How to Implement Lean Manufacturing In Five (not so easy) Steps.

Rick Bohan
12.01.2015

OK, let’s get started…again.

The five, not so easy, steps to implement lean manufacturing are:

  1. Strategy and Spread the Word
  2. Sort and Shine
  3. Straighten and See
  4. Simplify and Solve
  5. Standardize and Sustain

You’ll notice the alliteration around the S’s…that’s to make it all easier to remember.  I hope.

Truth be told, they aren’t really steps so much as they are stages or phases.  And they don’t have to be done in the order listed.  Except for Strategy and Spread the Word,  That one has to go first.

I’ve been using this model for a few years now.  Here’s why I like it:

  1. It’s an approach that’s easy to use to explain to others what we’ll do and how we’ll do it. It also facilitates keeping track of where we’ve made progress and what’s left to accomplish.
  2. The approach is flexible and customizable just about any situation I run into.  I’ve used this in small and large settings.
  3. It provides appropriate “buckets” to put all the tools and tactics I use.  By that I mean, each tool, each tactic has “someplace to go”.  5S? Phases 2 and 3.  Visual Factory?  Phase 3.  Value Stream Mapping? Phase 4.  Leader Standard Work?  Phase 5.  You get the idea, I think.
  4. And, finally, it formats nicely for a series of blog posts!
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