You will never succeed at Lean unless you create improvement capacity in the front lines. Lee Fried recently wrote a great article about Creating Time for Local Improvement that explores this. I want to add some of my thoughts as well.
My hospital began Lean and Value Stream work based on creating capacity for growth. Our alignment sessions target waste removal projects while also focusing on growth opportunities. While we have seen growth in the last few years, improvement efforts still seem like muri that overburden staff. It is great to create capacity for growth, but be mindful if your growth eats up any time gains for improvement.
I recently came across a measurement for nurse productivity. One key performance indicator is missing from the equation – time for improvement. You need metrics that support staff to have time for kaizen.
I was able to go on a factory tour last year and their policy was to have 15% time available for improvement. Available Time is based on 85% of the staff’s day and their Takt Time is based on this. This allowed for daily improvements.
What are your thoughts about getting front line staff having capacity for improvements?
My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation. How can I help harness that inspiration?