Exploring approaches how to measure a lean processChrister Österman
, Anders Fundin
, 2014, original scientific article
Abstract: Purpose:The purpose of the research is to explore a practical method of measuring the implementation of lean in a process. The method will be based on examining the abilities of a group. At this scale the ability to work standardized and solve problems is important. These two abilities are dependent of each other and are fundamental for the group's ability to create a stable result. In this context the method of standardized work (SW) is define to be the methods used in a process to generate stable results. Problem solving (PS) is defined as the methods used to return a process to a condition where SW is possible.
Methodology /approach: The research is conducted in a multiple case study in four large global manufacturing companies. The order of the data collection is: Firstly, interviews with the individuals that are centrally responsible for overall implementation of lean in the organization. Secondly, observe the implementation of SW and PS at the group level. In total 7 groups have been studied and 19 respondents interviewed.
Findings: Results show that the central definition of the methods for standardized work does not by itself have a direct impact on success of implementation of SW at group level. The method of SW where similar on a general level in the different cases, but with varying levels of implementation at group level was applied. Results also show that key factors for a successful implementation of standardized work on group level are: Ownership of the process, Direct connection to result of process, Correct workload and Leader demand. Methods of PS at group level where dissimilar despite a superficially similar approach. The evaluation method used was successful in providing comparable results between the cases.
Research limitations: A limitation of this research is within the scale of the measurement, as it only examines the group level. The research is further limited to four companies and seven groups.
Originality/value of paper: This paper aims to fill a gap in the established measurement methods of lean, as it examines the abilities of SW and PS at the group level of a process. These abilities are often referred to as essential in lean theory. However, there has been little scholarly work in defining the methods of SW and PS or the key factors affecting the methods at an operational level.
Keywords: lean, performance measures, problem solving, standardized work, stability
Published: 30.11.2017; Views: 192; Downloads: 77
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