Monday, February 27, 2012
By: Steven Bell & Michael Orzen
Information Technology is supposed to enable business performance and innovation, improve service levels, manage change, and maintain quality and stability, all while steadily reducing operating costs. Yet when an enterprise begins a Lean transformation, too often the IT department is either left out or viewed as an obstacle. What is to be done? This book shares practical tips, examples, and case studies to help you establish a culture of continuous improvement to deliver IT operational excellence and business value to your organization.
By: Adam Zak and William Waddell
Detailing the role of senior management in achieving a successful transformation to organizational excellence, Simple Excellence: Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation charts a course of simplification through the complexity often associated with managing performance improvement initiatives. It spells out the roles of key individuals on the management team—including those from sales and marketing, human resources, purchasing/supply chain, information technology, finance, and engineering.
The Toyota Production System is a paradox. On the one hand, every activity, connection, and production flow in a Toyota factory is rigidly scripted. Yet at the same time, Toyota's operations are enormously flexible and responsive to customer demand. How can that be? After an extensive four-year study of the system in more than 40 plants, the authors came to understand that at Toyota it's the very rigidity of the operations that makes the flexibility possible.
Lean operating principles began in manufacturing environments and are known by a variety of synonyms; Lean Manufacturing, Lean Production, Toyota Production System, etc. It is commonly believed that Lean started in Japan (Toyota, specifically), but Henry Ford had been using parts of Lean as early as the 1920's.
The goal of lean production is described as "to get the right things to the right place at the right time, the first time, while minimizing waste and being open to change.
Lean manufacturing is based on 5 Lean Principles:
The key element in Lean is to shorten the time from customer order to bank payment. This is achieved by identifying and eliminating waste. In a conventional supply chain and in individual businesses, there are potentially huge amounts of different wastes, known as "The 7 Wastes".
- Specify what creates value from the customers perspective
- Identify all the steps along the process chain
- Make those processes flow
- Make only what is pulled by the customer
- Strive for perfection by continually removing wastes