Why do we want a Lean programme? The Big 60 Questions
By: Nicola Balloch
We understand that taking the first steps on your Lean journey can seem daunting. As with any organisational change, there can be worries about the process itself and how staff members will respond. However, our goal is to make your life EASIER! Therefore, our Lean Project Facilitation service is designed to make the process as clear and efficient as possible.
Through our years of experience, we have developed various tools and technique to ensure your Lean journey goes smoothly. Today, our blog is going to outline one such tool that we often introduce to clients at the beginning – the Big 60 questions.
The Big 60 questions is just that – 60 key questions designed to help you clarify the purpose of and goals for your lean programme. Doing this early on helps to set the tone for your journey and incorporate the fundamentals of lean in to your organisation from the get-go.
As you may know, the Lean philosophy of work has grown from two fundamentals: continuous Improvement and respect for people. In our experience, setting up and communicating a clear plan for your lean journey helps to establish the lean philosophy in your organisation by showing staff members that you are leading by example. This encourages teamwork among employees and strengthens their commitment to the project.
To guide our clients through this, St Andrews Lean Consulting developed a set of 40 questions that focus on WHY you want to embark on this Lean programme and what you hope to achieve. Over the years however, we have tweaked and added to this set of questions to improve its useful, and arrived at what is now affectionately known as the Big 60!
The Big 60 is broken down into 9 sections, each of which encourages the client to think about different aspect of their Lean journey. These sections are listed below, along with some example questions and answers:
Q: Why are we doing this? A: Financial stability, greater efficiency
Q: Where do we want to get to? A: All our processes Leaned, engagement of all staff in Lean
Q: How will the program be governed? A: The team should be autonomous, or the line-manager should be the Director of HR
Q: Are senior manager committed to the vision? A: Yes, or not yet but they will soon be completing Lean Management Training
Q: What is the link between this programme and the organisations strategic plan? A: To be included in the next strategic plan
Q: How do we develop a culture of continuous improvement? A: Understanding that continuous improvement is a way of life, providing regular Lean training / refreshers
Q: How will we create the team to deliver the programme? A: Ask other organisations what they did, or hire a consultant with Lean experience
Q: How will we develop Lean advocates for all staff? A: Constant visibility of the team, regular updates in staff meetings and newsletters
Q: What will the Lean team need? A: Workspace, equipment and software, regular access to senior management
Q: Who do we need to communicate with? A: Staff and stakeholders
Q: What do we need to communicate to them, and when? A: Announcement at the start of the Lean programme and regular updated throughout it
Q: How do we keep staff interested and engaged? A: Regular communication, ask for their suggestions
Q: Do we want to pilot on one area first? A: Yes – to be on the safe side, or no – a big roll out is best.
Q: How can we generate short-term wins? A: Choose a process with a low-budget solution
Q: How will we measure the impact of changes? A: Customer feedback, speed of new process, material savings
Q: What does ‘good’ look like? A: Reduction of financial costs, no complaints
Compiling the answers to the Big 60 questions (or as many of them is relevant to you!) is a great way to build a thorough overview of the purpose of your lean project and what you want to achieve.
This information then feeds in to unique eight-step approach to process improvement, and helps us facilitate your Lean Project efficiently. Throughout each of these eight stages there is a transfer of knowledge and experience of Lean, with the aim that all members of the project team will continue to implement Lean in their daily work. We’ve helped clients around the globe, from a variety of different sectors, achieve great results using this approach so if you think there is room for improvement in your processes, we would love to chat about how we can help!
Simply get in touch to take advantage of our current free one-hour consultation offer.