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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LSS Academy Guide to Lean Manufacturing

I believe those in the Lean community who are practitioners and educators are always learning from our own experiences and from others. There is great benefit in sharing what you have learned along the way with others. It is from this activity real learning, reflection, and improvement takes place.

Ron Pereira from LSS Academy has compiled his over 13 years of experience and knowledge into an eBook call LSS Academy Guide to Lean Manufacturing. Ron believes that lean manufacturing and six sigma can and should work in harmony as a continuous improvement process using them as needed and when needed.

This eBook does not read like a novel since it is comprised of individual articles or posts but it does have then benefit of linking to various other articles and websites. Ron covers a wide range of topics in this guide from the basic elements of the House of Lean. He doesn’t necessarily go into great detail on each topic but gives a great overview highlighting the important parts such that you will know what each element means. There are examples from manufacturing as well as from the office or transactional world.

I particularly enjoyed the sections on Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Kaizen. Ron uses an example of a peanut butter and jelly factory which people can relate to in order to demonstrate the steps of VSM. Some many think this example is a bit corny but if you can relate to it then you are apt to remember it and isn’t that the point. Ron also explains the difference between a kaizen for a specific issue in a specific area called “point kaizen” versus a more encompassing “system kaizen”. In this he shares 10 kaizen rules which originate from Masaaki Imai’s Gemba Kaizen.

This is a guide that everyone can benefit from but it may be especially helpful for getting senior managers and frontline managers (technicians, leads, supervisors) introduced to Lean manufacturing.

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