Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Lean Deployment
Tobyhanna Army Depot started its Lean journey in June 2002. This transformational practice has achieved a total of 429 Lean events (including Lean training), with an associated savings and avoidance level of more than $47.1 million since project inception.
In June of 2002, Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) started its Lean journey. Prior to the first steps of the Lean transformation, TYAD had a large amount of waste throughout its industrial and administrative processes. A continuous improvement culture did not exist, avenues for Lean initiatives were not in place, and process details and performance visibility were minimal.
A preliminary step in the Lean transformation was to institute strategy meetings with directorate management. Team leaders began regular meetings to plan Lean/Six Sigma events and projects that would determine the need for value stream analyses; workplace organization and standardization events; rapid improvement events; 3P (people, process, product) planning events; and Six Sigma projects. Prioritization of these needed events is based on high repair cycle times, cost issues, and high-priority systems as dictated by the Department of Defense.
To help facilitate these strategy meetings, a War Room event board was developed that covers the entire wall where the strategy meetings are held and graphically shows the Lean applications needed for the next several months. The planning board incorporates areas of interest, near-term action plans, and a “parking lot” for future Lean initiatives.
Another aspect of TYAD’s Lean Deployment is the command group’s inclusion in Lean presentations. All levels of management are involved in the Lean event briefs with the depot’s commanding officer leading off the events. This approach is a visible and tangible display of the commitment that TYAD shows in support of its Lean transformation.
An additional important element to TYAD’s Lean transformation is a Lean self-assessment approach. This approach is a continuing look at how well Lean deployment is faring – “lean on Lean.” Standardization across the Lean continuum is scrutinized. Event preparation, event charter development, time observations, level loading by bar charting, standardization of event, and in-and-out briefs are regularly reviewed for internal process improvements.
Other aspects and examples of TYAD’s Lean Deployment are the Lean Action Register that tracks and closes actions, standard display boards that show critical Lean information to the work centers, static display boards that stress Lean communication to all employees, administrative Lean events geared at waste elimination “above the shop floor,” and monthly metrics to track and guarantee continuous improvement.
The results at TYAD have been impressive. Four Lean model cells have been developed and five more are in the process of Lean Cell certification. Lean/Six Sigma has yielded employee participation levels of more than 1,000 employees since inception (Figure 2-5). A total of 429 events have taken place since project inception, with an associated savings and avoidance level of more than $47.1 million.
Figure 2-5. Employee Participation Levels
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