It’s been a while since we’ve written about our Lean Journey, but it is progressing smoothly. So far we’ve covered Value Stream Mapping, creating a Future State Map, testing those plans and replicating those positive outcomes in other business units. Today we’d like to talk about the eight forms of waste.
In order for Lean initiatives to truly take hold, you must identify and eliminate waste. Almost all our Minnesota-based managers and supervisors have participated in “Sustain the Gains” Lean workshops. During these workshops, the teams learned to become more aware of eight forms of waste:
- wasted motion
- underutilized creativity
To help eliminate this waste, operations leaders are building “Continuous Improvement (CI) Walks” into their work routines. These leaders use CI Walks as an opportunity to engage their teams to help identify sources of waste, and then involve their teams in determining how to eliminate or avoid the waste. These continuous improvement efforts are helping us build a “culture of constant challenge” in which no issue is glossed over and we work continuously at improving operations.
Empowering our employees to tackle waste in all its forms makes us a stronger organization and will show clear results for our internal and external customers in 2011. Stay tuned as we continue to provide updates on the results of our Lean Journey.
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