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  The Strength of Following Up,  
Prevent Failure of your Lean Efforts!

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All the training is useless. All the efforts get lost. Improvements do not stay in place. People get discouraged. The morale is diminished. Progress does not consolidate. 

All these and more calamities as a result of – Not Following Up! 

Why do we not follow up? We simply do not seem to have that habit! That is perhaps one of the most important aspects that we will have to incorporate in the new culture. As I have said many times and will keep saying; TPM and all the other Lean Practices are cultural, more than technical.

Acquiring the habit of following up on our projects, whatever the size of them, will create permanent results. If we do it on purpose for a few weeks, we will form the habit.  Then it will be a part of our new way of conducting business. 

When we finish a Kaizen, the real improvement has just begun. It is like a newborn, a little defenseless creature. If we just take it for granted that the creature is alive and abandon it, what will happen to it? You know the answer. You will have wasted an opportunity for real progress.

A few months ago I had the privilege of working with a company that has a perfect structure to this regard. We had a very successful Kaizen event with multi-million potential results, and it is still alive! It is not by chance that it is succeeding and spreading success to other areas in the plant. They are aware of the tremendous power of Following Up!

This company has an excellent full time Continuous Improvement Manager. She has maintained the high level of involvement with the team and the team has bonded in such a way that they are really enjoying each step of the success. Not only that, they are already enthusiastically helping other areas to become involved in setup improvements. The results in the long run will be exponential. 

The secret is Not To put someone in charge of the Follow-Up action, but have the whole team involved in a project, "own it" and "be proud of it." They will self-audit, and make sure improvements not only stay, but keep improving. That is what Kaizen is All about!

That is the kind of structure that we all have to procure and facilitate in our businesses. Whatever you are doing, have the right people be in charge of the follow up; make sure their ideas take the right shape and become reality. This is particularly important when we are bringing into play revolutionary ideas such as TPM or Lean Manufacturing. 

Follow Up, and enjoy the results!

 

Please also read: Sustainability Again! That 5th "S"

 

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