Monday, April 29, 2013

Point, Flow & System Improvement

By Pascal Dennis

Important that we understand the difference.

Leaders at all levels are responsible for leading improvement commensurate with their scope & span of control.

It makes little sense for a front line Team Leader to hunt the Great White Whale of System Kaizen.


Similarly, it's suboptimal for a Senior Vice-President to focus her attention on solely Point Kaizen - when she should be looking for Moby Dick.

(Caveat: she certainly needs to sponsor, motivate & check Point & Flow kaizen in her zone.)

So here are some working definitions of Point, Flow & System improvement.

Point Improvement
  • improvement in a point in the value stream, e.g.
    • Machine changeover,
    • Material handling
    • Quality - (e.g. damaged to packaging, contamination)
    • Ergonomics
    • Standardized work - lack of, wrong content/sequence/timing etc.

Flow Improvement
  • improvement in several points in the value stream - that lead to an overall VS improvement (e.g. in Lead time, throughput, quality, inventory turns)
    • Flow improvement comprises several point improvements
    • A + B + C + D = overall VS improvement, where A, B, C & D might be
      • Machine changeover,
      • Material handling
      • Quality - (e.g. damaged to packaging, contamination)
      • Ergonomics
      • Standardized work - lack of, wrong content/sequence/timing

System Improvement
  • Entails continuing to ask Why until we uncover systemic causes to recurrent problems
    • Usually entails macro systems around Man, Machine, Methods, Materials
    • Can also entail core business processes - e.g. Budgeting, Forecasting, Info systems etc.

Happy fishing,

Pascal

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pascal,

    Very clear explanation on the difference and relationship between point kaizen and flow kaizen.

    Can you please elaborate more on how to execute the system improvement?

    Thank you.

    Edgar

    ReplyDelete