So how do you determine how many, and which steps are necessary for a specific situation?
A simple improvement cycle: the cause and solution are known
Improving a situation can often be quite simple. No further research is necessary, working on the answer can be done immediately, and one person can do the improvement cycle. The cost is null and the lead time is quite short. In this case, the intermediate steps in the improvement cycle are:
A fast improvement cycle: the cause is known, but the solution is not
When the answer is yet to be found, the improvement cycle will contain a few intermediate steps. Often, more departments or people are needed to come to a solution. The costs and benefits have to be clear in this process. The lead time of this process will, of course, be longer. The intermediate steps in this case are:
- Describe the problem
- Draw up the most important causes and improvement ideas
- Chart the expected savings of the improvement
A complete improvement cycle: the cause is unknown, so the solution is unknown too
The most extensive improvement cycle is the one where a problem is evident, but the cause is not yet apparent. It takes people from different departments to research the reason and to implement improvements. There’s no way to know about costs and benefits at the start of the improvement cycle, or what the lead time of the cycle will be. The intermediate steps of this improvement cycle are:
- Describe the problem
- Form a team
- Draw up objectives
- Draw up a planning
- Chart the process
- Chart the kinds of losses
- Establish base conditions
- Find cause and effect
- Take countermeasures
- Draft an execution plan
- Draw up standards
- Make a presentation
How do you make your improvement cycle easy to work with?
Working in an improvement cycle is essential in LEAN working, consultant Peter Sankrediets also agrees in this interview. However, converting it into a practically workable method is not always easy. Almost everyone who wants to work LEAN starts by creating action lists in Excel. But who has insight into the progress? And in which sheet is your action? Who has the latest version? That is why Cierpa Kaizen was developed.
Cierpa Kaizen provides an overview of the objective, the implementation and the roles that are assigned for each improvement point. With progress graphs, visual status coding (the well-known 'PDCA bubbles') and average lead times, independent improvement is really visible. And so the speed of the improvement process increases. Moreover, the improvement potential of the improvement cycle is immediately visible from the start.
The benefits of Cierpa Kaizen in your improvement cycle
- A PDCA ball instead of a textual action list
- Ready-to-use prints for whiteboard meetings
- Grip on large volumes of ideas thanks to overview and detail
- Combines improvement actions with improvement teams moving through the project
- Handy reference of best practices and guidelines
- Impact in euros visible
- Refined rights model, including internal/external separation