Lean Glossary and Tools

Here is a list of Lean tools that can be used to improve an organisation;

5S – Organising the workplace using 5 structured steps;

Sort – Eliminate that which is not neededSet – Organise the remaining items

Shine – Clean and inspect the area to an agreed standard

Standardise – Write standards for the above 3 steps

Sustain – Create an audit system to monitor the standards and look to continuously improve

Gemba – Spending time on the shop floor and go to where the action happens. This helps to gain a better understanding of what actually happens and engaging with the workers.

Hoshin Kanri – Policy deployment to align the goals of the company strategy with plans of the middle management and the workforce on the shop floor.

Jidoka – Design equipment to automatically stop when defects are detected to improve quality.

JIT (Just In Time) – Material is pulled through the production system based on customer demands at the right time, the right quality in the right quantities, reducing inventory levels.

Kaizen (continuous improvement) – Employees working together to proactively improve the processes in incremental steps.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – Metrics designed to track and encourage progress towards the goals of the organisation.

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) – Measuring productivity loss for a manufacturing process through availability, performance and quality.

PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) – Used for implementing improvements

Plan – Establish a plan and expected results

Do – Implement

Check – Verify expected results achieved

Act – Review and assess (do it again)

Poka-Yoke (Error proofing) – Designing error detection and prevention into a process with the aim to achieve zero defects.

Root Cause Analysis – Problem-solving that focuses on the underlying problem rather than quick fixes that only treat the symptoms of a problem.

SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) – Reducing the change over (set up) times to maximise a process run time by converting steps from internal (tasks performed while the machine is stopped) to external (performed while the machine is running).

Standardised Work – Documented procedures that capture best practices for a process that keeps waste to a minimal, safest way of working. This forms a baseline for improvements.

Takt Time – The pace of the production that aligns with customer demand. Available production time / Customer demand.

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) – Focuses on proactive and preventative maintenance to maximise the operational time of the equipment.

VSM (Value Stream Mapping) – A tool used to visualise the flow of production/materials that helps to identify waste and improvements.

Visual Management – Visual displays of indicators and controls to improve the communication of information.

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The vaccination plan and timetable published by the NHS and the Department for Health and Social Care outlines the scale of the ambition and the model which will be implemented to match that ambition. However, with ambition comes challenges.

A vaccination programme of this scale will require every resource available to be used effectively and efficiently if the program is to succeed. We know that vaccination production won’t be a limiting factor, however, a lack of skilled and trained resources to administer the injection in a safe and proper way for patients is soon to become a major constraint.

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