Focus is the Key
The word Kaizen means
"continuous improvement" and focuses on always reducing waste,
improving productivity, safety, and effectiveness. Kaizens include
employees involved with the process—from upper management to the building
maintenance personnel—all of whom are encouraged to develop improvement
suggestions on a regular basis. More intensive or focused Kaizens can be 3-5
days long. It is a continuous effort and Japanese companies like Toyota,
Canon, and others implement 60 to 70 suggestions per employee per year.
Usually, these are not ideas for dramatic change, but smaller changes
made on a regular basis. Kaizen
includes use of Quality circles, process automation, just-in-time delivery,
visual aids, 5S** and of course the all-important suggestion system.
Ultimately, Kaizen requires setting standards and then continually
improving those standards. To support the higher standards Kaizen also involves
providing training, materials and supervision that are needed for success.
**5S = Sort, Shine, Set in
Order, Standardize, Sustain
Taking work out of the process!
Developed by General Electric in the late 1980's, the 5-day WorkOut has
been used with dramatic results at organizations of all types worldwide.
The focus is on rapid implementation of measurable improvements with
clear lines of accountability. Consistent
use will help your organization become more lean, efficient, and responsive to
changing business and market dynamics. WorkOut
brings a cross-functional group of people who know the work together to review
the process from end to end and identify actionable recommendations to
challenges identified by leadership for improvement.
Traditionally, the recommendations are tied to action plans that will be
completed within 90 days. Typically,
improvement actions are identified that can be addressed immediately, while
others can be completed with a moderate amount of post WorkOut effort.
In addition, more dramatic improvement opportunities are usually
identified that can be considered for other types of in depth process
improvement. The WorkOut process
builds cooperation between functional silos and different organizational levels,
and increases morale by instilling values of excellence, involvement, and
ensuring that employees at all levels understand how their particular work
affects overall enterprise success.
Problem Solving Process
Although this technique is not
as involved or require as much technical training as a Six Sigma project, it
follows the same principles in a more basic format.
This technique is ideal for organizations wishing to take the guesswork
out of the improvement projects they implement.
It is also a sound way to introduce a more disciplined approach to
process management and decision making in general.
The 7-Steps are:
Finding the right problem
Defining the problem
Analyzing the problem
Selecting the best solution
Implementing the solution
Evaluating and learning
This is a method providing organizations the
tools to improve the capability of their business processes. In other words, it
allows businesses to improve how well a given process actually meets its
customers’ needs. This goal is to decrease in-process variation that results
defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale, and overall
quality of products or services. Six Sigma quality is a term generally used to
indicate a process is well controlled and capable in terms of customer
specifications. Six Sigma as a
business initiative typically requires a thorough analysis of the business
environment and development of an appropriate program specific to the culture of
the business. Long experience has
taught that contrary to what many practitioners believe and to the chagrin of
some organizations, one size Six Sigma program does not fit all.
Flexibility in scope and scale when laying out the right program is the
most critical predictor of the organization’s long term Six Sigma success.
organizations desiring to eliminate what is often the tyranny of the
compartmentalized, siloed, or functional based management, Process
Focused Management is ideal. This
innovative method of business management simply applies the principles of
process identification, ownership, measurement, and management to the business
as a whole. PFM is a much more
responsive management environment both horizontally and vertically that improves
the linkage between tactical process activities with strategic enterprise goal
and objectives via critical process metrics.
The entire business is more responsive and capable of meeting rapidly
changing market needs without having to rely upon micromanagement.
In fact, PFM provides management at all levels with the information they
need to make independent local decisions that better respond to cross-functional
and enterprise needs.