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Information Integrity
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Lean Manufacturing Articles

Implementation of the Change Plan and Follow-Up

 

The project owner has responsibility for coordinating the implementation of the change plan, including col­lection and reporting of the performance measures. A regular check of the project's progress will maintain momentum and highlight unanticipated obstacles. Typically the owner calls the team together and reviews the status of assigned tasks and the process performance measures seven days after the Blitz event. Depending on the status of the tasks, additional checks are made 30 days, 90 days, and one year after implementation.

Why check on a year-old implementation? An anni­versary checkup on the project is useful for several rea­sons. One primary benefit is the team will inevitably see new opportunities for further improvements, creating a cycle of continuous improvement. Additionally, changes in requirements or available technology may have occurred during the year—adjusting annually will make the changes required smaller and easier to imple­ment. New people may have taken on roles within the process. It is helpful to determine if they have been cor­rectly trained to perform the required operations. The process may have lapsed back to the old way of doing things. This should not happen if management is moni­toring the performance measures. Sometimes the pro­cess has been performing so well that the measurement effort may get dropped so that other, more pressing needs may be met. In the meantime the target process may have reverted back but negative outcomes have not developed to the level of attention needed to act. An­other possible cause of reversion to old practices is un­anticipated obstacles not present when the team analyzed and improved the target process. Periodic re­view of the project results will help address these issues and sustain continuous improvement.

CONCLUSIONS

 

Significant gains in competitive advantage and cost management can be realized by focusing improvement efforts on the flow of data and information. This flow can be understood as an information supply chain andthe enterprise as an information factory. With this un­derstanding, concepts and principles developed for im­proving material flow can be applied to data and information flow.

Companies that invest the effort to streamline and simplify this flow will also reap the intended benefits from their information system investments. System re­quirements will be less complex. Software modifications will be fewer. The cost, schedule, and benefits of new information systems will all be improved.

The principles and techniques needed to achieve im­provements in information flow are the same as those applied to manufacturing processes. Using the approach information can be treated as if it were material. At Bear Creek Corporation the kaizen Blitzhas proven to be an effective method for causing rapid improvements in any targeted process.

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

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14


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