System Improvement Plan

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 an Office of 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 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. Improve the performance of each Value Stream. For example, value Streams include every process between customer order and customer delivery. Value Stream performance is important, not Process performance. Value Streams move your system to create a focal point on Value Delivery.
  10. Use Value Stream Maps to Initiate Improvement Efforts. Benefit: Generate and Promote Measurable Benefits with Profound Knowledge of your Processes,
  11. Select Improvement Projects: (Your System is comprised of Value Streams). Map Value Streams on critical systems and poor-performing systems. Benefits include:
    1. Profound Knowledge of each process in the Value Stream and then your system,
    2. Built-in performance metrics
      1. Increase Value Stream and Process velocity,
      2. Decrease costs, and
      3. Increase quality.
  12. Build Project Charters. This provides much-needed direction and project management guidance,
  13. Educate employees on Waste, or activities a customer would not willingly pay for. Use the Lean Six Sigma acronym DOWNTIMES.
  14. Phase 3: *** Initiate Value Stream Improvement Efforts ***,
  15. Initiate the Mapping of Value Streams, if not already existing.
  16. Document and Promote the successes of targeting Value delivered and building project inertia,
  17. Initiate an Education and Instruction Program to increase improvement velocity,
  18. Select the target Value Streams to improve
  19. Start the Project Charter Build for each Value Stream. This provides much-needed direction and project management guidance,
  20. Investigate the usefulness of crucial Lean Six Sigma tools,
  21. Phase 4: *** 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,
    5. The checkbox of Future Projects planned.
  22. Phase 5: *** Major Strategic Phase ***,
  23. Phase 6: *** SDD – Standardize, Document, and Display ***. Standardize on Best Practices,
  24. Establish success metrics,
  25. Initiate a system-wide standardization effort,
  26. Phase 7: *** Investigate Production Leveling Options ***. This may or may not work for you,
  27. Phase 8: *** Determine areas of Flow potential ***. Start the process of rearranging activities.
  28. Establish success metrics,
  29. Phase 9: *** Start efforts to implement Kanban Pull around areas of Flow. ***
  30. Phase 10: *** Investigate andon solutions ***. 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,
  31. Above all, Establish the Metrics that demonstrate System Success,
  32. Phase 11: *** Initiate the Strategic Kata Continuous Improvement Effort, Educate Employees, & Select Value Stream Managers ***,
  33. Build the Kata structure for your system. One Black Belt,
  34. Educate management on the process,
  35. Initiate build of Continuous Improvement Program by SelectingYour Improvement bogey, Toyota uses 6ms,
  36. Select a Business VP who benefits and cares about improving a Value Stream,
  37. 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,
  38. Select starting target Value Streams,
  39. Publish success results,
  40. Phase 12: *** Validate Milestones, Improve Supply Chain Relationships ***,
  41. Therefore an Estimated Progress Milestone: At the end of the first quarter, you will have put in place all the parts needed to optimize the implementation of your Production System. Value Streams are Mapped and Improved. The next steps accelerate your march forward,
  42. Supply Chain. Benefit: Bring them closer to meeting your requirements whether lower prices or Just-in-Time
  43. 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.
  44. Explore enhanced relationships with Tier 1,
  45. Include in contracts a constant demand for increased Sigma performance,
  46. Determine which Tier 2 Suppliers could move to Just-in-Time,
  47. Toyota uses 2 hours of inventory as their Just-in-Time requirement. Determine your optimal Just-in-Time requirements,
  48. ***Phase 13*** Future Actions
  49. Apply for a Baldrige Performance Excellence Award for Process Excellence,
  50. Phase n: *** Continue the path toward Greatness ***,
  51. (Optional, based on aggressiveness) Hire more Black and Green Belts. This will ramp up the improvement effort through your company, and
  52. Select additional critical and less critical Value Streams to map

Estimated Progress Milestones:

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 System:

  • Profound Knowledge of your System
  • Operational Excellence (a competitive advantage)
  • Increased Value Stream velocity
  • Decreased costs
  • Improved product/service quality
  • Above all, Continued Improvement with a quest for Perfection

In Conclusion

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