Lean Tool Training and Application

Consists of the following areas:

Process Mapping / Value Stream Mapping

A process of precisely understanding information and work flow in the current state of a process offering fact based insights to create the future-state process configuration. Value Stream Mapping (VSM) of a given process or sub-process capture cycle times for each step. It further deconstructs work flow characterizing value-added and non-value-added components. Value stream mapping identifies process gaps and redundancies as well as places where errors and quality defects occur. Moreover, VSM captures critical information signals that might either interrupt flow or induce waste. A significant VSM benefit is that it makes a process visible and makes it easier to prioritize activities that create an improved process.

Our approach to process mapping and value stream mapping involves the individuals who perform the work in the evaluation. We employ wall charts and waste identification tools to guide work groups throughout the mapping processes. Involving the people and the leaders in mapping processes helps the organization master the intricacies of the process in a team environment and readies the organization for change. Pictured below is a team involved in a value stream mapping exercise and a chart showing an example of the results from a value stream mapping exercise.

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Error Proofing

A quality approach that precludes errors through the use of a structured, standardized method

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A systematic approach to creating order in the workplace through five sequential activities: 
     1.  Sort (sorting and clearing the workplace of anything not needed
     2.  Stabilize (arranging tools and materials for easy access and use) 
     3.  Sterilize (cleaning all areas to remove dirt and trash) 
     4.  Standardize (setting standard procedures to maintain order and cleanliness at all times) 
     5.  Sustain (applying procedures on an ongoing basis)

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A P-diagram gathers all of the inputs and outcomes from a system. It identifies the items used to control the outcomes and the noise in the system that can cause a undesirable outcomes. The system is then redesigned to make the process robust to the "noise" so that the frequency of the desired outcome is more likely.

Day –In-The-Life-of –Studies (DILO)
The shadowing of individuals in their daily job in order to gain qualitative insights into their work. Results often surprise the organization by showing how much activity clusters in non-value added tasks that detour from the overall objectives of the organization. These studies also help us understand organizational and job overlap, task redundancy, and work load.

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Hand-off Mapping
Hand-off Mapping is a method for understanding the flow of information from point A to B to C to D, etc. The objective of handoff mapping is to eliminate unneeded hand-offs and process steps so that information and processes flow through the fewest number of value adding steps. Hand-off mapping is conducted through a combination of work group involvement and individual interactions. This tool may be appropriate for analysis of a hospital Emergency Department patient flow or the analysis of movement by a surgical team in an operating theater. Below is a sketch of a before and after Hand off –map.


              Before Process Re-design                                 After Process Re-design

Diagram description

Each line in the circle indicates a hand off. The fewer the hand-offs the simpler the process and the less chance for error. The diagram on the left, before process re-design, shows many hand-offs indicated by the number of lines in the middle of the circle and the number of connection points on the outside of the circle. The diagram on the right, after process re-design diagram shows many fewer lines and connection points.

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Red X Strategies
A method for analysis of data from defective events that employs decision trees to determine the true root cause of a problem, (the Red X) so that steps can be taken to eliminate the root cause thus eliminating the defect. 

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Cross Domain Analytical Analysis
Cross Domain Analytical Analysis is a technique that evaluates processes that have made other non-related industries successful and correlates those processes or techniques to another industry.
For example, the script in the movie industry ensures that everyone on the set is "on the same page". A revised copy of the script is distributed to everyone involved with the movie with the changes identified and highlighted. This ensures that everyone knows and understands the production plan. Cross Domain Analytical Analysis allows us to mimic the "movie script" idea and translate it to manufacturing, medical pr office environments.

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Push versus Pull
Method of controlling the flow of work based on customer’s demand.  The customer demand and orders drive work rather than forecasting.

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Waste Identification and Elimination: 
Identify the elements of the process that do not add value to the customer. 

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Benchmarking is a method for comparing best practices within a competitive business sector. This allows organizations to plan, develop and adopt competitive best practices, with the aim of increasing performance. Benchmarking may be a one-off event or a continuous process where the organization continually seeks to challenge and improve their practices Below is a flow of the benchmarking concept.

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