Lean Organisation for Lean Programmes

Here’s the Scenario: You’re a site leader three months into your Lean Programme and on the face of it things are going well but you’ve got doubts that the organisation structure is supporting your lean journey in the way you’d want. These are some of the contradictions that you see.

For the first time you’re measuring OEE, you can see your Pareto of losses and the production team are busy applying SMED to reduce changeover times… BUT your engineers still see themselves as a service to production, they measure KPI’s that are not aligned to OEE improvement (for example the number and age of open engineering work orders), technical expertise is spread too thin, they spend too much time on what should be autonomous maintenance tasks and they don’t attend the daily start of shift meeting to be appraised of the issues of the day.

Neither is your quality organisation best supporting your quest for continuous improvement; they spend 80% of their time auditing, reporting and issuing action lists and only 20% of their time actively solving problems.

The impact of demand volatility has been explained to you and you’ve helped design a fixed repeating levelled schedule that delivers flow and repeatability but your planners want to retain central control for planning and scheduling and insist on making planning more complicated than it really is.

Your newly designed Work Instructions (WI’s) are concise and user friendly but you rely on your already stretched production supervisor to train out the operators when she can. You’d like to have someone in a Team leader role spending 80% of his time managing this important standardisation activity.

Finally as a senior team you’ve got all the lean training and practical problem solving training you could wish for but you’re not actively solving problems with your team and you certainly don’t see yourself as being confident when it comes to teaching the Lean System.

It’s time to get serious about designing an Ideal Future Organisation Structure that really supports your Lean endeavours and integrates functions and activities in a way that maximises your continuous improvement efforts.

Here’s how you might go about this task

Establish the scale of the change you require

  • Think about dividing up the site into mini business units / value streams based on product family or technology to make them more manageable.
  • Decide whether you should examine all functions on the site or initially focus on integrating those that are closely aligned to day to day production activities (Engineering, Quality, Planning, HR, etc)? 

Define and document the current organogram  

  • This will bring a clarity to the task ahead (and probably prompt a lot of questions, like why on earth does this role exist, etc).

Identify possible opportunities for change - ask yourself…

  • How do I get more / better support in the areas I need it?
  • How do I design Roles that have more of a Lean Focus?
  • Suppose I had fewer planners, functional supervisors, QC auditors, etc, etc…what would that look like?
  • How can I avoid duplication of effort?
  • How can I simplify how issues are uncovered and resolved?
  • How can I improve focus and give more autonomy?
  • How will the senior team on site organise itself be best equipped to lead and teach the Lean system?
  • How do I create a better environment to work in for everyone? 

Examine each opportunity in detail

  • Quantify tasks.
  • Assess the pro’s and con’s of the change and then Decide!
  • Compile Ideal Future Organisation (IFO) map.

Agree an Implementation Strategy

  • Should I go “Big Bang” or opportunistically over a longer period?
  • Prepare a detailed implementation plan.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!!
  • Prepare a roadmap with milestones for completion. 

Tips to follow

  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – what you should end up with should resemble the Toyota Production System Model.
  • Designing an IFO is a task for the senior team not a lean project team.

Our consultants can provide further information on the above and discuss any aspect of Real Lean Transformation, simply set-up a call today.