The Institute for Lean Systems offers a partnership approach to workforce development
training focusing on the improvement possible by applying a lean philosophy in organizations.
For this type of training to be most effective, participants need to perform transformation
activities directly, under the coaching of a skilled facilitator, who teaches the
tools, techniques, and thinking of lean during these activities.
ILS intends to bring together 3 to 5 companies in a single geographic community.
Each company will provide 3 to 8 people to participate in this 3-week learning experience.
The objective of the partnership is to provide the best possible lean systems education
to organizations at the lowest possible net cost.
The Community Action Partnership requires attendance at three 5-day transformation
learning sessions, each hosted by different sponsoring companies, and separated
by an interval of 3 to 5 weeks. Companies interested in hosting must assist in building
the consortium for the Partnership.
The price for this experience will be funded primarily from grants from the state
workforce development incentives offered through state agencies. The cost of the
program to participating companies who agree to host the week-long workshops described
below will be neutral (any cost will be offset by savings realized through the hands-on
projects with a payback of 2:1). Host companies will bear the operating
costs associated with hosting their session (food, materials, miscellaneous other
costs). Often these costs serve as offsetting contributions to help the company
qualify for workforce development grants.
A few weeks before the first learning session, all host companies will receive a
free lean systems assessment from ILS. The assessment is a 1- or 2-day review of
host company value streams that will include a high-level analysis of potential
savings through critical projects or key improvement opportunities. This becomes
the basis for the CAP execution plan which specifies which company will host which
week’s learning session. We will then identify any additional resources needed,
the sequence of activities, and prioritize the instructional modules to achieve
the defined goals.
During each learning session, a critical project (or multiple projects) will become
the learning vehicle. As our facilitators teach the basics of lean systems, understanding
and applying lean tools, problem solving, and the array of other topics, our aim
is to briefly introduce a concept, then take action to apply that concept to the
workplace immediately. Expect long days of focused work to get the projects done.
Projects will end with a detailed presentation.
The first learning session will focus on Value Stream Design. This will be a 5-day
activity to map the current and future states of a value stream identified in the
assessment as most promising to serve as a model. The participants will define an
implementation plan for achieving that future state for the selected value stream.
During the interval between the first and second learning sessions, participants
will work together to complete current and future state maps for their home company’s
The second session builds on the learning from the first, allowing us to complete
projects on the . Several teams (typically 4) will work
in parallel on these major activities. The learning objectives are likely to focus
on topics such as standardized work development, 5S and visual management, changeover
time reduction, pull systems development, or source quality.
During the ensuing interval, teams will complete independent projects along these
same lines, providing ILS with documentation of those projects. ILS coaches will
provide additional feedback.
The third session builds from the second, this time focusing on problem solving
and kaizen. This week will also introduce other different topics that might include
building a daily management system which defines key performance indicators and
rapid response systems, or developing a suggestion system that builds problem solving
skills. This session ends with a detailed discussion about training plans for each
company to assure they continue moving forward. These plans may or may not involve
ILS trainers, but ILS stands by to provide support for these companies and would
expect to revisit them frequently to assess the progress and prevent backsliding.
We expect to secure substantial cost savings that pass through to the bottom-line
with each activity. The host company benefits from these savings, and if state funding
is not available, the savings will pay for their participation in the partnership.
ILS will work closely with participating companies to plan an invoice and payment
sequence of activities to ensure that participation is cost neutral on current budgets.
The details of financing partnership will be worked out with each company separately,
and based on each company’s individual needs.
The price is $7,500 per participant. Any portion of a company’s fee not covered
by State training grants would be paid only after the end of the partnership program
when the participating companies realize savings from the week-long activities for
the hosts and the individual projects. Companies can pay over time (e.g. over 6
months) as a fraction of the monthly savings realized relative to the operating
budget for the product line in question. If annualized savings are less than twice
the fee amount, our fee would be reduced to 50% of the annualized savings, a minimum payback ratio of 2:1. Monthly installments
in paying the fee would not exceed 50% of the realized monthly savings, insuring
the project produces favorable cash flow variance relative to budget. ILS will work
closely with participating companies to ensure the partnership is cost neutral.
Community Action Partnership Process Flow Diagram