In this volume 23 of “From the Archives of a Common Sensei” we will discussThe Intention of Developing a Management  Planning Process”. We will follow this discussion with volume 24 in which we will discuss more in depth development ofThe Framework of an Organizations Plan”. As with previous blog articles in this series, most (including this volume) are drawn from work I did back in the early 90’s while developing the Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIEM) facility in Columbus, Indiana. The contents and approach contained within this article could today be called Hoshin Kanri or Management Deployment. Back in those early days of Toyota Thinking in the US, I simply called it “Focus Alignment”! To me, it seemed on target with what we were trying to accomplish by gaining a targeted focus and making sure we had alignment throughout the entire organization. Besides, at that time, there seemed to be more resistance to using Japanese terms for practices used in the US. My experience was a mixture of introducing new and foreign concepts and simultaneously building a new manufacturing facility. Add to this the hiring of American staff who were amenable to learning new concepts and principles, while also helping the Japanese staff acclimate to Americans and our traditional way of working. All this while also making sure that their families had favorable transitions to their new community (thanks to my wife for making this a reality).

During these early days and today the planning process (and principles driving it) is the foundation on which success has been realized. For reader simplification, I have broken this topic into two separate but combined discussions. In volume 23 we discuss The Intention of Developing a Planning Process” and in volume 24 we will go into more detail on “The Framework of an Organizations plan”. Please keep in mind that today, three decades later, many of us might take these practices for granted, but not so typical then (and maybe not even today😊)! One additional thought: while reading this volume 23 and the next volume 24, read it as appropriate for your organization. By this I mean, DON’T get hung up on the fact that this process was created for an early US Toyota manufacturing organization. These practices are every bit as appropriate for any organization! In fact, I have applied them in nearly every business sector and government.

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From the Archives of a Common Sensei Volume 20: THE KANBAN CALCULATION

If your organization is beginning the “LEAN Journey” or if you are having difficulty executing your Kanban ordering, perhaps this blog volume 20 will help you. These formulas for “standard/ordering” and “inter-process” Kanban were derived from work we did at Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIEM) during the early days of the 1990’s, but may also be relevant in your organization. As you might suspect, the standard Kanban calculation formula is generally meant for external ordering, and the inter-process Kanban calculation is generally used only when material is transferred (moved) internally. When reviewing these formulas to be used as guides, I have presented the suggested formulas and considerations. These formulas have been used in a variety of JIT and Kanban driven environments since I left Toyota (TIEM) and have helped create enormous value in the form of: shorter order lead times, shorter processing time, less inventory expense, less handling, less space, better quality, lower engineering costs, less overall waste, lower financial costs, etc. for those who choose to take deployment seriously. The use of Kanban must be executed with high discipline! Anything less is likely to result in errors and shortages of supply. The implementation of Kanban alone in an organization is not likely to produce the intended benefits mentioned above! This is where the culture of many organizations MUST be tackled at the same time (as discussed in our previous blogs). Every associate must understand the seriousness of their actions and the consequences of not performing their role in the overall process.

True value creation requires that every associate understand their role in executing to plan AND perform that role as intended!

Max Allway

As has been stated in other articles/blogs, this example of methods used or previously used at a Toyota operation are only meant as examples for consideration in your organization.  Hopefully you will benefit from this and previous “ideas” we have included in our blog postings.

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