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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lean Tips Edition #102 (1531 - 1545)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #1531 – Create a Learning Organization By Promoting From Within
Employees who have successfully learned new skills and abilities should be recognized and encourage others to follow suit. One of the advantages of training is having employees who are ready for a bigger role. Announce an internal job posting to encourage employees to gain knowledge.

Lean Tip #1532 - Develop Knowledge and Information Sharing into a Formal Process. 
For a learning culture to be ingrained, it should be mandatory for all individuals in the organization. Training and development plans that are not formalized run the risk of not being taken seriously and as a result, not implemented. People will be more encouraged to share knowledge and information if they are required to do so. Formalizing the process makes sure that everyone who needs the information gets it.

Lean Tip #1533 - Drive People to Learn by Doing.
Training is a way to impart knowledge. Learning is also about sharing lessons, telling stories, doing, making mistakes and improving constantly. People learn the most when they implement their knowledge to generate meaningful business results. Allow people to make mistakes (and learn from them). People never experiment if they have to pay a price for trying new things out.

Lean Tip #1534 - Include all Employees in Learning Opportunities
For a culture of learning to take root and grow, learning and development opportunities must be inclusive. You can’t expect to build a culture of learning unless learning opportunities reach every employee. This requires managers and team leaders to be inclusive when selecting employees to participate in learning and development activities. Give consideration to employees throughout the entire organization – include staff at all levels, in all departments and across all locations.

Each person is unique, and people tend to learn in different ways. A one-size-fits-all approach seldom works when it comes to learning and development. It’s best to ensure learning opportunities are available to all employees regardless of the special considerations. Flexibility goes a long way when it comes to teaching employees across a large and dynamic workplace.

Lean Tip #1535 - Create an “Employee-First” Culture
Steady, long-term competitiveness requires an organization to be committed to putting employees first and developing quality training programs that are linked to its strategic objectives. Without a true commitment to the employees at all levels throughout an organization, the journey to enhance organizational performance will be an elusive adventure. Quality employees equate to organizational success. Unqualified and poorly trained employees equate to organizational failure.

Lean Tip #1536 - Have a Strong Lean Improvement Strategy
You'll need a solid plan and some attainable targets before implementing Lean. Utilize checklists and to-do lists, and you’ll always be working towards a goal. Look at every step in your process from the customer’s perspective: Is all that you’re doing something that he or she would be willing to pay for? If not, it is time to get back to the drawing board.

Lean Tip #1537 – Bench Mark Other Lean Companies
Sometimes we learn best by first witnessing the success of others. See the benefits of lean in action. It is not difficult to find organizations that will allow you to see their lean implementations (referred to as the Gemba walk). Take detailed notes of what is highly effective in their Lean implementations, ask questions, and get as much valuable information as you can in order to help you formulate you own Lean strategy for implementation.

Lean Tip #1538 - Get the Whole Team on Board
To get the greatest advantages out of Lean, the entire organization should adopt and promote its practices, and extend its influence to suppliers as well. You must involve the people who are the closest to the work and you must get support from senior management as well.

Lean Tip #1539 - Discard Conventional Ideas
Part of problem solving is thinking “outside of the box.” Encourage fresh perspectives and ingenuity in your team in order to develop innovative ways to forward Lean manufacturing without changing what is already efficient and successful. With such a rapidly evolving climate in manufacturing, sometimes conventional thought is what leads to the problem in the first place!

Lean Tip #1540 - Don’t Just Talk About it, Do it!
Once you have a Lean strategy in place, put it into fast and thorough action. Naturally, implementation is what ultimately yields results and improvement. The last think you want is to devise and formulate a Lean campaign that then sits on the shelf and collects dust. Run with your Lean plans as soon as you have everything nailed down.

Lean Tip #1541 - Concentrate on bad processes, not people
By concentrating on the processes and building continuous improvement, you will have the culture change that you are looking for. Also, correct mistakes immediately. Don’t wait for the next shift, the weekend or maintenance to do it.

Lean Tip #1542 – Make Kaizen a Strategic Objective
Link kaizen methodologies, the process of continuous process improvements, to strategic objectives. Execute kaizen events are monthly to drive performance. Associates are involved and challenged. Resources are dedicated, and the company is utilizing a strong continuous improvement office.

Lean Tip #1543 - Educate Your Leaders in Lean Thinking
Start at the top and educate your executives on the differences and benefits of coaching versus counseling. Interview them on their perspectives on coaching and assess their willingness to participate and support a coaching initiative. Explain the benefits of coaching and ask them where they see applications for coaching inside their organizations.

Lean Tip #1544 – Plan Periodic Team Reflection
Perform periodic reflection with the team in a manner that allows them to drive the conversation. This will teach the team members reflection skills and will allow you as a manager to get a full picture of the progress.  Additionally, this can drive best practices for future teams.

Lean Tip #1545 - Give your Team the Proper Amount of Autonomy.

Teams are often most efficient when they are self-managed. We want our teams to have the freedom to work through their problems without being micromanaged as this will encourage growth for natural leaders and create a sense of empowerment for the team.

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1 comment:

  1. Focusing on bad processes rather than people is a smart approach that makes a real difference. Great tips!