yes you are right even in my experience we have been able to change processes and sustain this change because of management involvement it on day to day basis. Gemba walk is a very useful tool. During the initial phases of change everyone including the owner of the organization participated in the gemba walk everyday. This helped to convey the message to everyone that we are serious about this change and also helped everyone to get on the same page, continuously aligning people and processes towards the business goals.

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