Military Plan

Military System Improvement Build Process

2 Year High-Level Plan (Microsoft Project Validated)


  1. Phase 1: *** Management Engagement, Staffing, and Set-up ***,
  2. Educate the Management Team on the System Improvement Process,
  3. Management Commitment. Benefit: Executive Buy-In and Commitment,
  4. Start a Business Office of Toyota Operational Excellence,
  5. Staff up with 3 Black and 2 Green Belts. Start this early because this will take time and is a Critical Success Factor,
  6. Start the build of your Business System “Guiding Principles”. This includes goals, and responsibilities designed to create an agile and robust company, if not currently existing. Start with Toyota as a guide.
  7. Phase 2: ***Value Stream Mapping***,
  8. Agree on Success Metrics,
  9. Use Value Stream Maps to Initiate Improvement Efforts, Benefits include:
    1. Profound Knowledge of each process in the Value Stream and then your system,
    2. Built-in performance metrics
    3. Allows Targeted Improvement Efforts
    4. Increase Value Stream and Process velocity,
    5. Decrease costs, and
    6. Increase quality.
  10. Educate employees on Waste, or activities a customer would not willingly pay for. Use the Lean Six Sigma acronym DOWNTIMES.
  11. Phase 3: *** Initiate Value Stream Improvement Efforts ***,
  12. Select the target Value Streams to improve
  13. Start the Project Charter Build for each Value Stream.
  14. Initiate the Mapping of Value Streams – Effort 1
  15. Initiate the Mapping of Value Streams – Effort 2
  16. Document and Promote the successes of targeting Value delivered to build project inertia,
  17. Initiate an Education and Instruction Program to increase improvement velocity,
  18. Select the mapped Value Streams to improve
  19. Initiate the Value Stream Improvement Effort,
  20. Consider building an Operational Excellence Website containing:
    1. Toyota Production System (TPS) overview
    2. TPS’s competitive advantages
    3. Lean Six Sigma tools
    4. Current Projects, and
    5. The checkbox of Future Projects planned
  21. Investigate the usefulness of crucial Lean Six Sigma tools,
  22. Phase 4: *** Major Strategic Phase ***,
  23. Phase 5: *** SDD – Standardize, Document, and Display. *** Standardize on Best Practices,
  24. Establish success metrics,
  25. Initiate a system-wide standardization effort,
  26. Publish Project Successes
  27. Phase 6: *** Improve Supply Chain Relationships ***,
  28. Supply Chain. Benefit: Bring them closer to meeting your requirements whether lower prices or Just-in-Time
  29. Align your Supply Chain into 6 tiers of partners,
    1. Tier 1: Critical and Just-in-Time,
    2. Tier 2: Critical and Just-in-Time possible,
    3. Tier 3: Critical but no Just-in-Time,
    4. Tier 4: Other suppliers that deliver Just-in-Time,
    5. Tier 5: Other suppliers Just-in-Time possible, and
    6. Tier 6: Other non-critical suppliers.
  30. Explore enhanced relationships with Tier 1,
  31. Include in contracts a constant demand for increased Sigma performance,
  32. Determine which Tier 2 Suppliers could move to Just-in-Time,
  33. Toyota uses 2 hours of inventory as their Just-in-Time requirement. Determine your optimal Just-in-Time requirements,
  34. Phase 7: *** Investigate Production Leveling Options. *** For instance, advertising may impact this,
  35. Phase 8: *** Determine areas of Flow potential. *** Utilize information from Value Streams.
  36. Establish success metrics,
  37. Investigate Value Stream Maps for Flow Potential
  38. Create Flow Where Possible.
  39. Publicise Success
  40. Phase 8: *** Start efforts to implement Kanban Pull around areas of Flow if it Makes Sense. ***
  41. Phase 10: *** Investigate andon solutions if Appropriate. *** andon means that you stop to fix a defect in a process or product when detected. Toyota still averages 800 a year. This helps create a Learning Organization,
  42. Establish the Metrics that demonstrate System Success,
  43. Phase 11: *** Initiate the Strategic Kata Continuous Improvement Effort, Educate Employees, & Select Value Stream Managers ***,
  44. Educate management on the process,
  45. Build the Kata structure for your system.
  46. Initiate build of Continuous Improvement Program by Selecting Your Improvement bogey, Toyota uses 6ms,
  47. Select Business VPs who benefit and care about improving their Value Stream,
  48. Select Value Stream Managers. It’s essential for future improvement that Value Streams have ownership. A Value Stream Manager would have additional time to perform other job functions such as managing other Value Streams or operational responsibilities,
  49. Select starting target Value Streams,
  50. Publish success results,
  51. Establish the Kata Metrics that demonstrate System Success,
  52. Phase 12 *** Future Actions ***
  53. Apply for a Baldrige Performance Excellence Award for Process Excellence,
  54. Phase n: *** Continue the path toward Greatness ***,
  55. (Optional, based on aggressiveness) Hire more Black and Green Belts. This will ramp up the improvement effort through your company, and
  56. Select additional critical and less critical Value Streams to map

Estimated Progress Milestones:

For example, at the rate of 5 Values Streams Mapped and Improved every 4 weeks you will have:

  • First Quarter: 9 Value Streams
  • Second Quarter: 24 Value Streams
  • Third Quarter: 39 Value Streams
  • Fourth Quarter: 54 Value Streams
  • Second Year: 114 Value Streams (or more if you continue to staff up)

Benefits of your new Production System:

  • Above all a Profound Knowledge of your Military System,
  • Operational Excellence (a competitive advantage),
  • Moreover increased Value Stream velocity,
  • Likewise decreased costs,
  • Improved integration with Suppliers,
  • Increased product/service quality and finally, and
  • Continued Improvement with a quest for Perfection

This is a big effort but unlike other projects, measurable benefits start within the second month. This effort will move your business to constantly change, create an improvement culture, and come with Performance Metrics. Your military is undoubtedly now on its way to excellence.