Method support

Lean methods can provide valuable support to the improvement work and they can bring fairly fast results within limited areas. Part Development can support you with the right method at the right time. In addition to supporting you apply a certain method; we will always help explaining why it is needed.

Slider
The 5S method
The A3 method
The 5 Why method
Rapid Plant Assessment (RPA)
Visible planning (VP)
SMED
Value stream mapping (VSM) & Swimlane
Other needs?
The 5S method

The 5S method is about creating a well-organized and functional workplace by ensuring that everything is in the right place and ready for use. Successful implementation of 5S will reduce a lot of waste such as looking for tools, materials, documents, information, etc. In addition, the 5S method will contribute to more predictable processes and flows.

We can support you to succeed with 5S and attain results that are sustainable in the long term. The starting point is to make people understand why a well-organized and functional workplace is important to the operation. This understanding is created through training in the participants’ own operation, in combination with theory and a simulation exercise that is a great eye-opener.

The A3 method

The A3 method aims at creating structure, communication, and learning in the improvement work. It works for all forms of improvement work. The method’s name refers to the paper size A3, which should be a big enough space to contain a complete description of a certain improvement. The A3 method contributes to ensuring that all four phases of the problem-solving method PDCA are properly completed.

It could be wise to rely on experienced support to ensure that you get started with the A3 method in the right way. We can support you in making the A3 method a natural part of your improvement work. It is a way of promoting your future improvement work’s ability to solve the right problems in the right way.

The 5 Why method

The 5 Why method aims at analyzing a deviation to find its actual cause, the so-called root cause. The ability to find the root cause of a deviation is crucial in effective improvement work.

The 5 Why method is simple in theory, but difficult in practice. It involves asking the question Why to the process (not the individual) until you cannot come up with more questions. Asking five Why questions is a benchmark in this context. Another crucial part of the 5 Why method is that the deviation to be analyzed must be properly described. Therefore, part of the 5 Why training covers the art of describing deviations in a way that they are specific.

We can provide you with a 5 Why training that is a mix of theory and experience-based support to the participants’ own practical analyses of your deviations.

Rapid Plant Assessment (RPA)

Rapid Plant Assessment (RPA) is a method to perform a brief analysis of an operation. It could be any kind of operation, i.e. not only plants. The method provides a quantitative result as well as concrete improvement proposals.

The method starts with the assessment team having a minor Lean training to harmonize their Lean knowledge. The next step is to gather facts by studying ongoing work and talking to the personnel about their work and operation. Given this input, the assessment team performs a common analysis based on the method’s standard templates. The method is concluded by a presentation of results to the personnel in the analyzed operation.

We can support you in performing the RPA method. In addition to leading you through the analysis, we can provide the Lean training and a training of the RPA method in itself.

Visible planning (VP)

Visible planning (VP) is a method to visualize planning of distinct work activities and to follow up progress based on what was planned. Therefore, it provides a suitable structure for pulse meetings in administration, product development, projects, etc. The structure contributes to commitment, provides an overview of ongoing work, and facilitates the detection of deviations.

We can support you in creating a structure for Visible planning based on your needs and conditions. We use a mix of theory and practice to make sure the structure is well understood and established in the organization.

SMED

SMED (Single-digit Minute Exchange of Die) is a method for setup time reduction in machines and equipment. Shorter setup times enables a choice to either produce more in the equipment, or to reduce batch sizes and consequently produce each part more frequently. Reducing batch sizes can significantly improve the ability to deliver the right product, in the right amount, and in the right time. In addition, it contributes to reduced inventory levels and thus shorter lead times. Reducing lead time is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste in a flow.

We can support you in reducing setup times with the SMED method. We provide practical training of the method’s structured way of working and thinking, and we make sure the participants understand why reducing setup times is important.

Value stream mapping (VSM) & Swimlane

Value stream mapping (VSM) is a method for value stream (flow) analysis. The method involves analysis of the products’ path(s), buffers, process data, flow control, value-adding activities, and non-value-adding activities. The result is presented in a visual map of the present state. This map is the starting point of the second step of the method, where the Lean principles are used to analyze problems and improvement possibilities. The result of this step is a map of a desired future state.

Some kinds of operations are difficult to describe with VSM. In these cases, the Swimlane method may be a more suitable alternative. The aim of this method is the same, but it is performed in a somewhat different way.

We can support you with VSM as well as the Swimlane method. We can lead the analysis, but also train participants in the method itself.

Other needs?

Does your operation need other methods than the ones described here? Please contact us for a discussion!