Kaizen Profile Updated

On the tools and templates pageon the Continuous Improvement Website you can download an updated Kaizen Profile Template.   A Kaizen Profile is used in preparation for a kaizen event; it is a tool that is typically filled our by the team leader with assistance from a Facilitator.  Changes were made to the flow of the template to mimic the typical dialog and problem discussion had between a Facilitator and a team leader.  Additionally a new section was added to list the department of each team member.


Let’s Get Organized! How to 5S your desk!

Guest Post by Allie Olano, Student Process Improvement Coordinator

Look around your desk; are there papers everywhere, folders stacked in piles, sticky notes all over your computer, stapler missing, etc.?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading so you can get organized. 

Even though spring has already past, it’s not too late to do some cleaning, so let’s get organized before the school year starts!  So how do you even begin to get that messy desk organized?  If you follow Lean 5S concepts and principles you will be organized in no time.  5S is a Lean concept that contains five components; Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain.  Let’s get started!

Sort-Eliminate the unnecessary items from your desk by placing everything into three piles; retain (keep), return (doesn’t belong on your desk), rid (you don’t even use).

Set in Order-Now that you have everything sorted, everything now needs a place and everything needs to be put in its place.  The retain pile items should be placed close or on your desk because these are the things you use the most.  The return and rid piles need to be put back where the items belongs because you don’t use them. 

Shine-Everything is in its place now so it’s time to clean.  Clean your desk by dusting, sanitizing, and at the end of the day clean up any lose items that are not in their proper place. 

Standardize- So now your desk is organized and clean and you would love to keep it that way.  To do this you need to create a standardize process for yourself of sorting, setting in order, and shining every time something new is given to you and could potential end up on your desk.

Sustain-The last and final step to make your organization of your desk successful is to apply the 5S principles to other areas of your job.  Examples: supply closets, book shelves, file cabinets, colleagues’ desks.  If you start applying these principles it will sustain the culture of organization throughout the office and you will continue to keep your desk organized.

Follow the 5S’s and your desk will become organized and stay that way.  Good luck!


Lean Leadership and Employee Empowerment

Guest Post by Megan Johnson, Student Process Improvement Coordinator

“Becoming Lean” is about much more than implementing a set of tools and measuring metrics.  A big part of becoming Lean is the culture and attitudes of those who are involved in the processes.  Leaders are extremely important in instilling the culture changes into their employees so that their Lean journey can be successful. 

Lean leaders should empower employees and encourage them to solve problems themselves to continually improve the processes they work with.  This is why team members who are closest to the work should make up about 50% of the team for Kaizen events.  When leaders “go to the gemba,” they should try to understand the process and ask questions to surface any issues so that employees can solve problems based on observations.

An example of how employees can be empowered to make changes is by using an IDEA board— “IDEA” standing for Improvements Driven by Employee Action.  This allows employees to compare the current state to their ideal future state, describing the improvement and what problems it would solve.  On Michigan Tech’s campus, there is an IDEA board in the Memorial Union Building kitchen where employees can post their ideas for improvements.


Going to the Gemba

Guest Post by Megan Johnson, Student Process Improvement Coordinator

“Gemba” is a Japanese term meaning “the real place.”  When you hear of someone who is “going to the Gemba” or doing a “Gemba walk,” they are going to the actual place where the work is being done, where value is being created or added.  To really understand a process it is critical that person go to the gemba to observe what is actually happening. 

When visiting the gemba, you should ask open ended questions to hear about the process from those who are closest to the work.   

Going to the gemba should be a daily task for leaders.  When leaders go to the gemba, it provides them with an opportunity to observe a process first-hand, build relationships with those they supervise, to listen, help work through roadblocks encountered, and to help problem solve—as well as encouraging others to problem solve.

Gemba Walks, Jim Womack’s newest book is a collection of compiled letters and essays about this topic.  View more about the book HERE.


Report Out Invite!

University Images recently participated in a kaizen event addressing problems in their special orders process.  Special orders are defined as: orders placed by departments and student groups through University Images.  Such orders include but are not limited to department apparel and souvenir items.   University Images has exclusive vendor contracts and can offer competitive prices.  They also ensure licensed, quality Michigan Tech products to their customers.

To learn about the changes made to the University Images Special Order Process, you are invited to attend the Auxiliary Services Lean Report-Out on Wednesday, July 20 at 2:00 PM in MUB Ballroom B3.

Along with the University Images presentation, you will also hear:

–        A teachback on improvement event team member roles

–        A report-out from the Dining Services Batch vs. Flow Kaizen for Invoices

–        An update on the Dining Services Commissary Kaizen

Hope to see you there!!


5S to a Shared Network Drive

A team in Facilities just wrapped up a 5S project on their shared network drive, or as they call it, “the P drive.”   5S is a workplace organization tool is used to reduce waste and organize a workplace (or in this case a virtual workplace).  5S also incorporates methods to standardize improvements and plans to sustain changes made.  Some of the benefits of 5S include: less clutter, simplifying tasks, effective use of space, lower accident and incident rates, convenient work practices, ergonomics, control through visibility, etc.!

Check out their report out PowerPoint presentation below, which tells their 5S story and highlights all of the improvements they made. 

Click here to view the presentation: 5S_Report_Out





Yokoten

Last week I had the pleasure of facilitating a brainstorming session for the administrative staff and their supervisors for an entire department.  The goal of the session was to provide an environment for the administrative staff to share their work and job experiences so that improvements could be identified and collaborations could be sought.  To set the tone for the day, I began by introducing the Japanese term Yokoten.  It was a new term for me.  Isn’t it a fun word to say?!!  Here is what it means:

Yoko = horizontal, lateral, sideways

Tenkai = develop, deploy, advance

Yokoten = horizontal deployment

Shared learning, based on experience or observation, across an organization.

Yokoten is:

–   Knowledge and best practice sharing

–   Horizontal, peer-to-peer dissemination of information

–   Spreading wisdom to areas who have similar processes

–   Communication – sharing ideas, thoughts

–   Going and see

–   An understanding of WHY something is a best practice

–   Copy pluskaizen