KAIZEN and Waste reduction
The value stream is the specific activities required to provide your product or service. Activities that may help with this are kaizen and 5S activities, and also a waste walk.
It is these consistent continual activities that allow for the minimization elimination of waste in your systems.
Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen are all improvement methodologies which can help you eliminate waste. They vary in application but all help with providing the framework for improvement of processes.
Lean and Six Sigma are longer duration endeavors. Kaizen is more a continuous improvement mindset as opposed to a specific tool. Kaizen uses personal creativity and ingenuity to identify problems and then develop and implement ideas to solve the problems. The best method is whichever method you find is appropriate for your improvement
There are instances where Lean principles are most appropriate, others where Six Sigma is the best fit, and still more where Kaizen is the best application.
Kaizen most often used in the business environment because it is an intensive burst of business process improvement.
- A Kaizen event usually lasts anywhere from ½ a day to 5 days in duration.
- All stakeholders with a vested interest in the improvement attend the Kaizen event.
- It must have clearly defined objectives such as:
- Reduce costs by 20%
- Reduce waste by 50%
- Reduce cycle time of the process by 40%
As you perform your kaizen events you will evaluate process flow and utilization to identify waste and constraints by analyzing work in progress (WIP), work in queue (WIQ), touch time, takt time, cycle time, throughput, etc.
You will eliminate and standardize the work by developing or doing the following:
Value stream maps show the “value stream” of a process and allow project teams to visualize a processes. Value stream mapping is used to identify major sources of non-value added time in a value stream.
Flowcharts show the steps in a process from start to finish.
Procedures are documents (instructions) that specify how a process is to be carried out. They may also indicate standard operating procedures.
Work instructions specify the steps that need to occur for tasks in a process.
Spaghetti diagrams identify potential improvements to a physical layout to remove unnecessary movement or bottlenecks. Spaghetti diagrams are primarily used for lean manufacturing in production facilities.
A flow Diagram using the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Value Stream Mapping can identify “lean” areas where waste occurs and efficiency can be gained. CPM visually models the activities and events of a project as a network. Activities are nodes or stops on a network and events that signify the beginning or ending of activities. CPM provides the following benefits:
Shows the time required to complete the project
Specifies the individual activities
Shows a graphical view of the project
Determine the sequence of the activities
Illustrates the precedence and interrelations of each activity
Identify the critical path
Waste and Wastes always cost your company money and time.