Do you want to know the most critical of the Lean Tools?
the tool is what you do not expect.
It is flexible,
smart and willing to success.
The Lean Tool you have to use is … People!
If you do not have people with you, there are no
set of Lean Tools that can help you to be successful!
The essential role of the people is detailed on our page what is lean.
People have the power.
Some years ago, I found on Linkedin an image that
I stored on my PC. This image changed my point of view.
after reading and experiencing Lean, I reinforced this thought.
Finally, some days ago I found this video that confirmed me how the people is most important among the Lean Tools you need to build a Lean Enterprise.
Look at the video to understand.
I think you were expecting a list of Lean Tools and I do not want to delude you.
My essential Lean Tools List.
We already spoke about people … right?
Lean Tool #1 – People
in our page on Lean Management, we stressed a lot how important is a board to lead the people in the Lean Journey.
Lean Tool #2 – Whiteboards & Daily Meeting
how can the meeting be fruitful and dynamic if you do not have the essential to be visual?
Is not boring when you want to write some ideas on the board and you do not have the marker?
Lean Tool #3 – A right amount of sheets, tapes, markers, pen, pencils, etc.
let’s move to the intangible among the Lean Tools … the data.
Here another powerful sentence said by Deming:
Lean Tool #4 – Data. Reliable Data. Can I trust my data!
The best part?
I know you were expecting the list of 5S, VSM, Kanban, etc.
before you have to be sure to have the Lean Tools I cited before.
Deming asked for those!
In other words,
now is the turn of the conventional Lean Tools I normally use.
Lean Tool #5 – 5S Methodology
Into a book I love, “Kaizen Express”, it is written the 5S is the base for improvement.
I find crazy to start some improvement project without a 5S strategy in place.
Lean Tool #6 – Value Stream Mapping
To learn the basics of this tool, I suggest you buy the book “Learning to see” and read it more than one time.
In reality, the correct sequence is:
Do a Value Stream Map
Do another Value Stream Map
and so on.
Lean Tool #7 – Questions and Kaizen
Here is the kicker!
When I started to be trained on Lean they taught me about the lean tools as probably you were taught:
JUST IN TIME
Do not take me wrong.
They passed on the 5 Why’s analysis as a not so used tool.
Firstly, How was possible?
Secondly, How was possible?
Finally, How was possible?
This tool is the KEY of the Toyota Production System.
refocus your Lean Toolbox on the 5 Why’s analysis that is simply the best way to find the root cause and fix it by Kaizen.
The list of Lean Tools you can find in books, from sensei, and on the internet is huge.
In this page, I tried to list the essential Lean Tools to start with the right step.
#1 – People
#2 – Whiteboards & Daily Meeting
#3 – A right amount of sheets, tapes, markers, pen, pencils, etc.
#4 – Data. Reliable Data. Can I trust my data !?
#5 – 5S Methodology
#6 – Value Stream Mapping
#7 – Questions & Kaizen
I did a lot of false starts, and at the end of my experience so far, I strongly suggest to use this essential Lean Tools prior starting with fancy and more complicated tools.
What is your Lean Tools essential list?