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About this lesson
The Lean Manufacturing methodology seeks to reduce and ultimately eliminate waste within a process. It applies a five part approach and uses flow control as the optimizing principle for the process.
When to use
The Lean Manufacturing methodology is excellent for business process analysis. Despite the name it can apply to any business process, not just manufacturing. If a process is slow, wasteful and inefficient, strongly consider using the Lean Manufacturing approach.
The Lean Manufacturing methodology has several key principles that are embodied within it. These principles were tested and proven at Toyota on the manufacturing product lines.
The key principle is the elimination of waste. The measures of process throughput and the value-added effort are two of the foundational measures used. Both of those are focused on efficient flow through the process. Lean manufacturing relies on five elements in the analysis process to identify and eliminate the waste. Those five are Value, Value Stream Map, Flow, Pull and Perfection.
Another key principle associated with Lean is visual control. This applies both to the analysis and the recommended improvements. From an analysis stand point, Lean creates a value stream map. This is a specialized process map that zeros in on the steps that are adding value and those that are not. The map is first created and validated for the “As-Is” condition. The map is then used to both analyze potential changes and to document the actual improvements to the process. Most of the Lean analysis occurs on the value stream map based upon the data collected for each step.
Visual control is also a key principle for the change. Lean recommends that processes be redesigned so that only value added steps are needed. Each of those steps is further designed to fit within the pulse rate, or TAKT time, of the process. Finally, visual scheduling approaches are recommended by Lean so that the process operators and supervisors can instantly know what they should be working on at any moment.
Hints & tips
- The Value Stream Map is the key to understanding the process flow and identifying waste to eliminate. Make sure your map is complete and correct.
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