The execution of your first improvement project

Congratulations! You have been certified as Green Belt and are ready to start with your first project. You want to apply everything you have learnt this far. However, this often appears to be harder than expected. Where to start? And how to be sure your first project regarding improvement becomes a success?

In this blog, we will help you, as certified Green Belt, to start your first successful project by giving your some tips.

Start in your working place:

Lean philosophy is about bottum-up improvement. Work from the working place upwards to the top. 

  1. Employees know how processes work. This knowledge is necessary to become able to improve! 
  2. Employees must be involved in improvement projects to create foundation for changes. 

The first step that should be taken is called a Gemba Walk. Gemba stands for working place, which means a Gemba Walk stands for an actual walk around the working place. Observe the processes that take place here. And remember: Go see, ask why and show respect. 

This means observing a process without judgment. Ask your employees what they are doing and more importantly how. 

By making a Gemba Walk, you show you are involved as a Green Belt and will get more feeling for the processes that will take place to achieve improvement. 

Make sure there is understanding between the client and the working place

After making a Gemba Walk, much information is collected. This input leads to improvement of the processes. By consulting with the management team, you will find certain things in the organisation, after having made the Gemba Walk, that can be improved. Eventually, you should make a plan in order to carry through with the improvement. 

Prevent terminology

To ´lean´ your process, it is possible to create an ´Ishikawa’ or ‘muda’. This sounds logical to a Green Belt, but your employees might find this less easy to understand. Try to use as less terminology as possible, but just say things such as ‘mapping processes’, ‘eliminating waste within processes’ et cetera. This is easier to understand than those Japanese terms. 

Do not lose yourself in all those details

As a Green Belt you should realise your added value lies in taking a step back from the workfloor. People might lose themselves in thinking of solutions to problems, instead of analysing first. As a Green Belt, take a step back and think rationally of effective solutions after analysis. 

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