The Kaizen Charter is a planning tool used to increase the odds of success of an improvement activity. It sets out the scope of the process that will be addressed in the event, establishes the goals and objectives of the event, identifies any work that must be completed prior to the event, and identifies the team members.
The charter is a contract between the Lean Champion (knowledgeable coach) and the project team created at the outset of the project. Its purpose is:
- To clarify what is expected of the team
- To keep the team focused
- To keep the project and team aligned with organizational priorities
- To transfer the project from the champion to the team
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Here are some key points to consider when drafting the charter:
- Pick a team leader – the leader will be the driver for the team during the event.
- Determine event dates.
- Make problem statement specific.
- Set preliminary objectives for event.
- Make the objective measurable.
- Production rate, cycle time, lead time, set-up time, quality improvement, space utilization, WIP/INV reduction.
- Calculate Takt Time if possible.
- Focus on observable symptoms.
- Describe current situation – background information.
- Pick Improvement Team members.
- Team should include those within the process as well as an outsider to challenge status quo thinking.
- Get commitment from Team member’s supervisors.
- Set boundary conditions that keep team focused on objective.
- State resource limitations (Time, Money, People).
- Determine initial training needs for the team with the Champion.
- Assigning blame in the problem statement.
- Setting non-obtainable goals.
- Making the Charter too wordy.
- Completing without the Champion.
- Striving for perfection.
- Poor team selection.
- Uncommitted leaders.
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