The book, Flow in the Office: Implementing and Sustaining Lean Improvements, is a how-to guide for conducting a successful office kaizen workshop.
The book addresses how to:
• Spot "invisible" office waste
• Handle improvements that involve computing systems.
• Move step-by-step through the office kaizen process.
Here's a detailed outline of what's in the book:
Chapter 1: The Case for Lean in the Office
If you automate a wasteful process, what you end up with is automated waste. Computers are found everywhere in non-factory environments, but they are only as effective as the processes set in place to facilitate their use. This book documents a method to improve processes, whether they involve computers or not, in office environments. You can have a Lean office.
• Lean works in a broad range of service industries and many types of office work.
• How Lean defines value and value-added.
Chapter 2: Finding Waste in the Office, So You Can Eliminate It
Eliminating waste allows value to flow with higher speed and quality through the business process. This idea is central to the Lean office approach. Waste is anything that does not add value to a product or service. Simply put, it is anything for which the customer would not be willing to pay. Some forms of waste appear obvious; others may be latent or intangible.
• What exactly is waste?
• The four categories of waste, how to find them, and suggestions for what to do about them
- ◦ Information waste
◦ Process waste
◦ Waste in the physical environment
◦ People waste (i.e., inefficiencies in how people work)
Chapter 3: Eleven Methods of Discovering and Optimizing Value in the Office
Office processes account for up to 80% of the lead-time in many manufacturing and service industries. The results of waste in the office — such as delayed response to customer orders or incorrect accounting — can be costly and often devastating. Thus, purging the office of wastes hastens the journey toward the Lean office: cost-effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
- Applying 5S in the information domain
- Visual controls
- Continuous flow
- Mistake proofing
- Standard operations
- Takt time
- Workload leveling
- Work cells
- Lean success stories
Chapter 4: Mapping the Value Stream in the Office
Value-stream mapping provides a unifying plan that helps focus your Lean office efforts on the process issues that most impact your organization?s strategic intentions. Implementing the Lean office requires investment and organizational commitment. Expending these resources and energy in a haphazard manner without a clear sense of direction is wasteful and counterproductive.
- What is value-stream mapping?
- Why map the value stream?
- Who should be on the value-stream mapping team?
Chapter 5: Preparing for a Kaizen in the Office
In any intervention, adequate preparation is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome. This chapter discusses, in detail, the five preparatory activities that help enhance the success of your Lean office kaizen event. Those activities, listed below, are discussed in detail.
- evaluating the situation
- developing a charter
- gathering data
- updating the charter
- planning for the kaizen
Chapter 6: Conducting a Kaizen in the Office
With the preparation in place, you are now ready to have a kaizen in the office. From the beginning kickoff to the final report-out, kaizen workshops can be exciting and productive for everyone involved. No matter what the outcome, it is a valuable learning experience and an opportunity for team development. Sections in this chapter include:
- The kickoff
- Just-in-time training
- Build a workflow chart
- Go on a process walk
- Add data to the process flow
- Analyze the workflow
- Generate possible solutions
- Simulate the solutions
- Prioritize your solutions
- Select and implement the solutions
- Report on your progress
Chapter 7: Sustaining Office Kaizen Improvements
Sustaining and building on office kaizen improvements needs a support system. Because kaizen stands for continuous incremental improvement, sustaining the changes on a continual basis is at the heart of the kaizen philosophy — and the Lean office.
Schedule "1-2-3 Reports"
Conduct regular stand-up meeting for the kaizen implementation team
Document the new standard process
Standardize and implement a status reporting system
Implement communication and training to support the changes
Get feedback, and act on it!
Integrate kaizen improvements into your strategic framework
The impact of sustaining office kaizen improvements
The importance of people in sustaining Lean
The impact of the change on people
Author: Productivity Press Development Team
Published: Oct 25, 2007