LEAN SIX SIGMA WORLD CONFERENCE
I Brought Plenty of Pink Post-It Notes: Lessons Learned From Facilitating Kaizen Events
Presenter: Tom Lease, Staff Chief Engineer, Northrop Grumman, Linthicum, MD, USA
Keywords: Kaizen, Facilitation, Waste
Kaizen is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer. When mapping the current state, it is common to have a series of ideas, comments, and suggestions about “problems” with the current state; that is, the Kaizen Bursts or the “Aha!” moments. Having facilitated more than a dozen Kaizen events since 2017, there are many lessons learned that can be used to help facilitate future events. The Kaizen events covered different areas from manufacturing to the proposal submission process to health & safety. For every event, diverse teams were formed to perform a critical assessment of the current state for each area so that improvements could be realized in the future state. Expectations were identified at the beginning of each event which helped guide the teams through the Kaizen process. Problems and assumptions were documented all in an effort to identify the “Aha!” moments. Affinity mapping was then used to consolidate large quantities of Kaizens in the current state and to look for the biggest contributors to waste. This presentation will share the lessons learned from facilitating these Kaizen events as well as other useful information about this lean-management method to help fix “Aha” moments and how to better facilitate future Kaizen events.