Let us review the overarching Cultural Kaizen(c) improvement model:
As we previously looked at the strategic aspects of the Cultural Katalyst(c) required to turn the tide, now its time to dive into the nitty gritty!
So the model might look menacing at first, but we will break it down piece by piece. There are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind:
- While the front-line will generally embrace changes that improve the quality of their workplace, your managers can feel alienated if you don't include them in the development of the strategy. This can be alleviated by doing the following:
- Weekly leadership/management team meetings discussing the process.
- Have one of the management team become the first kaizen leader on-site.
- Keep an open-door policy with your management team.
- There will always be situations that arise that have not been planned for. Keep the following in mind:
- Treat everyone with honesty and respect.
- Over-communicate to remove fear and doubt.
- Ask and answer questions copiously.
- Kaizen (also lean tools and other needed area) Training: You must equip your untrained minds with the proper information they need to succeed. It is time to start training in the following areas:
- General Kaizen Awareness training- Overview of what the kaizen process is and how it will affect the site and team members.
- Generally about 2-3 hours in length
- Every associate on site should attend
- If any member of the team has experience with kaizen or lean tools, try to include them in training
- Kaizen Leader Training- Select approximately 10% of the team to participate in kaizen leader training
- Lean Tools Training- I recommend highlighting a separate tool every week or so and training on that tool during your Ubiquitous Communication Sessions
- Safety Training- (as discovered during your gemba walks)
- Leadership/People Skills Training- Sometimes your managers can be rough around the edges. It might be time to polish them up a bit
- Ubiquitous Communication: As discuss in the the strategic portion you should have communication in the following intervals and these communications should consist of
- Consistant format
- Specific Purpose
- Discussion Regarding the Katalyst(c)
- Improvement Plan
- Lean Leader Identification: During this time you should be looking for someone who can be your first kaizen leader. Some of the characteristics are:
- Embraces change
- Excited about the lean tools
- Asks questions during kaizen/leader training
- Small Process Improvements: During this time, you need to start putting some small wins under your belt. I can't give you an exact road-map but here are some guidelines to follow:
- Try to make the process improvements come from either:
- A front-line associates idea or
- A current lean tool you are training on.
- Make the improvement a tangible change- it is very easy and very boring to change a procedure. You want a physical tangible structure that is a totem to your progress.
- Try not to drive the change yourself. This is one of the litmus tests you can use on your potential lean leaders to see if they are your person. If they get the change done without any (or minimal) assistance, you know you are finding your winner!
- Gameplan for the transition to the Cultural Kaizen(c) Cycle: This is the time you need to be game planning with your management team for the next step in your transformation. Some of the items that need to be addressed are:
- Process check for the Cultural Katalyst(c) Tactical Plan
- First Kaizen event-(I will be writing an entire blog/chapter on this)
- Project scope
- Kaizen Leader identification
- Feedback from front-line associates/supervisors on the culture
- How is the team doing?
- What problems/challenges/opportunities are occurring?
- Is their front-line associate buy-in?
- Validation of the small improvements
The tactical aspect of any plan or strategy is very important. Execution will make or break your transformation. Remember, nothing happens until someone takes the appropriate action.