Lean Tools and Techniques

Lean Tools and Techniques

In this lesson, you’re expected to learn about the set of tools that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste, the improvement of quality, production time, and cost reduction.
The Six Steps of Kaizen

Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement. In the Lean world, Kaizen means a set of activities that involves people in continuously eliminating waste.

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The first two steps can be interpreted as identifying and evaluating the current (“AS-IS”) situation, while the third and fourth as defining and planning the future, desired (“TO-BE”) situation.
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a simple tool to understand the flow of material and information as a product/service has value added through the process.
VSM visually maps a product or service ‘production’ path from start to finish.

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• It records not only the direct activities of creating the product or service, but also the indirect information systems that support the direct process.

• It focuses on the value-adding activities, distinguishing it from waste.

Value Stream Mapping vs. Process Mapping

VSM differs from process mapping in the following ways:

• It usually uses a broader range of information.
• It is usually at a higher level (5-10 activities).
• It often has a wider scope, frequently spanning the entire supply chain.
• It can be used to identify where to focus future improvement activities.

Sketching a Value Stream Map

1) Do it yourself
• Gather your own data; don’t believe what is provided by others
• If you see it yourself, you understand it better
• Don’t divide the flow – you must understand the end-to-end activity

2) Use a pen
• Sketch out the flow as you go
• Modify on the fly
• Focus on the flow and inter-relationships, not on making it look nice

3) Review it quickly
• ’Walk’ through the process to get a sense of the flow and sequence

4) Detail the analysis
• Capture relevant process data as you go (e.g. cycle time, wait time, changeover time, number of people etc.)

International VSM Language
Enlarged version: http://bit.ly/2p96z5E
[Optional] What is a value stream map?
Watch this 7-minute introduction to VSM to learn more:
The VSM can then be used in process analysis, in order to identify waste.
1) Detect and analyze what adds value to the process.

2) Identify the non-value adding activities:
• small and repetitive activities
• flow interruptions
• necessary non-value adding activities
• unnecessary value adding activities

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Root Cause Analysis Tools

It’s important to find the real causes of waste, in order to be able to eliminate them permanently. Some root cause analysis tools are:
• Ishikawa
• 5 WHY
• 4W1H

1) Ishikawa Diagram

Using brainstorming, this tool brings a group into the factors that can cause a problem.
2) 5 WHY

The ‘Ask Why Five Times’ technique is helpful in delving into a problem to find its root cause.
3) 4W1H


Asking these five questions helps with putting the problem into context.

The 5S’s can be thought of as a set of housekeeping rules to organize work areas, focusing on visual order, organization, cleanliness, and standardization.
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• 5S helps to eliminate all types of waste relating to uncertainty, waiting, searching for relevant information etc.

• By eliminating what is unnecessary and making everything clear and predictable, clutter is reduced, needed items are always in the same place, and work is made easier and faster.

[Optional] 5S Methodology and Tips
Watch this 2-minute video by Lean Lab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gKJ3_Hm3dM
A non-exhaustive list of other tools used in Lean Manufacturing

1) SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Die): a methodology that aims at reducing changeover time.

2) Poka-Yokemistake proofing. This is an important technique that prevents avoidable errors from occurring.

3) Kanban: a methodology by which a customer process signals a supplying process to produce a product/service, when needed.

[Optional] Basic Overview of Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)
Watch this 1-minute video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoqra9bXAAg
[Optional] Poka-Yoke Examples in Daily Life
Watch this 2-minute video to see some examples of Poka-Yoke in Manufacturing and Automobiles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8GQvF004-Y
[Optional] Kanban: Toyota to Software Development
Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about Kanban:
[Optional] Formula 1 Pit Stops: 1950 & Today
Watch this 2-minute video to see how Formula 1 pit stops have become Lean:
Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp