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Team Selection and Development

Once a process is targeted, designate a project owner who will manage the planning, execution, and implementation of process changes. Establishing accountability for results in the beginning will ensure follow-through of the project. The owner should have a vested interest in achieving a positive outcome. If resources are required to implement changes, the owner's commitment and understanding are essential.

The improvement team is best composed of key in­dividuals who are intimately familiar with the existing process to be improved—the people who perform the business processes—as well as representatives from the internal suppliers and customers of the process. Repre­sentatives from supporting functions such as informa­tion services, human resources, or finance may also play a key role. The team members and the process owner must be empowered and competent to make change in the target process.

A well-trained project facilitator, if available inter­nally, or experienced consultant if not, can significantly increase the success rate of improvement teams. The facilitator should, as a minimum, provide basic train­ing in structured problem-solving techniques to team members. Data gathering and analysis tools and tech­niques can be taught to the team as needed. The facili­tator must be able to recognize what tools the team needs and quickly communicate how to use tools when they are needed. Facilitators must focus on the team's problem-solving process and NOT the problem itself. Avoid appointing the project owner as facilitator. This will minimize bias for particular solutions and broaden the range of possible improvement ideas.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14


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