Lean or Six Sigma Thinking
Goal prides itself on the ability to consistently deliver superior results across different industries. This is due to the fundamental understanding of lean principles rather than lean tools. The principles of lean thinking were developed in the Toyota Motor Corporation and Goal members have been able to adapt these principles to a number of industries, successfully and on a regular basis.
Goal members have delivered successful lean training at an executive level and through the organisation to operator level. Lean training programs have been developed and adapted, using universal principles, to the following industries:
- Metal high volume processing
- Metal and plastic jobbing shop
- Fresh food and agricultural
- Dairy industry – packaging and distribution
- Back office processing – accounts payable, account receivable
- Property management
- Vehicle sales
- Insurance claims
- Salary packaging and novated lease
- Food manufacturing
- Public service leadership
- Plastic injection moulding
In all of the above, it was necessary to first understand the drivers of the industry, analyse the processes, then design and develop training material and workshops by adapting principles to suit the particular industry/company situation. Evaluation is typically conducted in conjunction with the client prior to formal delivery. All training initiatives are assessed by delegates and feedback provided to clients.
The methodology used is unique in that the process of culture change is based on developing both a strategic and operational understanding of lean principles, primarily of Business Simulation Seminars and Small Group Training, combined where necessary with consulting and facilitation to support these fundamental processes.
This approach ensures that clients receive value for money solutions to business improvement and cultural change through the development of business specific internal capabilities based on sound lean thinking principles. The process results in sustainable business culture change capabilities and ongoing momentum and support for culture change being developed in a relatively short period of time.
The successes of this methodology are due to the focus on developing the clients own capabilities to be able to continue the lean journey with their own resources. This is often a slower ‘start’ but overall, the greatest value for money for the client. The client is able to benefit from the leverage created by combining the client’s internal skills, knowledge and ability, with that of the consulting team’s knowledge and experience in lean transformations. The re-allocation of resources to the improvement initiative within the client organisation has a positive spin-off for the culture change process.
By interfacing with CEO’s and executives of client organisations, we can ensure that the project continues to meet objectives in line with organisational goals. Ensuring the leadership has a common knowledge, language and understanding of lean principles and their impact on the business, is key to this relationship.
The principles used for large complex culture change projects focus first on ensuring that the overall strategy and objectives of the business improvement program are clearly understood and thereafter, in consultation with the client, ensuring that business improvement project progresses systematically, in ‘bite-sized’ components which are each successful in their own right. This process is balanced to maintain the end-to-end process improvements.
An overall positive environment is created through the positive involvement of the correct group/cross section of staff, effective training, a practical implementation plan, allocation of adequate internal and external resources, the management of quick and early wins in support of a clearly communicated change strategy. Regular, positive communication of progress and especially short term wins is key to the success of a Lean Improvement plan.