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  © by Felix W. Niederhauser

We at MORA International Consulting Services are very proud to introduce our associate: Felix W. Niederhauser. He is our representative in the European Community. Please click here to read more about him.

Based on our research of successful large organization change, several elements are critical to achieve quick results, while attaining lasting transformation. A prerequisite for successful Lean Manufacturing Implementation is for the company to take steps to ensure adequate time, resources, and support are provided for the proposed actions and follow-up. From our implementation experience we know that without taking steps to integrate the change initiative with the business plan, the company risks acquiring the view that these efforts are not essential to the core business, and therefore of secondary importance.

In short, the entire effort in your Lean Manufacturing Implementation project may fail if the top management team does not give the actions appropriate priority and resources, and see them as integral to the success of the business.

A successful and rapid transformation to a Lean Manufacturing Implementation enterprise-wide requires:

·         Leadership education and planning

·         Leadership team support

·         Lean enterprise steering teams (Steering committee & Task force)

·         Rapid Improvement Workshop (Kaizen Blitz or Kaizen Events) leader development

·         Lean principles and 5S education for all associates

·         Model line implementation

·         Teamwork, Problem Solving, 5S & Lean Principles Education of All Associates

·         Management Development and Succession Planning

·         Performance Management and Measurement

 The following recommendations are made to ensure appropriate and effective deployment of a Lean Manufacturing strategy, and use of the RI methodology within the whole Corporation:

Please see also sample project plan.


1.       Leadership Education, The entire management team needs a baseline of understanding , which develops a common language and framework for planning Lean Manufacturing Implementation and support.


2.        Leadership Team SupportThe management team, at every level of the organization, must be aligned around the Lean Manufacturing Implementation purpose and aware of the importance of successful implementation of the change initiatives. This group would include the executive team, departmental, and first-line leadership, down to the shop and office floor level. The initiative should be reflected in their operating plans and performance reviews at the individual and team level. The change efforts cannot be seen as something other than their real jobs. This is key to gaining overall organizational alignment around the Strategy.


3.        Lean Enterprise Steering TeamThis team would be responsible to provide support in the planning, resourcing, implementation, and follow-up accountability for implementation. The steering team is often identical to the normal line management team. The internal resources and external consultants would provide consulting support to the team. This infrastructure would resolve inter-departmental issues. The steering team would be responsible for:

·         Aligning Lean Enterprise efforts to the overall business objectives

·         Determining sequence and timing of the Lean Manufacturing Implementation Roll out, including involvement, responsibility, and accountability for each of them and the Team as a whole.

·         Workshop leaders roles and responsibilities

·         Follow-up plans and executive audits

·         Communication and sharing of best practices

·         Using rewards and recognition to reinforce the Lean Manufacturing Implementation Team's accomplishments and behaviors


4.       Lean Enterprise Task Force This “Lean Manufacturing Implementation project team” would be the key coordination point for managing and deploying resources to effect the lean transformation across the enterprise. The departmental-shared resources would report directly to an company senior executive from the Steering Team—the Lean Enterprise champion. This gives the organization a clear understanding of how important this is, and that sub-optimization between departments is not an option.


5.        Rapid Improvement Workshop Leader Development These leaders will be trained to plan and conduct RI workshop events, future process improvement efforts, and provide general education to employees. They will be capable of leading events, but not training other leaders.


6.        Train the Trainer Rapid Improvement Workshop Leader DevelopmentThese leaders will be recruited from the formerly trained RI-Workshop leaders and will be further trained to educate other company RI-Workshop leaders to secure the consequent roll - out through out the BU. They will guarantee the future process improvement efforts, which build the Lean Manufacturing Implementation, they will be a important part of the future CPI (Continues Process Improvement). They will be capable and authorized of leading lean events, training and educating RIW-Leaders and to certify.


7.       Lean Model Line Implementation A lean model line provides a highly refined example of lean principles that can be used as an internal benchmark. The steering team should identify an important production line from suppliers to customers that will be the focus of repeated workshops and other activity. The Model Lean Manufacturing Implementation line addresses operational factors, and those related to people systems, information systems, management systems, customer focus, and supplier development.


8.        Teamwork, Problem Solving, 5S & Lean Principles Education of All AssociatesAll associates should receive a baseline exposure to Lean thinking and the corporate change initiative so they understand the changes they see going on around them, and the invitations they may receive to participate in events. They should understand and be prepared to apply the basic elements of teamwork, problem solving, using Just-in-Time system as a reliable method for rapidly implementing improvements in daily work processes. This includes setting explicit expectations of all company associates to apply standardized, reliable Lean Manufacturing Implementation methods and tools to conduct their daily work, and do so with the “spirit of improvement”. This includes a broad-based plan to implement 5S (visual workplace organization) company-wide, as a means to start everyone on the “Lean” journey, while forging ahead in targeted areas with the use of RI workshops.



9.       Management Development and Succession Planning A clear Assessment of the current management team’s style, strengths, and tendencies helps lay the baseline for building a management development plan. The Lean Manufacturing Implementation Plan addresses additional skills that are needed for the entire team and individuals. This process facilitates the preparation of a succession plan that addresses the needs of the company to build the next generation of leadership.


10.     Performance Management and MeasurementThe entire new Business Unit needs to be reinforced and aligned by the performance management and measurement system, assuring a balanced, focused view of the Lean Manufacturing Implementation Plan of the entire enterprise. This system deploys measures such as: customer satisfaction, shareholder value, quality, cost, delivery, safety, morale (internal customer satisfaction), etc. This is an important element of building a system that is aligned from the top-level strategies down to the process-level


11.    Simulation Workshops for external customers and suppliers - Ultimately, the Lean Manufacturing Implementation initiative would call for a third dimension -, your customers and suppliers! In order to allow your CPI to further develop, you would need suppliers who are like your customers (i.e. Boeing) ready to accept the principles of Kaizen and all other Just in Time (JIT) principles.Besides you have a chance to show your ustomers and suppliers how advanced you are in your management methods and style.

Customers Commitment

Steering Committee

·         Personal commitment and involvement

·         Personally champion the improvement initiative

·         Integrate into business plans and other initiatives

·         Establish plan and schedule

·         Review progress monthly as part of regular business review

·         Actively support the Lean Manufacturing Implementation model line

·         Visit model line sites

·         Walk through workshop areas and insist follow-up action items be completed

·         Address system issues

·         Align with business objectives

·         Set priorities

·         Allocate resources

·         Maintain improvements

·         Communication and education

Customer Company, Sample City, 00123 
Universe / Support Resources

Task Force 

·         Conduct workshops

·     Assist in development of site implementation plan

·     Perform site analysis and assessments

·     Assist in development of a model line

·     Coach and counsel site management

·           Identify company-wide issues requiring senior management resolution


Implementation of Lean Management methods 


·         Factory analysis

·         Create visual examples of how lean techniques work as an integrated system

·         Achieve economical one-piece flow from receipt to shipment

·         Understand and quantify product families

·         Develop draft of overall factory layout

·         Surface system issues for resolution

·         Stress the system identifying weak points

·         Act as an example of the process and thinking required for replication

·         Develop internal workshop leaders to run future RI workshop events, and to support future line deployments


Detailed Tasks

Boundaries: begin with engineering and bill of materials is complete, and end with product packaged and ready to ship

·         Selection of team that will guide the initial model line

·         Conduct group technology and parts quantity analysis to quantify how products will be grouped and use of equipment

·         Draft of the overall factory layout as a guide for future model lines and RI workshops

·         Review of model line plans and approved by site management

·         Education of area personnel on the lean manufacturing principles and techniques

·         Conduct RI workshops, problem solving, and project tasks to achieve model line goals within a 120 day period . (September till December)



Intended Outcomes: 

·         Product families identified

·         2x improvement in 120 days

·         Working model of one-piece flow

·         Quantification of system issues

·         Overall factory layout

·         Methodology and internal skills developed for replication across factory

Consultant should be on site for the following:

·         Team selection and Kick-off

·         Group Technology and Parts Quantity analysis

·         Factory layout design

·         Implementation education and technical support for the project team, RI Workshop, and other technical implementation.


Implementation Plan Expansion



·         With the use of internal resources, and external guidance, expand the learning developed from the model to other parts of the business, product line-by-product line, factory by factory. The desired state of the business is a fully integrated international lean enterprise throughout the whole company.

·         This will extend the Lean Manufacturing Implementation Plan down into your customers, and back into your suppliers, making value flow while endlessly pursuing waste. 

·         Senior Management Improvement Prioritization Workshop

·         Five-day Train-the-Trainer Workshop to prepare internal resources to teach Introduction to Lean, Team Skills, Problem Solving to the entire workforce.  

·         Site license


Simulation Workshops


·         Make customers and suppliers aware of this powerful tool.

·         Show them how important they are to you

·         To understand the technical content needed for Rapid Improvement.


Stop & Go

In order to give the customer a fair chance to revise his decision’s according to the progress and the  quality of the services received by the consultant, there are several “stop & go” decision points, at which the Customer can make decision’s.




Please see also the
Sample Project Plan
and the
Assessment Questionnaire !



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