Updated: Oct 7, 2019
Lean methodology provides a huge suite of tools, methods and process steps toward implementing a new process, or making changes to a process which is not efficient.
But what about those small tasks your team are performing, which are blazingly obvious that are not working, and you need to act quickly to make them better as a quick win?
PDCA. Its a method of tackling even the smallest of process steps, quickly, with results, using a small team of end users, and getting results back in a very short space of time.
For example, your customer satisfaction score has decreased in recent months. Looking at customers comments, they have highlighted issues with their prices on invoices being incorrect.
With PDCA you would typically run a small pilot for a month, using the improvement method of a secondary check of all invoices by a supervisor, to a small sample of customers (including those who highlighted issues). If this has solved the issue of incorrect pricing, you will want to continue with the secondary check method.
You may then want to investigate further the reasons for incorrect pricing, and hold a kaizen event or run a DMAIC project over a longer period of time, to focus on how to improve the pricing systematically.
Here are the steps to creating a PDCA plan and implementation.
1. Pick a tem
2. Establish a goal for improvement
3. Understand the ways of working. Read the process, then observe
4. Find a better sequence for the task - can you eliminate, combine, rearrange steps until the task takes less time?
5. Make the workplace easy
6. Find a great way to follow the task. Make it visual, clear, easy to follow, and error proof
7. Build consensus. Conduct trials so you can see the issues
8. Evaluate the test. Did it meet your intended goal? Are employees happy? What needs changing still?
9. Test your proposed way of working with only one customer, or administrator/end user.
10. Manage the new standard. Document simply, communicate the method, establish a monitoring system, preferably visibly in the office so all can see the progress
11. Train your new standard
12. Establish your new standard.
... so there is no reason for tackling even the smallest of issues now. Give PDCA a go. 12 steps can take you far...
Written by Bess, for Lean4U