How to Deploy a Successful Lean Training Initiative

Lean training is one of the most important aspects of a successful continuous improvement transformation. By understanding how to implement Lean you can ensure that your training is successful and your people are able to continuously improve. But what are the secrets to successful lean training?

1: Develop Continual Improvement in Your People

2: Use Experienced Lean Trainers

3: Train on the Job Whenever Possible

4: Train Managers and Supervisors First

5: Make Lean Training Practical, Fun and Engaging

6: Reinforce Training with Ongoing Support and Real Life Application

7. Ensure there is Correct Sponsorship at All Levels and Ownership

In order to be successful with lean training, it is important to understand the different components that make up the lean process. Three key components are Lean Manufacturing, Lean Processes, and Lean Thinking. Lean Manufacturing is the foundation of lean and it focuses on creating efficient, high-quality products. Lean Processes is a methodology used to improve the efficiency of a manufacturing operation by identifying and eliminating waste. Lean Thinking is a philosophy that focuses on solving problems using rational thought and problem solving techniques.

What Lean tools should I train my people in?

When it comes to Lean training, there are a few key tools that should be included in any organisation’s toolkit. The first is building foundation knowledge of Waste Reduction  (WR), which is a core continuous improvement principle that encourages organisations to reduce the amount of waste they produce. The second is Process Mapping (PM), which is a method for mapping out a process and identifying where waste and inefficiencies are occurring. The third is Visual Management (VM), which is a tool to identify and communicate the status of work in progress and to track changes to work processes. The fourth is 5s which  is a way of organising work that eliminates waste and promotes efficiency. 

Once the foundational knowledge and tools are in place, the next stage is to begin working on real projects using problem solving tools, such as 5Ys, Fishbone, and RCA. Once an organisation has a good understanding of problem solving, they can move on to project scoping using the A3 methadology of PDCA, plan, do, check, and act and then drive standardisation through standardised work practices. Most importantly it should then be a focus on sustainability. 

How do I ensure that Lean Training sticks and it is sustainable?

There are a few key things that you can do to ensure that business improvement training sticks:

1. Make sure that the training is tailored to the needs of both the individuals and organisation

2. Make sure that the training is interactive and engaging.

3. Make sure that the training is ongoing and consistent.

4. Don’t do it over a short, intense period but over a longer period in a learn and apply methodology

5. Engage the people in identifying process and solutions so there is ownership and engagement

6. Identify champions to support, coach and mentor across the organisation 

Can I implement Lean with a small budget or do I need to train everyone?

There are different models you can look at. The most effective and shortest timeframe to achieving operational excellence is a full investment in developing the skills of everyone across the organisation but if budget is constrained, another model is to look at developing internal trainers and coaches who, with the support of a consultant, can assist in rolling out the training across the organisation. 

lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing